You will go aground . . .
11/05/2007, Wrightsville Beach, NC
This is "Discovery", Carl and Marilyn's boat and "Peace" behind us.
Mile Hammock to Wrightsville Beach. November 4th
It's really quite lucky that I don't believe in stress because otherwise today might have been categorized that way. There were three bridges on our route, two of which open only on the hour and the third was being sandblasted with reduce openings. The day seemed to be one big mental math problem... distance, speed, time, current with conversions back and forth between statute and nautical miles.
We got away about 7 am, which is now daylight thanks to the time change, and into and outgoing tide. Before we had gone a mile we hit the New River Inlet where I failed to notice a green daymark that wasn't on any of our charts, and slid over some mud before getting back to the new channel.
We made the first bridge with about 10 minutes to spare and figured that if we could make the 18 miles to the next bridge in two hours, we could make the last one without waiting. There were about 6 boats traveling loosely together and we slowly separated ourselves form the pack. After an hour or so, moving along nicely at about 8 knots with a little tidal help, we came upon a dredge in the middle of the canal Proper form is to call the captain of the dredge for directions but I could see that all we had to do was stay to the port and cut to the starboard just as we made the pass... As were we were in the process of passing, we ran directly into a sand bar. A little late, I called the Dredge Captain who was very helpful, and said that I needed to just back off and stay closer to the dredge next time. Well, easier said that done...after using the propeller in reverse to loosen the sand around our keel we began slowly move backward toward the dredge... as were about to run into him I attempted to make a turn and head back the way we had come...bam, stuck again. Now about this time, the boats that we had pulled away from began to arrive and they all had so drive between us and the dredge that was about 20 feet away. We both felt a little like the hare who had gone charging ahead of the tortoise.
About this time we noticed for the first time a Sea Tow boat lurking like a hungry vulture in the distance. When all the boat traffic squeezed past we were free to back off again, head back up stream until there was room for a 360 and then... finally pass the dredge.
Now that we had wasted about 10 minutes, there was no reason to hurry, the next bridge opening was out of reach mathematically. So we sheepishly, stayed behind a slower boat about a mile behind the pack. We could see the bridge open when we were about 2 miles away to let our group through so we slowed down to about nothing to wait for the next opening 30 minutes from now. As we watched, the bridge stayed open. Finally, I noticed a wake from Restless who had slowed to stay with us, and got a call from Steve saying the Bridge operator was going to leave the bridge open a while longer. We were full speed ahead....making the opening even though we were 20 minutes late.
The last bridge was uneventful and we pulled into the anchorage at Wrightsville Beach. As we began the process of locating the best spot to drop the hook, Kathy spotted "Discovery" so we drove by to say hi to Carl before anchoring. After we were settled, he came over for a chat. The last time we had seen Carl and Marilyn was dinner at Crosswinds with Russ and Robin when they gave us lots of very helpful hints about traveling south. There were two other Michigan boats here as well. Besides "Discovery", "Windborne" left from crosswinds a few years ago and "Tilt" is from Muskegon. "Peace" is also here, so we stopped by to chat with Ann and Neville.
We are going to stay tomorrow to try to get our starting problem solved and pick up a few groceries.
11/05/2007, Mile Hammock Bay, NC
No picture today. The dolphins and pelicans just won't stay still long enough.
Beaufort to Mile Hammock Bay - November 3rd
Kathy stayed up until about 1am on anchor watch and I relieved her then. It was beginning to subside a little a around 5am so I went to bed. The wind was still blowing about 20 knots when we got up and most of the people around us seemed to be staying another day. I worked on retrieving our secondary anchor and we were in the process of making our minds up when we spoke to "Restless" on the radio. They had left Oriental early and said that the conditions on the water were fine.
So...we hauled in the primary and headed over for the 11am opening of the Beaufort Bridge. By the time we time we worked our way through Beaufort and over to Morehead City, Steve and Carol were just coming under the tall Bridge at Morehead City.
Most of the day was spent in a very narrow channel in the Bogue Sound heading mostly west away from the Cape. The shore was lined with nice homes and there were porpoises playing around the boat.
As we left the Sound we entered a marshy landscape with fewer homes but more wildlife. Finally...we got to an area that seemed to be mostly swamp...Camp Lujeune, where we spent the night with about 25 other boats.
We have three bridge openings to deal with tomorrow and two of the three only open on the hour so our departure has to be timed for the first opening about three hours away. Our plan is to take off at about 8 am to hit the 10 o'clock opening.
11/03/2007, Beaufort, NC
Today we sat on the boat and listened to the wind howl through the rigging. There are two anchors set but we still move a little on gusts of over 40 mph-more wind than was forecast yesterday. I increased our scope during the afternoon and stopped the little bit of drag that we had been experiencing. It was a long day... too rolley to do any work, although we did manage to put together a light fixture.
We are sheltered quite well but still there are two foot waves in the anchorage. Luckily, we have a good internet connection here and were we able to catch up on the news. I ordered a few items on line and had them delivered to Scott in South Carolina.