10/31/2011, Alligator River NC
I left Great Bridge (MM12) on the 8 O'clock bridge opening and headed South, along with about a dozen boats. The first bridge we came up to, we had to wait 20 minutes. The river at that point is only about 120 feet wide. With a 10 kt north wind slowly pushing us toward the unopened bridge. A little reverse to hold you until the boat turns. A little forward to get it straight again. Repeat. Getting closer.... watch out for the other boats...... opps too close to the bridge. Turn around and get at the end of the line. Start over again. A little nerve racking to say the least. AND is was freezing cold! Finally it opened. A mad dash. We proceeded south all the boats in a line. Plan A was to go to a place to anchor called Buck Island (about 50 miles) but throughout the day we heard the forecast for Monday into Tuesday and decided to push on a little further to stage ourselves at Belhaven NC on Monday night and wait out the weather there. They have a breakwall and are better protected from the north. It was an 80 mile day motoring and motor sailing with head sail. I ended up anchoring in the beginning (or the end) of the Alligator River behind Durant Island. No one else around. Pretty desolate here. The plan today is to make Belhaven and wait there until Wednesday and then on to Oriental. We'll see. Sent via SSB Alan
So, I finally made it to to the ICW. I left Hampton on Thursday morning and motored to the Layafette River where I met up with my friend Bill (another 424 owner) who is also heading South.
My first night with my new anchor did not go well. At 10:25 the expected front came though and the wind switched around to the north and picked up to over 30 knots. I dragged about 200 feet until the anchor reset. It held the rest of the night with the wind between 22-25 kts. gusting to 30 but I was worried and had a sleepless night. I think I didn't back down hard enough. We'll see. Maybe it just needs to be broken in.
Leaving the Lafayette River and proceeded down the Elizabeth River past Norfolk and Portsmith, passing all the shipping and Navy docks. A lot of big boats and a few aircraft carriers.
The run down to Great bridge was cold (had my Buffalo Bills hand warmers in my pocket). There was about a dozen boats in line. A lot of waiting for bridges. Some open on the hour and some on the half hour. It took 4 hours to make about 15 miles. A lot of jockeying around trying to wait in a river with current and wind. Some waits were 15 minutes one was 50. We tied up just after the Great Bridge Lock and just before the Great Bridge bridge. We figure to stay here tomorrow as the weather is supposed to suck and at the other end of the next leg is Currituck Sound which is sensitive to winds. So we'll hang out on Saturday and start south again on Sunday. Looks like everyone else her is of the same mind.
The plan is to be in Oriental NC on Wednesday.
Time to go find the propane heater to warm up my sleeping bag. Seems I got a few more miles to go before I have to starting worrying about the butter melting.
Not too many repairs aboard UNABATED rate higher than this one.
I love perked coffee and when your at anchor, there are not many options. Well, the little thingy on the tube that holds the spring under the basket wore away and failed to keep the basket up tight against the cover. This failure would cause the coffee grounds to find their way into my cup.
I know this isn't high tech but it works. I hope that clamp is real SS. The only thing worse than grounds in your coffee is rust.
I guess you have to be prepared to fix anything.
Nice clean cup of coffee this morning!