Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 46 - Belhaven, NC

17 May 2012 | Docked at River Forest marina, NC
Wed 16 May 2012
Docked at River Forest marina, Belhaven, NC

After a very restful night, we each got a toasted whole wheat bagel from The Bean, a coffee shop across the street from the town dock. It was our first bagel in over two months and it was very tasty. By the time we were ready to leave, our dock mates, Dave and Paul, were up and about. They were ready to help, but the wind right off the stern made it easy to reverse out of the tight quarters, spin around in the lee of a huge shrimper, and then motor out into the Neuse River again.

We were able to motor-sail in S winds for a while, but once we entered the Hobucken Cut, we had to furl the sail. With no current and flat water, running at 2000 RPM we made a steady 5.6 knots. There isn't too much to comment on except for the numerous crab traps encroaching in the channel, and the very annoying large flies that came onboard the minute we got close to land. They didn't seem aggressive to bite you, but they buzzed around and lighted upon you frequently.

It was very nice in the open water sections not having to check your course and the depth meter every 5 seconds. There was no shallow water along the course (for the most part) and very few markers to worry about. We were passed by a few large trawlers, but many of them were apparently heading for Ocracoke or Hatteras.

We noticed quite a bit of lightning and thunder to the S of us, but we suspected it was sliding to the NE as we were headed due N, and the hope was it would miss us. There were two sailboats trailing us at about 0.7 and 1.5 miles and at one point the farthest sailboat almost disappeared in the rain squall. The storm was not on the same course as us, but it was catching us obliquely. The good news was that its outflow winds were almost dead astern and we put out half the headsail to keep our speed up to 6.8 knots or so to help stay ahead of its advance.

Knowing that we would not have another opportunity for fuel after Belhaven until we were running on fumes, we elected to stop at the River Forest marina. The dock master and another cruiser were very helpful getting us to the lee side of the dock in the 20 knot winds. I wish, however, that I had not followed the instruction to come alongside downwind. I should have turned around in the basin and come back upwind to the fuel dock. When all was done, we were fine.

Looking at the radar on the smartphone, we could see a massive squall line working toward our area, and much of it could have hit us during the evening, so I asked what the nightly rate was and whether we could stay right where we were. It took a little while getting the boat tied up properly for the conditions, but it was the safe, more comfortable option and we are glad we did it. Duane was on hand when several other boats came in (to avoid the storm) and each docking was interesting, to be sure.

At 1700, we took showers in the modest, but very adequate, facilities. The hot water felt good after the cold, driving rain. Back at Diva Di, we cooked the pasta and reheated the chicken Marsala and Brussel sprouts and enjoyed a terrific meal. The original plan had been to go another 10 miles today, but we ran 47 miles and that is good enough.

Tomorrow should see us at an anchorage in the Alligator River and then one more stop before Elizabeth City, NC. After that, we will enter the Great Dismal Swamp and enjoy that new experience as we head into Virginia.

As I type this at 1900, we have no Verizon cell signal at all and the local Wi-Fi is too weak, so I will post tomorrow as we can.
Vessel Name: Diva Di
Vessel Make/Model: PDQ MV34 Power Cat
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, FL
Crew: Duane and Diane

Diva Di Crew

Who: Duane and Diane
Port: Punta Gorda, FL