Day 12 Monday, June 1, 2021
02 June 2021 | Cape Hatteras National Park Dock
BROOKE SMITH | Bouncy
Passage - River Dunes - Cape Hatteras National Parks Docks. Ocracoke, NC
I once again review the weather for tomorrow’s trip to Ocracoke and it has changed to scattered thunderstorms ALL DAY. The last look of the weather the storms were supposed to start in the afternoon. Susan says let’s go NOW and anchor out in Silver Lake. My mind changes gear and we leave River Dunes Marina about 10 AM bound Ocracoke. The wind is on our nose and its supposed to be 5-10 knots out of the East, pretty much on the bow of Liquid Therapy. However it’s over 10 knots and we are heading into the wind at 6.5 knots making the wind feel more like 16 knots. The waves were small no more that 2 feet. Liquid Therapy would get in a rhythm with the waves bouncing up and with a very rough down every once in a while spraying the boat and water shooting up through the bow hawse pipes every once in a while. As we got further into the Pamlico Sound the waves seemed to be subsiding a bit. But I had about 35 miles of open water to cross.
The ferries, the ferries. Yep I’m always anxious about meeting or having a large car ferry meet me anywhere in the “Big Foot Slough Channel” into Ocracoke. The channel changes constantly with lots of temporary markers and we had spoken with a guy recently that ran aground in the channel. I get looking around on my AIS and can see all 4 of these ferries going and coming into Ocracoke. After studying the ferry schedule I see only one that will be overtaking me before the channel. The calculations are changing and I’m not quite sure of his path in deeper water for a while. Then the ferry turns on a parallel course and is going must faster than Liquid Therapy. We are both well over an hour before entering the channel. Then it becomes evident ( Closest Point Of Approach CPA calculation ) that we are going to both meet at the entrance to the channel within 4 minutes of each other. The ferry will beat me there but we will be converging. About an hour later the ferry calls me on the radio and wants to pass me. HA, I told him that was certainly my plan. I don’t want to be run over or run aground getting out of his way in the narrow channel going into Ocracoke by the car ferry. Liquid Therapy slows just a bit and ducks in behind the ferry. I’m watching his every turn and my chart seems to agree with his turns. From the fly bridge height shoaling is evident inside some of the markers and the ferry gives those plenty of room. The ferry is over 200’ in length but only draws 6 1/2 feet of water. I’m seeing 9’ in most places and that would certainly make the ferry captain anxious.
The ferry has docked and letting off the vehicles as we find a vacant space almost next to the ferry at the National Parks Docks.
We rented a golf cart and away we went to the store for a few things we are getting low on. The grocery is small and busy and will probably run out of things this busy upcoming weekend. As we are driving back we are certainly surprised of how many people are walking the street and how full the restaurants are. We decide to eat at Smack Nally’s and find a place at the bar. Wonderful fresh tuna on a salad is what we both get. Seafood doesn’t get any fresher than in Ocracoke.
Today’s picture is the Cedar Island ferry passing.