Monday May 30, 2022 Manteo to Ocracoke 66 miles
31 May 2022 | Anchorage Marina
Brooke Smith | 5-10 Knots out of the East
We left early. 6:12AM because it’s a LONG day. We travel about 7MPH so it’s gonna take really about 10 hours, fighting currents and winds and slowing for car ferries. Yep all of that and a slight miscalculation at a junction of 3 channels caused the water's bottom to come up and smite the hull for a few seconds. Bottom was not where the electronic charts ( completely updated ) indicated. Shoals occur and disappear often near Cape Hatteras.
We only got severely waked by one sports fisher. I’m not turning him into the Coast Guard but rather the owner, the owner’s insurance company. Not sure why, but sports fishers in the Roanoke Sound do not slow down for their dangerous 22 knot 4’ high wakes. But I got one of them on video camera and may follow though with the owner and insurance company for reckless operation.
OK, enough about $h!T head captains.
After we got into the Pamlico Sound it seemed we had the entire sound to ourselves. We saw two shrimpers and a few ferries and far away boats. But I only had two course changes in 47 miles. Some people love their dogs. I love my autopilot. I mean steering a single course for 5 hours and never being more than 15’ off course is a lot better than I can do. Mr. Autopilot is 11 years old. He shows no signs of failing. I really like the old fella.
So, I did have to dodge one shrimper. Nice to see them in the Pamlico. I’ll be having Pamlico Shrimp later at SmacNally’s. Yep I did and Susan had Spanish mackerel. We love seafood at Ocracoke restaurants. It’s always local. And, tonight, Tuesday, I’m cooking more Spanish and some tilefish from the local seafood co-op. Fish being taken off a boat, filleted and put in the case as we are buying tonights supper. But, I digress.
So, we are about 6 miles from the Ocracoke entrance channel and I can see a ferry about 12 miles away going twice as fast as we are. So, I slow to allow him to enter the channel ahead of me. The automatic calculations are amazing on my AIS figuring all the vectors out for me. Still I have to adjust my speed so I don’t end up there ahead and being in the way of the ferry. I get a 4 minute arrival solution with my reduced speed and just wait for the ferry to cross and then I speed up.
The Ocracoke Big Foot Sough channel is a real mess. Many, many temporary markers. I’m too far to the right apparently showing 3 1/2’ under the keel. I wonder how the ferry ever makes it in and out of here. Amazingly they only draw about 6-7ft fully loaded with cars. So, now we enter Silver Lake in Ocracoke harbor. Of course the wind picks up and the ferry I was following in is now loading cars. This means he is in gear pushing against the dock so that cars putting on brakes don’t make the ferry move away from the dock. He is also pushing a current all the way around Silver Lake. I get docking instructions from the marina and he lets me know this is not going to be a good situation. 1st I have to pass extremely close to a 55’ Hatters yacht with the owner’s wife in consternation. I try to turn to go in stern 1st and there is no room in the tight fairway. Instead of being a bit off, I’m about 90º off with the current pushing me sideways. No way this is going to work. The dock hands get the stern lines and I shift back and forth with full rudder and them pulling. I gain some and loose some. Finally, I get far enough in the slip that my rudder can actually help. We are tied up and both dock hands get good tips for their shoulder horse power efforts.
Hey, No insurance claim = good docking.
We get our golf cart and ride to the general store. I’m out of shaving cream. Back to the boat and actually stop at SmacNally’s which is completely full with a giant waiting list for a table. We see a corner vacant at the bar and the hostess says go for it. A corner at a bar is better than a table. We sit closer together with goo goo eyes you think and that is sweet you think. Hey we can hear each other better than sitting across from each other at a table. Nice shrimp for me, Spanish Mackerel for Suz.
We tried to stay awake for Mrs Maisel streaming. But both of us crashed fast.
Today’s picture is sunset over the Pamlico Sound.