SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Monday, 5 November 2012
RI to FL - Day 22
Oriental, NC to Swansboro, NC
We departed from Whitaker Point Marina this morning at 0825 hours and headed back out to the Neuse River. We had a short span of the Neuse to cross to make it to Adams Creek and sheltered waterway. It was still fairly windy but the waves were minimal and we had a pleasant ride across to Adams Creek.

Not much of anything happened of any significance today… a couple or boats passed us that were headed to Jarret Bay Marina for a haul out. Heard a lot of boats on the VHF but never really saw any of them.

We did have current with us for the majority of the day which is always nice. We did not have far to go today… Swansboro, NC so I took advantage of the current boost and backed the RPMs down to save some fuel… even doing this I saw several places where we were well over 8 knots.

We arrived to Swansboro and docked where we normally do… a dock and dine restaurant near Casper’s Marina. The name of the restaurant has changed over the last few years and is now called “Saltwater Grill”. We were securely docked at approximately 1445 hours at N34°41.170’, W077°07.168’.

One of the heads was not working today so I am off to the bilges to try and fix it… most likely a duckbill valve in the pump. This evening we have plans to meet Frank and Chris Erwin for dinner to celebrate Susan’s birthday.

We traveled today for 6 hours and 20 minutes covering 42.83 nautical miles averaging 6.76 knots.
Posted at 3:06 PM
Sunday, 4 November 2012
RI to FL - Day 21
Bellhaven, NC to Oriental, NC
Daylight Savings Time Change…. Had to set that alarm earlier than normal today… Had it set for 0500 hours to be ready to leave by sunrise at 0615 hours. Well… It was a good idea anyway… Alarm went off at 0500 and was quickly turned off… actually, I reset it for 0630 and went back to sleep… it was cold, raining out and still very dark… no way was I going to jump in the dinghy and take Beecha to land.

At 0630 the alarm went off and it was much easier to get up and get going… still raining on and off but managed to get Beecha to land and back without getting wet… but nearly froze to death on the dinghy ride… 2 miles to a boat ramp one way and it was COLD!

Got the dinghy back on top the boat, raised the anchor and we were off at approximately 0720 hours. Not as early as I would of liked but it was just not happening today.

Destination for today was Oriental, NC… we would cross the Pamlico River and the Neuse River… both of which can be very nasty if the winds are up and in the right direction.

We transited the Pungo River and the Pamlico River with calm seas… 1-2 waves at most… then we were in well protected waterways all the way to the Neuse River. The winds had not been over 10 knots up to this point. We headed out of the protected waterways into the Bay River that would take us out to the Neuse River. The winds started howling… 20 knots plus steady and gusts to 25 knots out of the NE… this was not a good direction for the Neuse River. By the time we reached the Bay River and entering the Neuse River we had 3-4 waves on our port bow and it was a nasty ride. The wave were close together and steep… we turned SW down the Neuse River and the waves were almost on directly on the stern… we had about 30 minutes to ride in this direction before we would make a turn to starboard and have the waves hitting at a better angle. By the time we reached our turn the waves were 5-6 feet and still very steep and close together. The autopilot was working it’s butt off to try and keep us going in a straight line. Finally we made a 30 degree turn to starboard and the ride became much better. We had a couple of more starboard turns to make as we proceeded down the Neuse River and with each turn the waves started to decrease as we moved into the lee of shoals and land. Soon it was back to a 2-3 wave and it seemed glass smooth compared to the beginning of the Neuse.

We had decided to not anchor in Oriental and go to a marina… it was just too cold to make the early morning dinghy run to take Beecha to land. Walking down the dock is much easier and not near as cold. We made reservations earlier at Whitaker Point Marina on Whitaker Creek in Oriental, NC. We had never been in here before so something new would be nice… and it was only $1.00 per foot for dockage for MTOA members… VERY COOL!

We arrived to the marina at approximately 1410 hours and docked on a T-head at N35°01.774’, W076°40.899’. The marina staff was friendly and nice… plus they had a courtesy car that we used to make a trip to the grocery store. Pool was closed but it was too cold anyway… LOL

We traveled today for 6 hours and 50 minutes covering 46.42 nautical miles averaging 6.79 knots.
Posted at 6:21 PM
Saturday, 3 November 2012
RI to FL - Day 20
Coinjock, NC to Bellhaven, NC
We departed from Midway Marina at approximately 0800 hours and headed south. The majority of the boats that we had seen yesterday had stopped here in Coinjock and as we left I noticed that most had already left. There were a couple still at the docks but they would pass us during the day at some point. Plans were to go to Bellhaven, NC for the evening which would mean a long day of travel.

We did have one large body of water to cross… the Albemarle Sound… but it was not bad at all… low winds and maybe 1-3 foot seas at most. We also transited two of the most boring areas in my opinion… The Alligator River and the A & P Canal… both are long straight runs with not much to look at.

We did have a little excitement in the Alligator River. We kept hearing reports on the VHF of deadheads (logs, trees, etc) floating in the water at various locations. We saw most of the reported ones and almost hit one of them… or maybe one that was not reported… a very large log bobbing up and down from exposed to submerged… almost did not see it as we were heading into the sun and the glare on the water made it very hard to see anything that might be in the water… A LOG… turned to port hard and missed it by inches.

We were not making much speed so we did not make it all the way to Bellhaven and anchored right as the sun was setting where the A& P Canal and starts… the top of the Pungo River. We have anchored here many times and it’s quick in and out to the ICW… good holding and most important… has a place to take Beecha to land. We were securely anchored at approximately 1820 hours… located at N35°33.510’, W076°28.153’.

We traveled today for 10 hours and 20 minutes covering 68.5 nautical miles averaging 6.63 knots.
Posted at 5:41 PM
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