SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Oriental,NC to Belhaven,NC
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 19
We pulled the anchor and departed from Oriental at 0750 hours and headed out of Oriental and to the Neuse River… forecast was for SW winds 10-15 increasing to 20 knots… as we left there was virtually no wind… the Neuse was very calm and it stayed that way the entire time we were on it. At the north end when we turned in the Bay River the winds started kicking up and we started seeing the 20 knot winds with some higher gusts… but within 30 minutes we were in the lee of the land and the wind was not affecting us at all.

Saw a lot of commercial traffic today… we passed several tugs pushing barges… there were a few cruisers as well… was nice seeing some interesting boat traffic… something besides the 20-30 SeaRay and Bayliner boats. We made contact via VHF with a sailboat that we have been together with at Block Island the last two summers… George aboard SOPHIA… don’t know his last name… we are going to try and get together with him some place along the way north… timing has not worked out so far to do anything but talk on the VHF.

We called the day a little short stopping the Belhaven, NC area… ahead we have the A & P Canal, the Alligator River and Albemarle Sound and no where to stop that we really enjoy… there is Alligator River Marina but for some reason we just do not enjoy stopping there. We normally stop at the top of the Pungo River and anchor just before entering the A & P Canal.. this time we decided to stop at Dowry Creek Marina on the Pungo River. We had not been there in a long time and it’s a nice marina. They give MTOA members a discount on dockage and they have a happy hour that all the boats in the marina attend… its fun having a few drinks, some appetizers and exchange stories of our travels with others.

We pulled in and docked at Dowry Creek Marina at approximately 1420 hours and we did go to happy hour and enjoyed it very much. Our approximate location for the evening is N35°32.041’, W076°32.101’.

Today we traveled for 6 hours and 30 minutes covering 43.88 nautical miles averaging 6.75 knots.
Posted at 6:17 PM
Monday, 30 April 2012
Swansboro,NC to Oriental,NC
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 18
We had a great evening out having a few drinks and dinner at Saltwater Grill… it used to be called Ducks Grill and Bar and still ahs that name on the building, but we found out while dining there that it was new owners as of 2 weeks ago. I had a bacon wrapped scallop appetizer that was awesome… also had New England style clam chowder that was pretty good… entre was a chicken Caesar salad… everything was real good and everyone liked their meals.

We woke in the morning about 0700 hours and about 0800 we walked less than a block down the street to Yana’s Restaurant and had breakfast… it’s one of the older greasy spoon type places… early 50’s/60’s décor… the food was great… had a beef version of biscuits and gravy and the portions were huge… another great meal out in Swansboro. We walked back to boat and Mike assisted us with our dock lines and we underway at approximately 0955 hours.

Very uneventful day… heard on the VHF about a trawler going aground and it was the same guy that was sitting high and dry in Carolina Beach anchorage… he’s really having a rough trip. Had two tug and barges pass us going south toward Morehead City in Adams Creek… other than that not any cruising traffic to speak of other than several local boats out fishing.

Mike on MI-T-MO left us a Jarrett Bay just north of Morehead City… he is being hauled there and getting a bottom job and some other maintenance… had a good time cruising with him the last few days.

We arrived to Oriental at approximately 1600 hours and entered the harbor to see if the free dock was available and there were two sailboats docked there… next option was to anchor in Oriental harbor itself… sort of tight but if there is space it’s not bad… but again there were two sailboats anchored in such a way that I did not feel comfortable anchoring there… winds were currently SE but are forecast to switch to SW… the SW switch is what made this anchoring option not a good idea. So, we headed under the bridge and entered Green Creek and anchored where we have many times before at approximately1625 hours we were secure on the hook at approximate location N35°01.467’, W076°42.433’.

Today we traveled for 6 hours and 30 minutes covering 43.3 nautical miles averaging 6.66 knots.
Posted at 4:50 PM
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Carolina Beach,NC to Swansboro,NC
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 17
We had an uneventful night at anchor… it was a little noisy a few times when a large cruise/dinner boat would pass behind us… it had banners on it Saturday Night Party Boat… and they had the music cranked up LOUD… they made two trips out…. One about 1930 hours and again at 2200 hours… looked and sounded like everyone was enjoying themselves on the boat.

I woke up about 0600 hours and fed Beecha and then took her to land for a walk… returned to the SAILS and Mike had informed me that his anchor was up and ready to depart… Mike pointed to the 48’ Krogen that had anchor in front us… his stern waterline was about 2 foot higher out of the water than it should have been… he had anchored over in too shallow of water and at low tide he was sitting on the bottom… the funny part was he did not even realize it and was on the bow attempted to raise his anchor… when his windlass stalled he went to the pilot house and put the boat in gear to move forward… needless to say he did nto move… he was high and dry till high tide... tough situation for him… there was nothing we could do as he needed 2 feet of water to even begin to float his boat again.

We tossed the lines securing Mike to us and he pulled away and headed out to the ICW… I pulled our anchor and we were underway at approximately 0730 hours. Took a little longer to pull the anchor than normal as the chain was coming up real muddy and it was sticking to the chain like it was glued there… just took some extra time to rinse it as I retrieved it.

We had several bridges that always seem to give us trouble with making it to them on time… couple opening only on the hour… Mike assured we would not have an issue… his boat is documented as a commercial vessel and it is a “tug boat” so we made all the bridges with no delays.

We stopped for the evening in Swansboro, NC at one of our favorite stops. It is a dock and dine restaurant… Ducks Bar and Grill… we were secured to their docks at approximately 1625 hours at approximate location N34°41.171’, W077°07.172’. We would have dinner and drinks with Mike in Ducks.

Today we traveled for 8 hours and 55 minutes covering 57.38 nautical miles averaging 6.43 knots.
Posted at 4:59 PM
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