SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Saturday, 23 April 2016
FL to CT - Day 29
Hobucken, NC to Columbia, NC
Lily woke us up at 0400 wanting to go outside... she had to poop... Susan took her out and did not realize that the rear deck was filled with mosquitos... Lily pooped and wnet back to sleep... then we spent the next hour and a half killing mosquitos... we both tried to go back to sleep but I don't think either of us actually got any real sleep... we finally got up at 0630 and started our day.

Took a few minutes to get the anchor up as the chain was really muddy... came up inches at a time so I could wash the mud off. Besides the muddy chain the anchorage worked well... very close to the ICW and peaceful... I even had an open WiFi signal that I was able to us... we had no cell phone service at all. We are in the "Dead Zone" for cell coverage. At 0730 the anchor was up and we were underway heading north up Hobucken Cut.

A couple of boats passed us today that we had never seen before... we are in a whole new group of boats moving north... yesterday it seemed everyone that had been moving around us stopped in Moorehead City/Beaufort area.

We did have some commercial traffic in the A & P Canal...a tug pushing a barge... the canal is sort of narrow and the edges full of old stumps so passing a tug and barge that is taking is taking up a good portion of the available width could be a little hairy... but he did move over some and allow us to pass so we did not have to get too close to the stumps along the edge.

We were not making a lot of speed with a slight current against us all day so we ran at 6.0 – 6.8 knots most of the day... this would put us in the Alligator River Marina area around 1700-1730... that's where we decided to stop for the night... not the marina but anchor somewhere near there.

As we approached the Alligator River Bridge we had a nice thunderstorm approaching from the NW... this bridge won't open when winds reach 35 mph... a half mile out the line of the storm hit us... winds went from 20 knots to 30 knots plus and it started pouring down rain and even some hail... and of course some lightning to make it complete... the bridge operator had already started the opening and was swinging the bridge open... he hailed on the VHF... "Captain... the bridge may not swing all the way open with this wind... just wanted to give you a heads up..." I acknowledged and we watched it slowly swing open as we approached... about a 1/3 of the way open it stopped... bridge operator hailed again... "Captain... that's it she wont's swing any further... be careful..." I acknowledged and proceeded forward... looked like we had about 30-35 feet open between the end of the swings bridge and the fender system... Susan said some choice words and said I can't watch and left the pilothouse... we cleared with plenty of space on both sides... it was just the wind gusting at 30 knots that made it a little hairy... ?

We then proceeded north toward where we had chosen to anchor for the night... it was up the Little Alligator River a couple of miles to Southshore Landing... N35°55.555', W076°02.958'. We were anchored securely for the night at 1830. We traveled today for 11 hours covering 70.4 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.

The wind changed directions after the storm passed and switched from NE to NW... not a good direction fro the anchorage... got a little choppy... winds to 25 knots... anchor held well.

We did have a nice treat with a a glimpse of a sunset...



Posted at 7:08 PM
Friday, 22 April 2016
FL to CT - Day 28
Swansboro, NC to Hobucken, NC
While in Swansboro we were able to spend teh eveing with our good friend Chris and Frank Erwin... lovely dinner on Emerald Isle.

Yesterday while coming ot Swansboro we had teh vibration on the starboard prop haunting us again... I decided that I need to check it out and dove under SAILS before leaving Caspers. Had to cut away about 20 feet of 1/4" briaded line form the prop... took about 15 minutes to clear it off.

We departed the marina at approximately 0845 and headed back to ICW... NO VIBRATION... AWESOME! had a nice boost of speed from the current pushng well over 7 knots as we headed toward Moorehead City... I assumed once we hit the inlet that we would lose the speed... but today was our lucky day... we hit just as the curretn was switching from ebb to flood and soon we were back up to over 7 knots.

Our plans were to stop in Oriental, NC for the night... we love Oriental and tomorrow being Saturday Susan was excited to be able to go to the farmers market they have on Saturdays. We dock at the town docks and the market is right next to them. We check the the docks via the webcam they ahve to see if there is space... The docks were full by noon... 5 boats taking up all the available space... our dinghy is not working that well so anchring in Oriental Harbor was not going to work... so, no farmers market this time.

We did still have the curretn pushing so we opted to coninue up the Neuse River and get that behind us. The winds were SW 15 - 20 knots with gusts to 25 knots... seas were 2-4 feet. so, we had a following sea that provide a gentle rock... very comfotable trip up the Neuse River.

We exited the Neuse and headed up the Bay River to the Hobucken Cut... left the cut at day mark 23 and anchored in Gale Creek at 1700. Our location for the night N35°12.589', W076°35.500'. We traveled today for 8 hours and 15 minutes covering 59.0 nautical miles averaging 7.2 knots.
Posted at 5:08 PM
Thursday, 21 April 2016
FL to CT - Day 27
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Last night we were joined by our new friends Cathy and Mike aboard TRAWLER LIFE... they came in about half hour or so after we docked. We went over to assist them docking if we could and say hello... of course we made plans to have a cocktail later that evening aboard their boat.

They have a 36 foot Prairie that they have done some marvelous things to... has a ton of space inside and great storage... and they have create a screen porch of sorts behind the fly bridge... VERY COOL! We had a had a great time with them. They are going to slow down a bit so we will soon be well ahead of them as we push to get back to New England... but we will stay in touch... they are SUPER! Time for me to get back to work!

We departed this morning at 0800 and headed out of the channel of the marina to see a 60-70 foot motor yacht aground just outside the ICW channel with black smoke pouring out it's exhaust... we turned in to the ICW and headed toward Snow's cut... watching them in our rear camera I saw him get off and fall in behind us.

I took a photo of TRAWER LIFE as we passed the marina in the ICW... Looked like they were getting ready to leave.

We had a lot of bridges to wait on today... 4 bridges to go through... all on a schedule and all but one we needed to be opened...







We were able to time our arrivals so no real long delay at any of them... )

We did see one of the saddest things I think we have ever seen on the waterway... just before Topsail Island Bridge we came upon a mother dolphin next to her deceased baby... she would not leave the baby's side nudging it with her nose as if to try and wake the baby up... so so very sad to see.... :(

We arrived to our destination for the night at Caspers Marina in Swansboro, NC at approximately 1700. Our location for the night N34°41.113', W077°07.275'. We traveled today for 9 hours covering 58.7 nautical miles averaging 6.5 knots.


Posted at 5:00 PM
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