Coinjock, NC to Pungo River, NC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 16
We departed from Midway Marina in Coinjock, NC this morning at 0740 hours... had a slight current against us. We would be crossing the Albemarle Sound and then going south down the Alligator River. Both of these can be nasty with the wrong winds. The forecast was for north winds at 5-10 knots and 1 foot seas on the Albemarle... this would be a nice day if the forecast was correct.
The large group of boats we had met with in Portsmouth had now spread themselves out... quite a few stayed in Coinjock but everyone leaves at a different time and travels at different speeds so when we left we had only one of the boats we had been traveling with just ahead of us... a 36' Monk trawler named "Sandpiper"... we had befriended them as we entered Norfolk, VA giving them some advice on marinas in Portsmouth/Norfolk area and when we were in the Great Bridge Locks they were directly behind us and we talked then. They saw us behind them and hailed us on the VHF... we exchanged some chit-chat and discussed where we were planning to go for the day... I don't think they have ever made the trip south on a boat before. They were moving a little faster than we were and soon were a mile or so ahead of us.
When we reached the Alligator River Bridge they were just behind 2 sailboats and the bridge opened for them... we were way back... maybe 8 minutes from the bridge yet... I was not going to make this opening... :( We continued on and I noticed that the bridge was not swinging closed... I hailed the bridge tender and asked if he was holding the bridge open for me... he responded... "Yes, he was holding for me... and I was coming through right?"
I said yes I am and THANKS!!! He must of held it open 10-15 minutes total... really surprised me for him to do this... but it was great!
With the north winds the Alligator River became a little choppy... they were also blowing a little harder than forecast at about 15 knots... but it was a following sea and not bad at all. We passed the two sailboats that had gone through the bridge and were following "Sandpiper"... We had discussed earlier where we were gong for the night and he said he would join us there.
We arrived at the end of the A&P Canal and the anchorage area we had planned at approximately 1730 hours and were securely anchored at 1740 hours at coordinates.... N35°33.682’, W076°28.557’. I lowered the dinghy and took Beecha to shore before it got too dark to see where I was going... we have been here many times but running in some daylight is much easier than total darkness... at least this is what I planned, but it got dark real quickly and Beecha and I were headed up the Pungo river in the dark. There is a boat ramp that I take her to... it's about 1.5 miles up the river from where we anchor... was sure glad the moon was so full and bright to help... :)
We traveled today for 10 hours covering 68.91 nautical miles and averaging 6.89 knots.
Trip totals to date:
Distance: 702.47 nautical miles
Hours: 113 hours 21 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.2 knots
Days not moving: 3