SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Thursday, 5 December 2013
CT to FL Day 15
Oriental, NC to Swansboro, NC
Forecast today was for dense fog until 0900 so we decided to leave after sunrise and only deal with the fog and not darkness and fog. Being inland as far as we were... the winds did not really make a difference, but they were forecast for 5-10 knots.

After walking Beecha we departed from Whittaker Pointe Marina at 0730 and proceeded slowly out of the channel. This channel is really shallow... quite a few places the depth sounder stopped working... flashing LAST READING... 5.0... so we took it nice and slow and we were back into the Neuse River and 15 plus feet of water... brought SAILS up to RPM and soon we were doing 6.9 knots... this is the speed we should be running at 2500 RPM with no current or wind effecting us... so we were happy with this speed.

We crossed the Neuse River and entered Adams Creek... Fog still dense as it was at 0730... but you could now see the blue sky above us... the fog was lying just above the water maybe 200-300 above the surface and then you had clear skies... but at our level it was really thick and visibility was about 100 yards at best. I never saw the day markers for the entrance to Adams Creek... only on radar and the chartplotter.

About an hour into the creek the fog disappeared... not sure if it was the sun burning it off or just the location but was glad it was gone. Now the only issue was that we had started getting a current against us... soon we were down to 4.5 knots. The flood tide was still running from the inlet at Moorhead City... it was due to switch around to an ebb tide as we approached so we would get a boost of speed as we got closer to the inlet.

Right before the inlet at Moorhead City we started to get a boost of speed and were soon running 7.5 knots plus... we kept this boost all the way through Bogue Sound. We also got the fog back in Bogue Sound... not as thick as earlier but less than 1/8 mile visibility. As we reached the southwest end of Bogue Sound the fog was gone again... and we also started getting even more of boost in speed as we approached Bogue Inlet in Swansboro. We hit 9 knots just before the inlet and as we crossed the brakes came on as the current switched from on our stern to on our bow and we were back down to 5.5 knots... CRAZY!

We arrived to our destination... The Saltwater Grill in Swansboro, NC at 1345 and tied to their docks. We would eat dinner in the restaurant. This dock is a free dock and dine stop.

We traveled today for 6.25 hours covering 43 nautical miles averaging 6.9 knots. We are located at N34?41.175', W077?07.162'.


Posted at 2:31 PM
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
CT to FL Day 14
Belhaven, NC to Oriental, NC
Having a short day planned we slept in till 0630... I think we were both awake at 0500 as our bodies have become synced to this time but we tried to sleep late... guess I should say we got out of bed at 0630. It was also very odd with it being daylight already... used to the dark. Walked Beecha and departed from the docks at 0715.

Was not forecast to be very nice weather today... 80% chance of rain... winds were to be 5-10 knots and seas 1 foot. We did get the rain but the wind and seas were lacking... the seas and winds were calm.

Nothing out of the ordinary today... did have one trawler with us all day and one of the same SeaRay type boats that passed us yesterday passed us again today... however, today he was not the courteous passer and passed us with a good size wake.

We planned to go to Oriental, NC today. Stopping at the free town docks... but with the rain these docks never opened up. You can check to see if these docks are open via the web as they have a web cam at http://www.towndock.net... harbor cam link. So, we decided to stop at Whittaker Pointe Marina. We have stayed here before and it was very nice and they have a courtesy car. Susan wanted to pick up a few groceries and it would also give us a chance to fill our water tanks and do some laundry.

As we arrived it was raining and foggy... visibility was down to 1/8 of a mile... made the approach a little slow but uneventful. We were securely docked at 1315. We traveled today for 6 hours covering 40.7 nautical miles averaging 6.8 knots. We are located at N35°01.779', W076°40.898'.
Posted at 6:05 PM
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
CT to FL Day 13
Elizabeth City, NC to Belhaven, NC
We departed from the Jennet Brothers Docks in Elizabeth City at 0600. We immediately had to hail the Elizabeth City Bridge for an opening. No delays for the bridge and we were underway out the Pasquotank River toward the Albemarle Sound and saw an awesome sunrise. This trip we have experienced some of the best sunrises and sunsets in a long time.

The forecast was for 5-10 knot winds and 1 foot seas... again the forecast was all wrong... it was glass smooth calm and winds were maybe 5 knots at times but most of the day there was no wind. Absolutely, the best day of cruising we have had so far... bright and sunny and flat calm.

We did see quite a bit more boat traffic that were definitely moving south... two SeaRay type boats passed us in the Alligator River... and we heard them talking too several others as they moved south passing everyone... at least they were courteous and gave us a no wake pass.

Destination for the night planned to be Belhaven, NC... a new town dock that is free.... no power or water but the price is right. We arrived to Belhaven just after sunset so we were not quite sure of the exact location of the docks but had directions to it from ActiveCaptain. Sunset was at 1641 so by the time we reached the area where the dock was it was nearly dark... had to use the spotlight to locate it... no lighting on the dock at all and it's located north of town and basically in the middle of no where... we walked Beecha up the dock and as far as the nearest street... the dock is in a large field and a lot of reeds and saw grass... very well built dock and very new... did have evidence that there is a sea gull problem as the docks were stained with sea gull poop... but it had been recently cleaned off... just the white stains remained.

We were securely docked at the dock at 1730. We traveled today for 11.5 hours covering 76 nautical miles averaging 6.6 knots. We are located at N35°32.533', W076°37.823'.
Posted at 6:28 PM
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