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Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Belhaven,NC to Coinjock,NC
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 20
Up bright and early today as we had a long day planned… destination for the night Coinjock Marina... a little over 65 nautical miles… 10 hours at 6.5 knots. Susan walked beech and prepped the boat to leave… we departed at 0700 hours. Several of the boats we had enjoyed happy hour with had already left and there were a few still at the docks… so we weren’t the first to leave but also not the last.

Today there were lots of boats heading north… when we entered the A & P Canal I could see 6 boats ahead of in the canal… after the A & P Canal we entered the Alligator River and the ICW was filled with boats ahead of us… maybe 10… mixture of sail and power… it was nice to see so many people on the water moving north… of course there was a handful that passed heading south also.

At the north end of the Alligator River is the Alligator Swing Bridge… it opens on demand… however today the bridge tender seemed to open when he decided he had enough boats waiting to go through the bridge… the or so boats ahead of were spread out over maybe a 5 mile range and they were all arriving at the bridge 10-15 minutes apart… the bridge tender told the first boat that arrived it would 10 minutes and he would open… 30 minutes later he still had not opened… finally after 6 boats were at the bridge waiting he opened… that left 4 boats and myself still needing to go through… I was 30 minutes out and the other 4 boats were at or almost at the bridge… again he told the first boat to arrive 10 minutes he would open… well I arrived and the bridge had just opened and I was the last to go through… did not even have to slow down… guess watch runs really slow… 10 minutes is 30 minutes to him…

After the bridge several of boats opted to not cross the Albemarle Sound and stop at Alligator River Marina… Ms. Wanda… we have stopped there but prefer not to… something about the place… not sure what it is… anyway, we had already planned to go to Coinjock Marina… main reason being we had won a FREE nights stay at the MTOA Southern Rendezvous… free nights with power are always great!

We crossed the Albemarle with 2-3 following seas… autopilot does not like it and really works to keep us on track but it was a pleasant crossing and soon we entered the North River and headed north to Coinjock… had a large motor yacht pass us and two other large motor yachts… one of three boats hailed us on the VHF and gave us a nice slow smooth pass… the other two well you it was not bad but it’s just not courteous boating.

We arrived and docked at Coinjock Marina and were secure at approximately 1750 hours. Our approximate location for the evening is N36°20.908’, W075°56.946’.

Today we traveled for 10 hours and 50 minutes covering 66.56 nautical miles averaging 6.14 knots.
Posted at 6:39 PM
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
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