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Thursday, 10 November 2011
Oriental, NC to Swanboro, NC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 18
We departed from Oriental, NC this morning at 0950 hours and headed south... planned destination Swansboro, NC. Protected waters the entire trip so did not even check the weather forecast... it was sunny and less than 5 knots of wind... so off we went.

It was actually a beautiful day of cruising... the kind that you wish every day was like... we picked up a slight boost from the current as we approached Moorhead City, NC and the inlet... reaching 8 knots for quite while... but once past the inlet at Moorhead City we had the current on the bow against us and we slowed to 5 knots... but we were at the switch from ebb to flood so we soon lost the current against us and were heading down Bogue Sound towards Swansboro at 7 knots.

We did see a lot of boat traffic today... going both directions south and north... why someone is heading north is baffling to me... LOL

We pulled into Swansboro and docked at Duck's Restaurant it's a Dock & Dine... we have stayed here before... normally, the restaurant is different each time we have stopped... they do not seem to last long... but this one had been here for two trips now... maybe they will make it... :)

We were securely docked at 1625 hours at coordinates N34°41.176', W077°41.854' Swansboro, NC.

We traveled today for 6 hours and 35 minutes covering 42.69 nautical miles and averaging 6.48 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 792.43 nautical miles
Hours: 126 hours 31 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.12 knots
Days not moving: 3
Posted at 5:39 PM
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
Pungo River, NC to Oriental, NC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 17
We left the anchorage area at the top of the Pungo River this morning at 0655 hours... the anchorage area was very active during the night... did not get exact count but there were 5-6 power boats and 7-8 sailboats anchored in the anchorage... we left what I felt was early but there were only 3-4 boats still anchored when we left.

We left following 5 power boats... all were running slightly faster than we were and soon they were well ahead of us. We had to cross Pamlico River and the Neuse River today... forecast was for 1-2 foot waves and both bodies of water were exactly as predicted if not less... sun was out most of the time and it was a pleasant cruise today.

When we entered the Neuse River we had 2 power boats still ahead of us and about 10 sailboats... the sailboats were running much slower than we were and we soon passed them all... the two power boats... both 36' Monks took the designated channel (magenta line on the charts) and we cut the corner and were soon a mile ahead of them also.

We had hoped to maybe get to use the free town dock at Oriental but found it to full (2 sailboats)... but we did find the Oriental Harbor just out from the free dock wide open... so we anchored in it just 1000 feet southwest of the free dock... 8 feet of water... 250 feet from the dinghy docks... perfect! Anchoring at 1330 hours at coordinates N35°01.404', W076°41.854'.

We traveled today for 6 hours and 35 minutes covering 47.27 nautical miles and averaging 7.18 knots.

Trip totals to date:

Distance: 749.74 nautical miles
Hours: 119 hours 56 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.25 knots
Days not moving: 3
Posted at 2:10 PM
Tuesday, 8 November 2011
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
Posted at 7:48 PM
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