SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Friday, 4 December 2020
CT to NC Day 17
Belhaven, NC to New Bern, NC
Up before sunrise and underway from Dowry Creek Marina at 0700... forecast for flat seas with winds less than 5 kts.

What seems like the first time this trip the forecast was accurate... it was like glass all morning... only increasing to waves less than a foot in the afternoon as we cruised on the Neuse River. We only had a few sailboats moving with us today... plans to go to Oriental and spend the night and then run down to Bock Marine in the morning.

But when you make plans something always changes... Bock Marine called us and said they would not have room for us until Tuesday afternoon... ok.. it's Friday now... have 4 days to kill when we are only a few hours from Bock.... on to plan B... which we didn't have yet...

After a few minutes discussion we decided on plan B... continue up the Neuse River to New Bern, NC... it's a great small town to spend a few days. Susan was now busily researching what fun activities we can participate in while there...

Called New Bern Grand Marina and made a reservation and told them we would be there between 1600 and 1700... probably closer to 1700... They told us we needed to get there by 1600 or we would be waiting outside the Marina till 1830 for the Bridge... The marina told us that the Alfred A Cunningham Bridge had changed it's opening schedule to have restricted opening from 1600 to 1830... NO OPENINGS... that meant we were going to have to pick up the speed to make in time.

Normally we don't run that hard for any length of time... to make the opening would have to make 7.5 knots for 3.5 hours... we had a bit of current against us so had to bring the engines up to about 85% capacity running at 2800 rpm... pushing us between 7.4 and 7.6 knots.

About 2 hours later I noticed the port engine temperature rising a bit and went to check it... sure enough another hose had water squirting from it... I shut the engine down and let it cool and topped the water off... that would get us to New Bern without issue. Once at the marina I can replace the hose... nothing special about it... looks like a 5/8" hose and I should have some of it in the extra hose storage.

We made it to the Bridge on time arriving at 1558... requested an opening and we arrived to New Bern Grand Marina at approximately 1605 and were securely docked at 1615... Our position tonight is N35°06.143', W077°02.321'. We traveled today for 9 hours and 15 minutes covering 64.25 nautical miles averaging 6.9 knots.
Posted at 4:56 PM
Thursday, 3 December 2020
CT to NC Day 16
Layover Belhaven, NC
Staying another day at Dowry Creek Marina... will use their courtesy car to go to the grocery. Thought I would sleep in but that was not happening woke up at 0530 same as most days... but I did get to see a beautiful pre-sunrise skyline this morning.
Posted at 6:35 AM
Wednesday, 2 December 2020
CT to NC Day 15
Coinjock, NC to Belhaven, NC
The forecast was not that great for today but much better than it had been... morning West winds 20 kts 2 foot seas... diminishing to 10-to 15 kts seas 1 foot or less.

We were up early to get away from the dock by 0700... hoping for the best to cross the Albemarle Sound... the winds as we left were not even noticeable and the wind driven current running north the last 3 days had switched and was now running south. This was good sign to us that things had settled down on the Albemarle Sound.

We were underway at just before 0700 and had a nice boost from the current pushing almost 8 knots as we ran south out the North River toward the Albemarle. As the waterway widened we started to get some wind from the west... 10 to 15 knots... just as we cleared Camden Point on the last leg of the North River before the Albemarle we got the full 20 kts as forecast... just as that happened an engine alarm went off... the port engine was overheating... I immediately shut down the port engine and Susan took over the helm...

Got to the engine room to find it filled with steam... we evidently blew a cooling hose somewhere on the engine... but everything was too hot to even begin to hunt for the leak... turned on the engine room blower to clear out the steam and returned to the pilothouse to allow things to cool down a bit... running on a single engine... we were now in the Albemarle and seas were every bit of the 2 foot forecast plus a foot or two....

Once the engine had cooled down I returned to engine room to investigate the problem... visually checking all the hoses I did not see anything that looked bad... filled the cooling system up with water and started the engine... waited for pressure to build up to see where the blown hose was... did not take long and I saw water dripping from a hose under the turbo... further probing found that the water was running down from above the turbo... checking on top of the turbo I found the leak... the cooling hose for the turbo had a small split in it and was spraying a stream of water on to the turbo... shut the engine down and pulled the small formed hose off... I luckily happened to have a spare hose... pulled the old hose off...installed the new one... topped the water off and we were good to go.

We soon were across the Albemarle (2 hours) and entered the Alligator River. We had thought we would anchor for the night at the southern end the Alligator River and then run to Dowry Creek Marina tomorrow... need a grocery run and Dowry Creek has a courtesy car we could use. We reached the bottom of the Alligator River where we were going to anchor at 1430... this was just too early to stop for the day and we decided to continue on to Dowry Creek Marina today... about another 3 hours.

We entered the A & P Canal and were happily surprised to suddenly get a boost in speed... running 7.5 knots... was not expecting this... it decreased our time to Dowry Creek Marina.

We arrived to Dowry Creek Marina at approximately 1700 and were securely docked at 1715... Our position tonight is N35°31.971, W076°32.122'. We traveled today for 10 hours and 15 minutes covering 72.66 nautical miles averaging 7.1 knots.
Posted at 6:33 PM
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