SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Viewing category: Jay
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Thursday, 22 April 2021
SC to CT Day 4
Swansboro, NC to Belhaven, NC
Last night a cold front had come into the area and we woke to 40 degrees... a bit chilly compared to the day before... Brrrrr!

Delayed departure today due to some issues found during my engine room check... upon entering the engine room I noticed some water puddled in the bilge on the port side behind the engine... tracing back to the water source I discovered the port engine stuffing box bilge pump had stopped working and was overflowing. Our stuffing boxes are within an enclosure that keeps the slow drips of water out of the bilge. The enclosure has a bilge pump in it... when the water level in the enclosure reaches a high enough level the bilge pump activates and pumps out the water... The pump had stopped and the water level reached the point that it overflowed from the enclosure into the bilge... took an hour dry up the bilge and replace the pump (keep spares on hand).

We were underway at 0730... had planned to leave at 0600... oh well... :) Forecast for the day was 15-20 knot winds early morning... diminishing to 5 to 10 late morning... seas heavy chop. Once we got out into the Neuse River the forecast was very accurate and we had heavy chop large enough to have spray come as high as the pilothouse windows... was not an uncomfortable ride just aggravating with the spray hitting the windows.

Couple of sailboats were the only thing we say today while cruising... one had spent the night in Oriental on the town docks across from us... they were still at the dock when we left but noticed them on AIS later morning trailing about 5 miles behind us.

Had another issue just before leaving the Neuse River... suddenly the main electronics I use for navigation went blank... no power to them... had to do some shuffling to switch over to the back up chartplotter... but this put a damper on our planned destination... we were gong to anchor at the south end of the Alligator river... we had to stop early at Dowry Creek Marina so I could sort out the issue with the navigation computer. Susan called the marina and made a reservation for the night.

We arrived to Dowry Creek Marina at 1400 and were securely docked at 1415. Our location for the night at N35°31.969’, W076°32.121’. We traveled today for 6 hours and 45 minutes covering 43.5 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 5:29 PM
Wednesday, 21 April 2021
SC to CT Day 3
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Planned a late departure this morning in attempt to get favorable current for the majority of the day... leaving the dock at 0900 with a strong outgoing tide pushing over 8 knots for about 30 minutes till we reached Bogue Inlet where it turned against us... running at under 6 knots for about an hour... once well into Bogue Sound we picked up the ebb tide running out Beaufort Inlet pushing over 8 knots again... We arrived to Beaufort Inlet area right after slack tide and pick up the flood tide in our favor all the way to the Neuse River.... did not get 8 knots but over 7 knots.

We arrived to the Neuse River with some hefty winds blowing out of the southwest that were really kicking up the waves in the river. Once out into the river away from the lands protection, we started seeing 3 to 4 ft seas producing a very uncomfortable ride... we had planned to continue on stopping at Dowry Creek Marina but with the sea state we decided to bail at Oriental for the night. Winds tomorrow forecast for about the same but out of the northwest... we will get some wind protection from the land on the Neuse River.

We arrived to Oriental free docks at 1500 and were securely docked at 1515. Our location for the night at N35°01.456’, W076°41.740’. We traveled today for 6 hours and 15 minutes covering 42.9 nautical miles averaging 6.9 knots.
Posted at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
SC to CT Day 2
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Up just before sunrise and underway from the mooring at 0700... the sunrise was beautiful... :) And the weather for today was picture perfect.

Shorter day planned for today with our destination being Swansboro, NC. Stopping an hour or so early will let me catch up on a little work.

It was nice to find most of the trouble spots had been dredged in this stretch of the ICW... or at least the dredges were there working on the shoaling. Mason Inlet and Topsail Inlet had both been dredged. Dredges were working at New River Inlet and the shoals were still present.

Several bridges today... Wrighstville Beach that we squeezed under at low tide with maybe 6" clearance... Figure Eight Bridge which is passable with VHF antennas and mast down... 3 feet clear. The one bridge that we always have to have opened is the Onslow Beach Bridge... today we were surprised to find it open with a construction barge in the opening... was a tight squeeze between the barge and the bridge fenders... they said it was 25 ft when I hailed to ask... but it sure seemed much tighter... :)

Very little boat traffic today which is surprising us... getting away later than normal for the winter season we expected to see many more boats cruising north... saw only one today and it was heading south.

We arrived to Swansboro Church St Docks at 1550 and were securely docked at 1600. Our location for the night at N34°41.162’, W077°07.153’. We traveled today for 9 hours covering 57.7 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 4:45 PM
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