FL to CT Day 22
Columbia, NC to Virginia Beach, VA
We had a quiet evening at Alligator River Marina… since we had cruised for over 12 hours yesterday we decided to sleep today… alarm set for 0700 rather than 0600. The extra hour of sleep felt good and we did not jump up and get underway we did take our time this morning… Beecha went for a long walk with Susan and Susan came back from the walk with breakfast in hand… two breakfast sandwiches from Ms. Wanda’s Grill.
We finally got underway at 0830 and headed out toward the Albemarle Sound… winds forecast today for NE 10-15 knots increasing to 15-20 knots in the afternoon… 1-2 waves on the sound… should not be too bad… takes about 2 hours to cross the Albemarle to North River and with the NE winds the conditions would improve as we crossed the sound.
Of course the wind forecast was off as usual… winds were already 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 knots… seas were 3-4 to begin with and diminished as we crossed to 1-2 as we entered the North River.
From this point all the way to Coinjock there are several shallow areas… we were passing through on a rising tide and it was very close to high tide… did see some 8-8.5 spots that would have been touch-and-go at a lower tide. The areas were all noted in Active Captain as a shoaling hazard… popped up and surprised us.
In the North River the winds picked up quite a bit… blowing over 25 knots steady and a lot of gusts at 35 knots plus… fairly protected waters so the high winds did not cause any significant waves… just made it a pain to navigate. My autopilot is not working correctly so I am steering all day manually and the high winds make it a little more work.
Came into the Coinjock area about mid day… was surprised to see one of the American Cruise Line ships docked there… the “American Glory”… we had seen it in Florida when we were in Fernandina Beach. Thought maybe they were just moving it north for the New England summer season but they had passengers aboard.
We had just made the slight turn to port leaving Coinjock when we heard the horn of the “American Glory” blast… they were leaving the dock… they followed us across Currituck Sound and up the North Landing River… the winds were still blowing 25 knots plus and the Currituck was pretty stirred up… 2-3 waves with a few larger ones... nothing uncomfortable at all.
We planned to check out a new free dock I read about on Active Captain… the Pungo Ferry Marina… it had been closed for a couple of years and people were reporting stopping on their old fuel dock… We arrived there at about 1520 and spotted the dock… it was maybe 125 feet long and in fairly good shape… behind it was the old Pungo Ferry Marina building… showing a lot of weather and covered in graffiti. Pulled in and found 7.5 of water at the dock at just below mid tide so there was plenty of water. It by no means is a 5 star resort… but the dock looks solid and it’s free. It also puts us ina good position for tomorrow and the day of bridges. I think we have 7 or 8 bridges and a lock to contend with.
I wanted to follow the “American Glory” all the way to Norfolk today and suggested it to Susan but was voted down. Following the cruise ship would of given us a “free priority pass” through all the bridges… no opening schedules to deal with… would have been nice but I was out voted.
We were securely docked at 1530 at the Pungo Ferry Marina fuel dock. Our location for the night is N36°37.086’, W076°02.894’. We traveled for 7 hours covering 49.4 nm averaging 7.0 knots.