RI to FL - Day 21
Bellhaven, NC to Oriental, NC
Daylight Savings Time Change…. Had to set that alarm earlier than normal today… Had it set for 0500 hours to be ready to leave by sunrise at 0615 hours. Well… It was a good idea anyway… Alarm went off at 0500 and was quickly turned off… actually, I reset it for 0630 and went back to sleep… it was cold, raining out and still very dark… no way was I going to jump in the dinghy and take Beecha to land.
At 0630 the alarm went off and it was much easier to get up and get going… still raining on and off but managed to get Beecha to land and back without getting wet… but nearly froze to death on the dinghy ride… 2 miles to a boat ramp one way and it was COLD!
Got the dinghy back on top the boat, raised the anchor and we were off at approximately 0720 hours. Not as early as I would of liked but it was just not happening today.
Destination for today was Oriental, NC… we would cross the Pamlico River and the Neuse River… both of which can be very nasty if the winds are up and in the right direction.
We transited the Pungo River and the Pamlico River with calm seas… 1-2 waves at most… then we were in well protected waterways all the way to the Neuse River. The winds had not been over 10 knots up to this point. We headed out of the protected waterways into the Bay River that would take us out to the Neuse River. The winds started howling… 20 knots plus steady and gusts to 25 knots out of the NE… this was not a good direction for the Neuse River. By the time we reached the Bay River and entering the Neuse River we had 3-4 waves on our port bow and it was a nasty ride. The wave were close together and steep… we turned SW down the Neuse River and the waves were almost on directly on the stern… we had about 30 minutes to ride in this direction before we would make a turn to starboard and have the waves hitting at a better angle. By the time we reached our turn the waves were 5-6 feet and still very steep and close together. The autopilot was working it’s butt off to try and keep us going in a straight line. Finally we made a 30 degree turn to starboard and the ride became much better. We had a couple of more starboard turns to make as we proceeded down the Neuse River and with each turn the waves started to decrease as we moved into the lee of shoals and land. Soon it was back to a 2-3 wave and it seemed glass smooth compared to the beginning of the Neuse.
We had decided to not anchor in Oriental and go to a marina… it was just too cold to make the early morning dinghy run to take Beecha to land. Walking down the dock is much easier and not near as cold. We made reservations earlier at Whitaker Point Marina on Whitaker Creek in Oriental, NC. We had never been in here before so something new would be nice… and it was only $1.00 per foot for dockage for MTOA members… VERY COOL!
We arrived to the marina at approximately 1410 hours and docked on a T-head at N35°01.774’, W076°40.899’. The marina staff was friendly and nice… plus they had a courtesy car that we used to make a trip to the grocery store. Pool was closed but it was too cold anyway… LOL
We traveled today for 6 hours and 50 minutes covering 46.42 nautical miles averaging 6.79 knots.