27 November 2021: More ICW
27 November 2021
Beaufort, NC, USA
Mile Hammock Bay, NC, USA
Cumulative Mileage (NM)
Crew on Board
Skipper, first mate, chef, entertainment and more; I guess that is solo sailing for you!
GENERAL WEATHER OBSERVATIONS
9 knots gusting to 12 knots
(aka: not quite enough to sail only)
Not a cloud in sight!
COLD! 10°C (or 50°F) but less the cold northerly wind chill!
Dry, thank goodness!
It was hard to get moving on this sail as Beaufort is a very tempting town to spend some time. After a few days there (even though the current is annoying and you are constantly watching for situations where the wind is against the tide and all the boats drift around their anchors at random) you get quite comfortable. The free dinghy dock is close to town, there is great food and lots of other boats passing through to make friends!
Not to mention, it was cold enough the engine did not want to start!
However, she started in the end and generally felt normal running, something that is always on my mind now after the recent fixes done in Virginia. Though I was eager to arrive and review the oil situation for leaks and oil levels (status: no leaks and no extra oil).
It was a very uneventful day other than the remarkable cold weather. A few pelicans feeding which is so beautiful to watch them dive and some dolphins to remind me to keep going and get to the ocean so that I too can swim and play in the water! Overall, all great motivation to resume the regular movement south as fast as possible!
In terms of traffic, a few power boaters passing me and one sailboat in sight behind me for about half the day though he never did catch up before disappearing somewhere. Many, many fisherman in skiffs and center consoles. But at least they are respectful and steer around you, hard to complain really.
Only one low bridge on this nearly 40 mile section, which I did not realise was today (though it was in the route for tomorrow), however, the opening schedule was every hour and half hour. I looked at my my and it said 4pm as I was arriving and the reviews on Active Captain said they were very strict on time and if I was not already there at the turn of the hour I would not be allowed through.
I was a little frustrated as I was so cold sitting up there all day and had not had lunch as there was too much traffic and shallow sections to be wearing of and now my arrival would be delayed by a half hour! But I radioed the bridge operator just to casually inquire when the next opening was, hoping he would say he could open whenever instead of the 4:30pm response I expected but it replied that his next opening was 16:00 or 4pm!
I looked at the chartplotter and it was a minute slower than my phone, I made the bridge opening with no wait time whatsoever! SMALL WINS!
Arriving to the anchorage and I was surprised how many boats there were, perhaps twelve. Probably a 50% split between powerboaters and sailboats. And I dropped anchor not once but twice. As I lined up for the first drop, I was between two boats and in front of another. However, before I could let the anchor down the wind/current was switching and by the time I put it on the bottom I had drifted to a funny angle that was just not going to work. I would have been pretty much right where the boat behind me was.
So I picked up and tried again. I was not ecstatic with the second drop but it was set and my mental math suggested my swing radius was fine assuming all of us boats swing the same. The boat to my starboard side seemed to be sitting funny but I am sure with a complete wind swing he would swing too. It isn’t like he had a stern anchor out!
Threw a couple of logs on the fire, made a warm mexican bowl for dinner and sat down to get to work on a couple of the many outstanding items on my to do list. All very exciting stuff before an early bedtime in anticipation of the motor to Carolina Beach, North Carolina tomorrow morning first thing.
“Those who live by the sea can hardly form a single thought of which the sea would not be part.”
– Hermann Broch