29 November 2021: Buddy Boating
29 November 2021
Carolina Beach, NC, USA
Calabash Creek, SC, 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
16 knots gusting to 20 knots
(aka: almost perfect, a little on the strong side of perfect)
Not a cloud in sight!
Back to COLD! Goodbye T-shirt!
Dry, thank goodness!
This was a relatively uneventful sail, me and buddy boat SV Sea Wind were pulling up anchor about the same time. Though since there is two of them on board it is much more efficient (and it was a little blustery so that always takes me a little more time and strategic thinking/back and forth to get the anchor up), so they got a good half hour head start!
I could see them in the distance most of the way and it felt kind of like a chase. Both of us were motoring, but their boat at 32 feet long with – if I remember correctly – only a 20 horsepower engine, has a slightly lower top speed than me and SV Tala!
In the early leg going from Carolina Beach to just past Southport the current was in our favor and the wind was blowing from a good direction nice and breezy so both boats had their jib flying and current pushing them. SV Sea Wind figured there were hitting the 8.0 knot mark occasionally and I was seeing the odd 9.0 knots on my speed indicator.
The wind stayed at a relatively optimal angle that almost the entire sail saw the jib out to just move that little bit faster to get to where we were going. The current would be either with you or against you based on the tide and whether or not you were just about to approach and pass an inlet to the ocean or if you had already passed the inlet and were leaving it (and not yet approaching the next one). For example, when the tide was rising and water was coming in from the Atlantic it would be pushing against you and slowing you down as you were approaching an inlet. But as soon as you passed the opening, that same rising tide would be pushing you faster. This little game would continue to happen on and off all day as you will see on the map three or four inlets were passed over the day.
Though we were buddy boating, I had a small caveat that if I was making good time I was going to continue on to a further anchorage (goal: get south, get warm!). And early in the morning when I was consistently over 8.0knots I thought it was likely I would make it to that anchorage in plenty of time. However, after the first ocean inlet at South Port it became very clear that with the fast/slow/fast/slow pattern I was only going to make it to anchorage #1. Which worked well as that is where Katy and Parker on SV Sea Wind were heading.
The end result, I arrived first to the anchorage though they were not far behind at all. I spent a bit of time driving around in a circle to ensure that when I swing on my anchor in the current I would not swing from an acceptably deep spot to a spot that was too shallow. So by the time I had dropped my anchor, snubbed it, backed down on it and all of that anchoring procedure I normally do – they were dropping their anchor next to me!
The spot was a beautiful spot with so many pelicans and other birds and even though a couple times a day big trawlers exit past the boat rocking me with their wake – I think it is worth while as a stop. What is a little bit of wake a couple times a day, I live on a boat! What did I expect!?
The plan now – stay a couple of nights to wait for good wind to carry on. Same old, same old. Exciting times trying to escape the US winter with a tight timeline!
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”
– Mother Teresa