Voyage 2008: Chapter 2

Passage to Wilmington NC

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13 Oct 2008, Albemarle Sound to Hobucken NC, 35 14.55 N/ 076 35.44 W

The winds were predicted for NE@15-30 kts but there was barely a breeze in Elizabeth City. We left the Pelican at 0900 ET. At 0915 we unfurled the jib and started down the Pasquatank. The River slowly widens as it approaches the Albemarle Sound. As it widened, the wind freshened. As the wind freshened, we put a reef into the jib. When the wind puffed to 30 kts Ann was on the cockpit floor saying "I don't like it!". OK, we put another reef in the jib so it was down to about 110 % jib. Ann got off the cockpit floor. We were less than a mile from G "1PR" when we encountered a wealth of crab pots and wind gusts of 30 kts. The wind speed was not as much a problem as the puffy conditions where the wind would shift from 10 to 30 kts. We finally passed G "1PR" and the crab pots slowly started to disappear. The seas were 2-3 feet but were on our quarter so they were of no real bother. The Albemarle was uneventful other than there was no sound of a motor. As usual, the tender at the Alligator River swing bridge was very efficient and friendly. We had to furl the jib and turn the motor on as we approached the bridge. Of course, as soon as we were on the other side, the sail was unfurled and the motor extinguished. We arrived at the anchorage opposite of Bear Point and saw SV Jabiru already tucked in for the night. Great sunset!
It is a long way to RE Mayo in Hobucken so we left at dawn from the anchorage. We were the first to leave. Winds were still out of the NE but they had died to 10-15 kts with a lot of 5 kt periods. So we resumed our motorsailing until we got to the Pungo River. Great, more real sailing Didn't last long as 90 minutes later the wind tuckered and the motorsailing resumed again. We arrived at RE Mayo 1645 ET with plenty of room on the south docks. The docks were a bit more tuckered than last year but still safe. The mosquitoes were out in force so we had to hide in boat almost as soon as we arrived. It was Sunday so there was nobody in sight anywhere.
Today we got up with the sun and re-checked the weather. Small Craft warnings may linger through tonight but the seas and winds appeared favorable for an overnight from Beaufort to Carolina Beach via Masonboro inlet. We noticed FV Southern Lady behind us but noticed that the home port on her stern had changed. When we went to pay our bill, we asked if Sterling still owned Southern Lady. They indicated that it had been sold and Sterling was fishing in a small boat docked on the other side of the creek. Mr. Roy was not there but we were told that he is doing well. However, they had no diesel as the pipeline disruptions were still impacting their operations.

14 Oct 2008, Our overnight to Carolina Beach, 34 05.96 N/ 077 55.09 W

At 0845 ET we released lines and headed for Beaufort on the ICW. We hoped to arrive at the Inlet by 1800 ET which would give us an hour of daylight on the Atlantic. At 0945 ET, winds were still out of the NE@10-15 so that we could do that sail thing down the Bay and Neuse rivers. Wow this is kind of fun without a motor. It was Columbus Day so there were quite a few sailboats daysailing but, as we noticed through our cruise, a noticeable lack of powerboats. The wind died around 1330 so the motor joined the party again. That was OK as we were approaching Adams Creek and the sail had to come down. Bob was having fun. Real sailing for much of the day.
We entered Adams Creek at 1400 ET along with a bunch of fair sized shrimp boats. One had his booms down and his nets up as he passed us. Not sure that was the courteous thing to do. As we

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