Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oriental NC to Southport NC to Brocksport SC

We spent two nights in Oriental and left at , some who watched the webcam can vouch for that… We motor sailed across the Neuse river in 30 knot gusts and then a couple gybes later we had wound our way into Adam’s creek We saw several dolphins along the way. Jeanne tried to get pictures but they were always in different places… I think they were toying with her. We passed though Beaufort and Moorehead City and turned west to follow the channel through Bogue Sound.

The channel follows the north side and the whole sound is quite shallow. The marks are far apart and we had to watch our position constantly. In total we put in 50 miles motor sailing and anchored for the night in Swansboro. We met Doug and Janice again from the previous cruisers party and socialized with them until it was time to row back to our boat. The tidal here was a couple feet and in the morning another boat that anchored to far to the side was sitting 6 inches out of the water. We were up at making coffee and left early. Our destination was Wrightsville. The nights were getting colder and we are now looking to get south. We pulled into Wrightsville and refueled and then anchored in the harbor and went out for dinner and searched for internet access. We downloaded email and posted to our blog and rowed back to the boat. We left Wrightsville at at low tide and had to maneuver around a cruiser aground in the channel and got stuck ourselves. We managed to get off though and headed out. There were several shallow spots and we had to follow the guide and the marks and shoaling is always a problem. Eventually we passed Carolina Beach and turned up and with careful consideration for the marks found our way into the Cape Fear River. We had to fight a 20 knot headwind and 3 knots of current to get down to Southport NC. We tied up at the Outfitter Company free dock with difficulty in the gusty winds but had to leave when we discovered that there was only 3 feet of water under our keel and a 4 foot tide. We went to the Southport Marina and took three hot showers before we left at . We headed out the Cape Fear River into the Ocean and once trough the shoals we headed west to Little River Inlet about 25 miles away. We had a great headsail reach all the way and saw tuna jumping, dolphins and hundreds of jellyfish that Jeanne said looked like 6 inch diameter eyeballs.

We entered the channel after 5 hours and followed the marks up into the intracoastal and crossed into Calabash creek and anchored at to wait for our friends to arrive.
We had a trip line on our anchor and with the tide changes by morning the float had caught on the rudder and we were backwards. It took us a half hour to get it untangled as we tried to maneuver in the crowded anchorage. When we were finally free we motored over to see if our friends needed help. Doug had cut his hand in the night and needed stitches, good thing his wife was a nurse. They stopped at a Marina and we continued on through several bridges until we got to Bucksport where other friends were already docked. They told us the marina wasn’t yet but the owners said we could stay there and there was water and electricity and a 2 mile walk to the closest store. It was two days to Charleston and we are in no hurry and it is supposed to rain the next few days. We may spend a few nights here…   It’s now November 3, 2010 and we hope to make the cruisers Thanksgiving in St Mary’s Georgia.

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