Thursday, April 28, 2011

Long Days, Lots of Wind


We reached Cedar Creek after leaving Beaufort, and at about 5:50 in the afternoon gave up looking for suitable water to anchor in. We were here last year, but this time, nothing to cover our draft. So we decided to head, instead, to the South River where we have been numerous times. You can't get close to the shore here but there's loads of room to anchor. It could have blown 50 knots and I would not have noticed. I just wanted to sleep. Or rather, have that Manhattan, then get to sleep.

The next day was a puky, almost about to rain kinda day with winds from the south and right on our tail. We sailed most of the way, and kept dodging squalls (luck here, no skill) and were in contact with our friends on Veranda, who ran out of their luck and ripped a sail. We reached the G23 anchorage at the end of the Pungo River around 1:30, and after deciding we were going to go ahead to the Deep Creek anchorage by G43, about 2+ hours ahead, a lighting streak convinced us we would be better off taking a "short" day. No sooner had we set the anchor than the rain started. Many hours later Veranda pulled in, being one of the few friends we have with a sail boat that actually sail, and we exchanged greetings, and agreed to meet the next day at Broad Creek.

Both Captains were at the bow by 7 am as planned, with the radar showing the rain would limp off our course shortly. Our anchor windlass, the mechanism we use to put muscle behind weighing anchor, decided to not work, so Peter had to haul up 66 pounds of anchor plus 100 feet of chain. About 40 minutes later we broke ground and got on our way. We had some nice sailing in the protected waters of the Alligator Pungo Canal, and then got a call from Veranda to let us know that it was really honking once we reached the wide open Alligator River. Holy Toledo! They weren't kidding.
We worked hard at it until we finally decided we needed to reef the main as the wind had piped up to the upper 20's gusting into the 30's. Once we dropped the sail to pass through the Alligator Swing Bridge, we opted for the jib only, and while easier, the seas were picking up in the Albemarle and it too was work. As much as we wanted to head for comfort at Broad Creek with Veranda, we opted to continue on to Coinjock Marina so that Peter would not be forced once again to haul up Buster by hand. I especially was worried about hand hauling should we get caught dragging in monster winds and waves, as were being experienced and expected.

I have one thing to ask: how many times can the Coast Guard repeat a message about a log in the water? Do they actually think it stays where it is? Have they not heard about current? Three days now and the same damned log is being reported. Puh-leeeze.

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