Tuesday, October 27, 2009

An evening at Broad Creek

I know I'm like two days behind. Yesterday was one very long day and today much shorter with a sweet landing.

I left from Coinjock yesterday about 7:30am. There were people to help on the dock so the job was easy. It turns out that you need your up-current end shoved of into the current and nature does the rest. The current through Coinjock must have been running the day before when I arrived somewhere near 4 knots! By the time I turned around to land I was a half mile down the canal!

But I digress - also, since I had dinner at Crabbies I can tell you this: the crab chowder is marvelous. The stuffed flounder was way over cooked. There wasn't enough tartar sauce in the restaurant to cover that baby.

I digressed again, didn't I?

Well just a short while east the canal opened up into the North River which leads to the Currituck Sound out to the Albemarle. Some friends I had met, Tom and Charlene on their Krogen 39 (Forever 39) were overtaking me as I was attaching the staysail halyard - and trying to look all salty, I walked to the mast and gave the halyard a great heave only to have it become unshackled and sail up to the spreaders.

Nonchalantly, I walked back to the cockpit and unfurled the jib. Needless to say there was a good deal of swearing going on - I managed to get the sail under control and off we went at about 7 knots! Woohoo! Shut the engine and sailed! Can you believe it?

Raised the mizzen and all went spectacularly. Pelican was in her glory, I'll tell you - she motors pretty ok, I guess, but when the wind's 20 kts or so, man she GOES!

I was told that the two sounds would be horrendous. I don't know where these people go, but at 2-3 feet, they were totally manageable and not at all rough, really. I mean Pelican handled them with aplomb.

We ended up motor sailing down the Albemarle because I had to make it to the end of the Pungo Canal before dark. Well, not really, but I wanted to. To say that the Pungo Canal is dull would be to be wildly exaggerating. It would be hyperbole. The charts say it's got a cypress swamp on one side. Sadly, the swamp is dying. Boats leaving large wakes wash the soil from the roots with the result that the trees eventually topple. The northern edge is already dead from something or other and the trees nearest the canal are dying. Come see it now before it's gone. Don't leave a big wake.

Anyway, I ended up at the end of the Pungo River Canal in a terrific anchorage just to the right of the last buoy. For those of you following me, you know were I was. The night was cold, drizzly, and damp with a pretty strong wind from the north. All snuggled up in my bed with lots of pillows I slept the sleep of, well, the sleepy. It was marvelous.

This morning, however, turned out to be a bit less sanguine (incidentally, I love the word 'sanguine' - it's from the French word for 'blood' (to parenthesize parenthesis - so is 'exsanguination' another terrific word but hardly useful for this blog) ) . As I left the anchorage, the fanbelt that runs the alternator and the fresh water pump on the engine broke. After much hopping about swearing, I had to anchor again and rip the boat apart to change the belt. This took about an hour.

Well, then I was off again! Today I made it to River Dunes, in Broad Creek on the Neuse River. It sounds like a gambling casino but it's not. It's a lovely water community in a place that you'd never expect. Broad Creek is a little, shallow creek with a pretty good anchorage. When you motor up it there's a little channel off to the port that you would think goes to someone's home. But a little way in, it turns into a masonry lined channel that opens up into a large basin with a marina inside! You could not be more surprised than if you walked into a dumpy looking restaurant door and inside was this huge gourmet dining establishment! (Incidentally, I had another surprising thing to compare this to but it is a family blog after all.)

It's a most modern facility and I got to stay on a 'T' dock for $1.25/foot for the night! Can you believe that? That's like when I started sailing! It's almost cheaper with electricity ($5.00) than the friggin' moorings at Sagamor Yacht Club. I mean, really!

So that's today's adventures. More when I get to Beaufort, NC where I pick up a mooring I've rented for a month for next to nothing.

Frankly, this cruising life has started out totally ok!

See you all on the water!


Bob and Cathy said...

Bob, when you are on the water there is no late or early. It is your chance to just BE. I am so enjoying watching your spot get closer to us. That is so neat! We can't wait to see you!

ScarlettJacob said...

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