11/10/2005: "Life back to normal"
Our company is gone and life is back to normal. We did go out with them and traveled down part of the Intercoastal waterway and anchored out for the night. We spent the evening celebrating Cori’s birthday then called it a night. While anchored Cori spotted a boat coming into the anchorage and pointed out that there was “a ketch coming in and it is a big one”. It turned out to be another Pearson 424. We aren’t used to seeing our boat from a distance and the size is deceiving. It was Veritas from New Jersey making her way south. In the morning everyone in the anchorage pulled anchor and continued on their way south. We unfortunately had to go back upriver and continue our lives. The main excitement was when Cori ran us aground. I had just finished stowing the anchor and cleaning the deck. I asked how we were doing, she replied “all right” when we came to a sudden stop. Fortunately we were only doing about 3 knots. It turned out we were cutting across an area the charts listed as 2 feet deep. Not a good idea if you have a five and a half foot draft. This is why I moved the chartplotter out to the helm. A strong use of reverse got us going in the right direction again.
The next problem was that “Otto”, our autopilot decided he wanted to go south, not north. After exiting the ICW and heading up river we set the autopilot since we were motoring and he steers a straighter course then I do. All of a sudden he turned the helm all the way over to port and we did a tight 360 degree circle. Halfway around the second time he straightened out and was heading back to the ICW. Evidently Hi Flite doesn’t want to spend another winter in North Carolina and is ready to head south. It is time to pull out the autopilot manual and find the problem. On the other hand maybe Hi Flite has the better idea.