03/10/2009: "Delivery Continued"
I left you yesterday as we motored into the Pamlico River. We hoisted the sails and shut off the engine. We were officially sailing. We made around 6 knots, better then I had hoped, with the wind just off of our backs. In order to keep the headsail filled we couldnít hold our planned line and we needed to jibe across the river three times to make our entrance into the ICW. We dropped the sails and entered the ICW and motored through, coming out in the Bay River. We hoisted the sails but were overpowered with the full headsail and main. We tried reefing the headsail but ended up rolling it back in and sailing with just the main. We didnít get as much speed with just the main but held around 5 knots until we got to the Neuse River. Turning to head up the river the wind was directly on the nose. Once again we dropped the sail and started the engine. Motoring into the wind we could only make 4 knots and we still had 18 miles to go. My original calculation was figured at 10 hours if we could maintain an average speed of 5 knots. This was going to take awhile. Switching off at the wheel we made our way upriver making it just short of the town of Oriental by sunset with at least two hours still to go. We did enjoy a very nice sunset. With the GPS we made it to the entrance of our creek. All we have to do now is to maneuver around the marks and head up the creek arriving at the marina.
Did I mention the wind was out of the southwest? As I have pointed out many times, a southwest wind blows the water out of the creek. The entrance to the creek is shoaled so you need to find the right spot between the marks to avoid going aground when the water is low. With the water blowing out of the creek for two days it was even more important to hit the right spot. We missed the mark and went aground. I had called Cori on the radio to let her know we were coming up to the creek so now I called and let her know we had a problem. It took a lot of hard reverse to finally get free. She and Jeff, one of our neighbors came out in his dinghy to see if they could help. By the time they arrived we were aground again in another attempt to make it over the hump. This time it took a little help from the dinghy pushing us back to get free. One more attempt and we were aground again. At this point I was worried that we may not be able to get into the creek until the water came up again. With a lot of reverse and some pushing from the dinghy we made it free again. We maneuvered around and tried another line between the marks and this time we made it. With a flashlight reflecting off the last mark we turned and started up the creek. Jeff kindly hung out at the entrance to the channel leading into the marina so we could pick out the buoys leading us in. Half way up the channel we started plowing a furrow in the mud with our keel. Keeping power on, we made it in and turned into the slip. We were officially home, but sitting on the bottom.
It took around 14 hour to make the trip. The wind on the nose and all of the problems entering the creek slowed us down far too much but we made it.