Weblog Home

Weblog Archives

Return to Web Site

September 2006

Powered By Greymatter

Our Weblog

Wednesday, September 27th

Several weekend update

Not much has been happening here, but we have made it out sailing the last two weekends.

Two weeks ago we managed to make it out of the marina on Friday right after work and motored over to South River to stay the night at anchor. We motored over because we wanted to get there before dark but still ended up anchoring in the dark. In the morning we sailed out and headed further down river and then headed back to Broad Creek for the night. We went a little further up the creek then we have before. This area is more developed and we were more or less in someone’s backyard. In the morning we headed out and after clearing Gum Thicket Shoals we turned up river for home. The best part was that we settled on a broad reach, set the autopilot, and held it for 12 miles until we turned into our home creek.

Last weekend the weatherman was calling for 10-15 knots out of the southwest on Saturday and Sunday. As usual, they were wrong. We had 15-20+ knots both days out of the southwest. This gave us close to a downwind run with all sails up going to South River on Saturday. That evening we rafted up with five other boats for a “progressive” party. Each boat served one of the courses of the meal (cocktails, appetizers, salad, entree, and desert) with the eaters moving from boat to boat for each course. After dinner and prior to getting dark we split off and set our anchors. In the morning we were surprised to have crickets on board. They must have been blown aboard during the night since we were a good 100 yards away from shore. In the morning the wind picked up to 15-20 knots from the southwest again. We hoisted the mizzen and put out a reefed genoa and spent an hour or so beating up river until we gave up and motored home.

Several weeks ago I replaced the mainsheet winch with a new “used” Lewmar self tailing winch I picked up on eBay. What a difference a self tailing winch makes for sail adjustment. It was worth the pric

Dale on 09.27.06 @ 09:03 PM EDT [link]

Saturday, September 9th

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day Weekend, one of our few three day weekends and a chance to get away from the dock for an extended time. We almost lost the weekend to bad weather when Tropical Storm Ernesto came through but by Saturday morning it had cleared and we had a good forecast. Now the question was “where to go?” We had been planning on going back to Ocracoke but I was concerned about how crowded it may be over a holiday. Our other options were to just head out into the sound for a couple of days of sailing and tuck into an anchorage for the night then do it again the next day, or we could head out to Cape Lookout. The problems with Lookout is that it takes most of a day to get there having to motor down the ICW and out Beaufort Inlet then sail or motor about six miles to the anchorage. Cape Lookout also is out of our insurance zone. Talking with the others at the dock it was decided to go for Lookout since it wasn’t something we could do on a regular two day weekend. So, four of us headed out at different intervals as the preparations were completed.

The highlight of the ride down the ICW was when we came across a pod of dolphins. I had the video camera out so I got some footage of them. After getting out the inlet we had a nice but slow sail until the wind died and we motored into the bight. I was surprised there were not more boats there, having heard how popular of an overnight spot this is. We anchored by the others and took the dinghy over for drinks and dinner on Freebird.

Sunday morning we took the dinghy to shore and crossed the dunes to check out the Atlantic side. After a bit Steve from Freebird was ready to go ashore and check out the waves. We went ashore by the lighthouse and helped with the surfboards. The swells were running pretty good so there were quite a few surfers. Cori got a quick lesson and gave it a try with a couple of short rides but got beat up when trying to get outside of the surf line. I, on the other hand, made it out but couldn’t catch a wave for the ride back. This was only our second time at the beach since we moved here. All in all it was a good day. That evening we had a quiet dinner and joined the others on Sea Prompt for drinks and stories before settling in for the night.

Monday morning we had to pull anchor and head back. We had a nice wind from just off the beam so we had a great ride back to the inlet. We even caught two fish on the return trip but only landed one. We sailed in through the inlet, the harbor and turning basin until we got to the bridge that feeds us into the ICW and the long motor back to the Neuse River. We again came across a pod of dolphins; otherwise it was an uneventful trip. I did try to get some video of the return trip since I now had the battery charged, it died on the trip down. Once back in the Neuse we raised the sails and sailed home. After a bit of cleanup to get the salt off of everything we settled in and got ready for the rest of the week.

Dale on 09.09.06 @ 03:13 PM EDT [link]

Tuesday, September 5th

Tropical Storm Ernesto

Tropical Storm Ernesto passed by last Friday. The eye of the storm passed about 50 miles west of us. After the storm crossed Florida it went back out to sea and increased in strength, coming ashore at just below hurricane strength. The computer models had it coming ashore in South Carolina and passing further west of us. As the storm got closer it moved more to the east and ended up coming ashore at Cape Fear, just south of Wilmington. Thursday we got ready, doubling the dock lines, lashing down the sails, and securing the dinghies. Then we waited. Had the storm upgraded to hurricane status we would have had to move out of the marina and anchor out for the duration of the storm.

Around midnight the outer bands of the storm started coming through with strong winds from the southeast and heavy rain. About one in the morning I went on deck to check the lines and make some adjustments to keep us off the dock and away from the pelican poles. At this point the rain was blowing almost horizontally and I was completely soaked but we were sitting better. The rest of the night was spent listening to the wind, rain, the slap of the waves on the hull and sticking my head out the forward companionway several times shining a flashlight around to check things out. The wind was blowing across the creek and was building surprisingly big waves for such a short fetch. The wind was also driving water into the creek and the water rose about three feet.

Friday was a work day for both of us so we needed to get up early to check if the company was going to be closed for the day. Between 4:30 and 5:00 in the morning the wind shifted from the south and increased into the 60+ range as the eye of the storm moved pass. At this point it was bout 50 miles west of us, a lot closer then they had forecasted. The wind was howling and the boat was heeling over in her slip putting a lot of strain on the dock lines. At 5:00 we called the work weather line and found out that we were expected to show up on time. At this point I thought they were crazy; there was no way we were getting off the boat with the high water and the wind blowing this hard. As we got ready for work the wind started to drop as the eye moved on. When the wind shifted from the south it also started to push the water out of the creek and the water level was dropping. The jump to the dock wasn’t that bad and the rain had let up so we made it to the car alright. Less then a mile down the road we had a tree across the road; we were able to move it out of the way and made it to work on time.

During the rest of the day the weather continued to improve and by evening we were back to partly cloudy with intermittent showers. The forecast for the weekend was looking up.

Dale on 09.05.06 @ 08:23 PM EDT [link]