I'm on the night shift this month so in the mornings I take care of chores around the house, walk the dog and do a little planning for the trip. A check of the calendar shows we are about six weeks out from the trip. I can't wait.
Now is a good time to look at our list of lists. We've a sailing gear list, safety gear list (both blatantly stolen from the Watertribe website), hypothermia gear list (also from Watertribe), food list, gps waypoints list and hotel/marina list. This morning I started working on waypoints and hotel/marina lists.Above is Spartina tied up at the public dock in Oriental. We arrived there late morning, left before dawn the following morning. We had a great lunch, couple of beers waterside and a great dinner. While there we stayed at the Oriental Marina & Inn. That will be on the hotel list again for this trip.
We also plan to stop at Bath, Blackbeard's old hangout. There we'll stay at Bath Harbor Marina. We've got a couple of other spots we might visit, so there will be four or five hotels/marinas that will be on the list. Soon I'll print out the list with all the contact numbers and have it laminated, it'll be tucked in a folder with some satellite photos of anchorage areas. I'm content staying on the boat - that suits my bank account just fine. Bruce prefers the occasional hotel - and that suits his wallet (good for him and me too!). We'll probably spend six days anchored out, four days in towns along the way.
I also dug out my gps, an old, very basic model Garmin Etrex that works just fine. I've got about 16 waypoints already loaded on there from my past couple of trips. The marks start at Engelhard, curve down around the shore of Pamlico Sound to Swan Quarter and Mouse Harbor, then they go south to the Bay River. I made a quick list of which waypoints to keep, which to delete (being an older model gps it can only handle a limited number of waypoints) and which waypoints to add. There will be just four new markers starting at Oriental and leading up the Neuse River to New Bern - entrance channel to Oriental, Wilkinson Pt, McCotter Pt, and the Trent River entrance. Should be simple enough. I'll send the list off to Bruce and he'll have the waypoints loaded on to his newer model gps (we like to have redundancy when it comes to both navigation and safety gear). That's Bruce below at the tiller crossing the Neuse River on the way to Oriental. You get out in the middle there and sometimes land is out of sight or just a thin line on the horizon. It is nice to have those waypoints to point us in the right direction.