Saturday, November 28, 2009

weekend getaway

One of my goals for last year was to do at least one, or maybe a couple of weekend sails. I never got around to it. I think my mistake was waiting for that three day weekend to "happen". And when it did I would pack the boat and head out for a few days. But in reality work, house chores, errands or whatever got in the way. And it never happened.
This coming year, "oh-ten" I've heard it called, I'll plan the weekend and make it happen.
It could be a nice sail, maybe three or four days in late April or early May. A convenient spot for me, just a couple of hours away, is where the Pamlico River opens into Pamlico Sound. I've sailed through that area three times before - both the spring and fall of '08 on solo sails and then with Bruce this past spring during the SkeeterBeater. Each time I've thought it was an area well worth exploring.
I did a little research on the web and found two nearby marinas. There is a Rose Bay Marina, but I've found limited information about that. I get the feeling it is more oriented towards shrimpers and crabbers. Vanhorn's Bayside Marina at the very top of Germantown Bay, looks like it might be the way to go. Below is a photo from their website (which I can't find right now). It looks like they have a ramp and enough room to leave my jeep and trailer for a few days. I'll drive down there this winter to say hello and see if it will be a good place to launch.
As I mentioned I've sailed by this area before. Lots of bays, creeks and marshes. The photo below is from day two of the SkeeterBeater as Bruce and I had just passed Great Island and the wind kicked up (you can see the weather moving in at the left). We had dropped the main and were sailing under mizzen and jib as we entered Swan Quarter Bay.
Below is our track from that afternoon, up Swan Quarter Bay and through a narrow cut into Deep Bay, Rose Bay and eventually Spencer Bay where we anchored for the night. You can read about that afternoon here.
Below is the track going through the cut. It was a fast sail close to the wind. We always laugh about that part of the trip. It was windy and stormy and a fisherman at the northeast end of the cut didn't notice us until we were right next to him. We caught him by surprise and said hi, he didn't know what to think of us. All we could hear was him was him shouting "watch out for the thunderstorms" as we flew down the channel.
Below is a map showing the area from Swan Quarter Bay to Deep Bay. I would really like to spend an afternoon sailing around those islands. Nice protected water, great anchorages and maybe some good fishing.
Below is a photo from an evening I spent anchored in Caffee Bay, just east of Swan Quarter Bay, as a small electrical storm passed by. It was after dusk and I was lucky to catch some lightning with a point and shoot camera. It was very nice anchorage and I would like to visit there again.
And here is a photo of a shrimp boat as I crossed the mouth of the Pamlico River to Mouse Harbor in the fall of '08. The river is a just a few miles wide.
Mouse Harbor is a wide bay lined by countless anchorages. I spent the evening and night anchored in Cedar Creek all the way at the bottom of this map.
This is what it looked like, nice rich marshland. I caught some puppy drum there, read a book and rode out an evening of thunderstorms as a front rolled through.
All of the places that I've marked in the chart at the top, from Mouse Harbor in the southwest to Juniper Bay in the northeast, are within 17 miles of Vanhorn's Marina. I think it would be a nice three or four days of sailing down there. I'll mark it on the calendar and make it happen.



Jerr Dunlap said...

Spartina is so beautiful! I'm glad you enjoy her so much - Boats that sail regularly and given the love they need repay that so much, don't they? Thanks for including charts and pictures - They bring your voyages to life. I'm looking forward to following your blog.
- Jerr

Steve said...

thanks for your comments. I'm a So. Cal. native, it is always good to hear from someone in my home territory.
I saw your web page - beautiful work. I wish I had your skills.
best wishes

Jerr Dunlap said...

Hi Steve - If there's anything I may help with, I'll be glad to - Just ask on my blog. Thanks for the compliment. I've a lot of respect for your work, as well.
- Jerr