Saturday, December 5, 2009

injured reserve

I'm on injured reserve for a few days, tripped on something at the office, stumbled and bruised my foot. It will give me a chance to catch up on some writing and other things at home.

I'm still putting together some options for the spring trip. Looking at the charts and satellite photos I came across a canal and a small island that I would like to incorporate in to the trip. Below is the latest version of the plan. The measurement on straight path sailing is 158 miles. The sail goes from Belhaven, at the top, to New Bern, on the left. Stops with hotels - Beaufort and Oriental, are marked in yellow, camping out - five nights - is marked in green.

The last plan had us going from Dixon Creek to The Thorofare, down Core Sound to Cape Lookout, Beaufort and then eventually Oriental. This new version has us going to Oriental early in the trip and then heading east to Core Sound. What makes this possible is the Old Canal, at left in the satellite photo below. I had looked at charts of this area for a long time while Bruce and I had planned our '07 trip around Cedar Island and never noticed this little waterway. We could stop at Oriental the second night of the trip, then head almost due east to Turnagain Bay (great name), go through Old Canal and anchor in West Thorofare Bay.

From there head south down Core Sound and after a night somewhere inside of the Core Banks (lots of anchorage there perfect for shallow draft boats) sail to Cape Lookout Bight. The sail from the Sound Anchorage should be just 10 miles or so, I would want to get in the Bight early enough in the day to walk on the beach, explore, relax.

Heading west from the Bight to Beaufort we've got a choice of sailing in the ocean - Onslow Bay - or inside of Shackleford Banks. A lot of that depends on tides. I would not want enter Beaufort Inlet on an outgoing tide or when the tide is running full tilt in a direction opposite of the wind. So I'll need to do some research on that. And if that doesn't work out that is fine, the marshes behind Shackleford Banks are very pretty (but it is a good place to have gps - on our '07 trip I got completely confused by the markers on the narrow intersecting channels and it took Bruce and his gps to get us back in to the channel).

From Beaufort we would head north on Adams Creek Canal (the ICW) to the Neuse River and head for tiny Great Island on the south side of the river near the entrance to Club Foot Creek. Again, I've looked at the charts for a long while and never noticed this island until now. It looks like a nice protected, isolated spot. From there is would be a straight shot up the Neuse River to New Bern.

This is just another idea for the trip, I enjoy this part of the planning process. I'm heading to California the first of the new year to see my Mom and I'll see Bruce there too. I'll bring along the charts and will go over the different options - he has had some good input on the last couple of trips. And during the trip itself we'll make adjustments depending on wind, weather and whatever feels right (on the Crabhouse 150 a couple of days involved some unplanned anchorages and sailing).

It is cold and rainy, my daughter just emailed a photo from college, up in the mountains, with snow falling. Good day to look at the charts and think about spring time.


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