Saturday, December 19, 2009

spring cruise

We are at the southern end of the nor'easter that is hammering the mid-Atlantic right now. Some flooding in Norfolk I heard, but otherwise just cold and rainy (the snow is all north of us). So what else to do on a dismal day but tweak the route for the spring cruise. This will be the last time I mess with the charts until Bruce and I sit down together in San Diego right after the first of the year to talk about it.

The main change is taking an extra day to get to Oriental and then a day less to get from Oriental to Cape Lookout.
We like to do relatively short sails on the first day of a cruise. That first day usually involves getting up at 5:30 a.m., loading food and last minute items, hooking up the trailer and driving (in this case about 2 and 1/2 hours) to the boat ramp, rigging the boat, loading the boat and then casting off. So after all that it is usually about 11 a.m. and a nice, easy afternoon sail to the first anchorage is about right.
Deciding where to stop that first night on this trip is complicated by the width of the Pamlico River. It is either 17 miles to Dixon Creek (south of the Pamlico River) or 10 miles to Currituck Point (on the north side of Pamlico River). Sailing just 10 miles on the first day is shorter than I would like, but at the same time that means we don't have to rush to drive, rig and load. Plus Bruce will have more time to make his beef/fresh vegetables/red wine stew (a traditional first evening meal that can simmer for well over an hour to reach perfection).
Then we can cross the Pamlico River on day two, transit the Goose Creek stretch of the ICW and end up somewhere around the mouth of the Bay River (I marked Dipping Vat Creek on the chart).
This approach gives us sailing days for most the trip somewhere between 25 and 30 miles. There are two short sails in there, the days we get in to Oriental and Beaufort. It is nice to get in those towns early in the afternoon, have a chance to clean up (both ourselves and the boat) and relax on the waterfront.
Total "as the crow flies" distance is just short of 160 miles.

I'll see what Bruce thinks about all this in a week or two.


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