Thursday, February 25, 2010

maps, mileage and Mike Tyson

Rough plan for the Spring Cruise

I got my free NCwaterways maps in the mail today. I order a batch of three maps every couple of years and use them to help rough out trips. They are great fold out maps with basic navigation information (and a warning not to use for navigation), bridge and ferry information and a lot of other great stuff. It it costs nothing more than the minute it takes to fill out the online order form. I'll keep a copy to make notes on, another one I'll send to Bruce and the third copy I'll send to my Mom so she can track our trip this Spring.

No, we won't use these maps for navigation on the trip, not so much because of the printed warning but because they are paper maps and wouldn't last long in the squalls and salt spray of a Carolina cruise. We will use a GMCO Waterproof Chartbook of North Carolina. This particular copy that we use arrived the day before our '07 Cedar Island cruise and this Spring will be the fifth cruise for the book. It is a bit worn and salt coated but it works just great. That is me below using it on the ICW during the skeeterbeater cruise.
With gps devices (we carry two) and all the navigation markers do you really need a map? In my opinion....absolutely. Battery powered devices can fail, markers can be missing. The more information we have about our cruising territory the better.

And speaking about sailing grounds, I went on google maps this evening and measured out the distances for each day's planned cruise. I put planned in bold italics because of an observation by philosopher/boxer Mike Tyson....

"Everyone has a plan 'till they get punched in the mouth."

Casting off from the dock there is no guarantee on wind and weather. So we learn to adjust. But it is nice to start with a plan (and hope we don't get punched in the mouth). So here's a list of the daily mileage from point to point.

  • Day one from Belhaven to Currituck Point, 12 miles. This is getaway day with final packing of the car at my house, a three hour drive, rig the boat, load the boat (that should have us ready to cast off about 11 a.m.). I like to start out with a short sail, make sure the boat/gear is in good shape, get anchored in time for a nice dinner. I'm also looking at an alternate plan of Rose Bay Marine to James Creek (below) on the south side of the Pamlico River, that has about the same mileage.

  • Day two from either Currituck Point or James Creek to Vandemere and then Ball Creek, 26 miles.
  • Day three from Ball Creek to Oriental, 24 miles.
  • Day four from Oriental to Thorofare Bay, 26 miles.
  • Day five Thorofare Bay to Cape Lookout Bight, 27 miles.
  • Day six Cape Lookout Bight to Beaufort, 13 miles. This would be a sail out on the ocean (Onslow Bay). Hopefully we would be in Beaufort by early afternoon as that is a great town to visit.
  • Day seven Beaufort to Great Island (the one on the Neuse River), 24 miles. Or possibly to Beard Creek, 31 miles).
  • Day eight Great Island to New Bern, 22 miles (or Beard Creek to New Bern, 13 miles).
These aren't record setting distances. Sure, we could do more. But distance isn't our goal. We are out there to have fun, enjoy life, sail, have a good conversation. And we're pretty content if we are anchored by 4 pm with plenty of time to clean up the boat, fish, read and get ready for supper.

The distances are all direct line measurements. Who knows how far the actual mileage will be? It all depends on the wind. Above is the wind compass for June in our sailing area. It shows wind out of the southwest. But last year, late May to early June, we had wind out of the east for much of the trip. Below is our sail down the Pamlico River. With strong wind out of the east a 13 miles trip turned in a a 30+ mile sail.
It is fun to look at the charts and make plans. We'll have to wait and see if we get punched in the mouth.


1 comment:

Bruce said...

Steve, this is going to be a great cruise. I just want to point out however that I don't favor being punched in the mouth and I like sailing in a straight line. So could you get the wind to cooperate like you did on the Crab House 150? Maybe not quite so strong. Thanks.