Sorry. One more sunrise photograph. I couldn't help myself. Being under sail before the sun reaches the horizon is one of the most enjoyable moments while cruising. There is something special about catching the breeze before the day breaks.
The last day of the trip was the shortest. I had spent the night on Campbell Creek just a few miles from Hobucken. I woke up anchored behind a tall stand of pine trees, they blocked the wind and left the water glasssy calm. Spartina was underway just after six and sailing south in a light breeze.
I made two long tacks down the Goose Creek section of the ICW. Near the 155 Mile Marker I could hear voices in the distance. A sailboat, maybe 30 feet in length, had dropped their anchor on a shoal the night before. They were trying to retrieve the anchor by using the anchor line and the outboard to pull the boat up on the shoal. They retrieved the anchored, but were stuck - for a few minutes at least - up on the shoal.
Just past the sailboat the ICW narrowed into the canal section. With tall trees on both sides I found I had lost the breeze. I left the sails up but motored south.
I had passed through this portion of the ICW twice before, first with Bruce on the SkeeterBeater and then again last year with Bruce, Paul and Dawn on the Tag Team 200.
All too soon, with a tinge of sadness, I spotted the bridge to Hobucken - the trip was almost over.
I passed beneath the bridge, swung to the east through a small cut and returned to Jones Bay. Out on the bay the wind was perfect. I passed the entrance to Pate Boat Yard at five knots. Sunny and warm, blue skies and a perfect breeze. It felt so good I could have just kept on going. But at Gibbs Point I came about and headed back to the yard. Shawn was there, working on one of his many projects. He set things down and guided me to the dock, helped me haul Spartina out of the water. We talked about my trip, the weather - he had followed my spot track throughout the trip. And then Shawn's watermen friends came by to ask about the trip. The general consensus was that I had unbelievable weather.
And then I was on the road back home.
It was a great trip. Yes, the weather was perfect. Thanks to Curt and Alan for joining me on Swan Creek, thanks to Dave and Kristen for telling me about the south shore of the Pamlico River, and thanks to Shawn for his hospitality at Pate Boat Yard.
The next trip is less than ten days away (how did I work that out???).
for the day....
5.7 nautical miles
2:27 moving time
for the trip.....
104 nautical miles
34:24 moving time
3.0 knots moving average