Pull out of the driveway in total darkness. Light rain south of Edenton, heavy rain on bridges across the Cashie River Basin. Daybreak and thunder near Williamston. Clearing at Little Washington. Fog passing by Aurora, then into the marshland and over the bridge to Goose Creek Island. I pull into Pate Boat Yard, not a soul in sight.
With mast up on Spartina, Captain Jack pulls up in his pick-up truck. He honks the horn three times and a cat comes running. Kenny shows up on his bike. Then Beth comes to check on Captain Jack checking on the cat. And finally Shawn. Shawn no longer owns the boat yard, he's sold it to a non-profit that wants to gets kids back out in nature. But the sale is so recent it seems like nothing changed. Only difference is Shawn pulled a bunch of his gear out of the shop and a list of "rules" has been posted on the door. High up on the list of rules is "no alcohol" at what was once the party spot on the island. Funny how things come full circle. Shawn says "How ya doing, brother?"
Beth helps untie the dock lines and I push off about 9:30, trees along the narrow ditch leaning in closer overhead probably because of last fall's hurricane. High tide and there is enough room to weave back and forth between the branches. Out of the creek and all sails up by 10:00, light overcast and a light west wind. We make less than 2 knots with the tide doing most the work. Road noise in the distance from the two lane road giving way to the cries of seagulls while the wind begins to fill in. Mist clings to the trees on shore. Making 3.8 knots at Maiden Point, wing and wing.
A solid west wind heading to Boar Point at the mouth of Jones Bay, rounding the point at 11:00 and turning south across tiny Sound Bay and the grassy shoreline on the way to the Bay River. For a while I drop the main and under mizzen and jib ghost along the shore casting for trout, and all I catch are ghost fish.
Bay Point by 11:30, some rain showers out over Pamlico Sound. I raise the main and sail close to the wind into Rockhole Bay. Anchor down in a little creek at the top of the bay at 12:30. I spend the afternoon cleaning and organizing Spartina, napping and then another attempt at fishing (with the same results). Late afternoon I relax and watch the steady stream of boats heading north up the ICW on the Bay River. Big power boats, yachts, catamarans, a classic old catboat and a cat-ketch that looks to have shallow enough draft to come into my anchorage. I worry that I will have company for the evening but the boat keeps on going north.
Dinner of freeze-dried beef stroganoff, a first day tradition, and a cup of fruit.