A light morning fog hangs over Newbegun Creek, dew drips off the sails. Cool air and a light N wind. A fisherman in a jon boat heads up the creek on the far shore, a great blue heron comes in to land in front of vine covered trees. We sail off anchor before 6:00.
Quiet sailing to Pool Point and the entrance to the Pasquotank. Weather radio mentions strong wind but we are in the shadow of tall trees. Patches of light fog drift across calm water. I decide to ignore the markers and slide over the shallows into the river at 6:30.
The wind, almost identical to the wind that pushed me downriver over a week earlier, is waiting for me. Spartina heels in the stiff breeze. We tack across the river and back, four knots or better. Cool, clear wind. Cottage Point in sight, a gust of wind and Spartina puts her port rail in the river. I smile until I hear an unexpected sliding sound to aft. I look back to see that my waterproof camera has slid across the day storage box, the pelican case and into the motor well, slipping down into the dark tea-stained water. Gone are the photos from the small craft advisory photos sailing back from Ocracoke, and the wet, windy sail up the channel on Roanoke Sound. I think about yelling out loud, but it is too nice a day. Shaking my head I look at the water behind, then look forward past the bow sprit.
The breeze feels warmer heading into the dock at Millie's. There's a fishing tournament going on for kids, they make room for me to tie up. Across the field I see Millie waiting for me. A quick bottle of water on her porch, then she follows me to the ramp where I leave my jeep and trailer, then back to Spartina to sail the last mile or so of the trip.
A little over 292 miles, sixty six hours of sailing, a long dreamt of visit to Ocracoke. A good trip, good to be back home.