Anchor up 6 a.m., the sails go up as the sun peeks over the horizon. South wind. Quiet, just the sounds of rippling water and the creak of the gaff jaws agains the mainmast. Apple Cinnamon Rx bar for breakfast. On the Pamlico River 6:25, 2.7 kts. Whichard Beach by 7:00. An osprey takes flight from Marker 16 talons clutching a fresh caught fish, a young chick left behind on the nest.
The trestle in sight at 7:40, 3.3 then the wind freshens, making 4.7 at Marker 17. Sailed through the old rusting trestle, docked Little Washington waterfront 8:20.
Washington is a nice little town that, like most places on the North Carolina sounds, has seen better days. With a rebuilt waterfront and a handful of restaurants nearby, the town is showing signs of life.
I grab an iced tea from a bakery a couple blocks inland, then walk back to the river and enjoy the tea while sitting in a rocking chair on a porch. I catch up on the news, send some photographs to friends and family. For lunch I visit Ribeye's, the steakhouse I had been pining for the evening before. The salad bar makes for a light lunch while I sit in the shade on the patio.
Just after noon we push off from the docks, raising just mizzen and jib with the thought of putting up the main once we are through the trestle.
Out in the channel past the trestle I am surprised by the strong west wind, making 4.5 under m and j. No need to raise the main for the downwind sail. GPS shows 13.49 NM to Durham Creek.
Partly cloudy skies, water ruffled by gusts out of the SW. We make out way across the river to the south side where there is plenty of wind and calmer water. Off Broad Creek at 1:50, Maules Point 2:35, making a steady 5.0. Passing Nevil Creek at 2:55, wind over the starboard quarter. Slide in close to shore, 2.5 kts.
Round the shallows into Durham Creek at 4:25. Could have and maybe should have put up the main but I'm in no rush, tacking back and forth on the quiet, tree-lined creek with just mizzen and jib. Catch the cb on the shallows near a point, work my way off.
A few more tacks, passing Horse Point at 5:15. Anchor down 5:35.
Marinara with crunchy penne (my fault as I misread the instructions) and a can of tuna for dinner. Cup of mango for dessert. Read my book under a bright moon, then slip into the bivy. Last full day on the water.
Running totals of 187.2 NM, 45+ hours of sailing.