A cold, cold night with gusts winds bringing even more of a chill. Up in the early morning hours to slip on another layer of clothing before climbing back into the sleeping bag.
Sail off anchor at 6:00, the sun not yet over the tree line. The gusts have died down, full sail down Slade Creek. I hear a swooshing noise and see a swirl in the water, dolphins to see us off. Leaving the creek at 6:30, a little more wind. Making 2.6 then 4.3 and then 5.0 as we slip out on to the Pungo River with wind forward of the beam. Falling off the wind we turn south towards the Pamlico River, still shivering in the cold morning. Easy sailing, enjoying breakfast of an Rx bar, a buffalo bar and a cup of fruit.
Jibe at 8:00 off of Wades Point, pass the Pungo River entrance marker making about 3.7-4.1 depending on the following swell. I raise the centerboard for an easier downwind ride. Making 5.0 kts on the south side of the Pamlico by 9:00. I think I see an unexpected marker ahead, a pole silhouetted against the morning sun. I look away, look back and the "pole" turns broadside to show three dark sails. It is Curt on his Drascombe Longboat Cruiser ANNIE.
We round up in the rough water in the mouth of the Pamlico River, I shout "south," Curt motions with a wave of his arm, indicating a course out and around Pamlico Point then south along the shore. Round the point at 9:30, by 10:00 off Sound Point making 5.7 kts with Curt sailing a little farther off shore.
Big Porpoise Point at 10:20, Middle Bay Point 10:40, 3.3 and then 5.7 in a gust. Off Jones Bay at 11:10, 3.8 and a lunch of tuna and crackers as we cross some choppy water. Drop the center board and tighten up the mainsheet as the wind swings from NW to W. Wind slacks and then fills in suddenly, 6.0 kts.
Bay Point at 11:40, wind swinging back to the NW. Just after noon off the Bay River, light winds and a slow drift south on the Sound. Wind fills in out of the W, 3.0 kts.
A puff of good wind off the white sandy beaches near Swan Island. Dolphin swimming close to shore, blue skies and white beaches. Perfect.
I turn E to a little deeper water at Light House Shoals, raising the cb to slide over the shallows while Curt takes ANNIE out to a little deeper water.
Gum Thicket at 4:00, making 4.2 on the Neuse River. A strong S wind fills in, sailing against the wind, waves and tide. Making long tacks as the day gets later and later.
Just after 6:00, after 12 hours on the water and still about two hours to make it in to Oriental, I drop the main and the jib and motor through the narrow entrance to Whittaker Creek, ANNIE not too far behind.
Anchor down in the creek just after 7:00, 44.32 NM for the day. Too tired to eat, too busy having found a slight leak at the centerboard pin, I break out the tools, tighten up the nut on the leaking pin. Satisfied that the leak wasn't a problem, I set up the boom tent and slip in to the sleeping bag.
|Photograph courtesy Allie and Jeff