Wednesday, June 30, 2021

day nineteen - one last canal

Sails up 6:25 with clear skies and a crisp NE wind, making 5.1.  Tuck in a reef.  Tuck in a second reef.  Round Bay point and find stiff vertical chop rolling over the shoals off the point.  

Turn back to the Bay River 7:00 and head for Goose Creek Canal.  Too much wind on the sound.  

7:40 entering Gale Creek, jib and main down, under power.  Wind on the nose in the canal.  

Too much time on the canals this trip.  I think about all the trips on Pamlico Sound this exact time of the year with steady SW wind.  What happened to cause N and NE winds??

8:45 leaving the canal.  Mizzen and jib up on Goose Creek, 4.1.  A tag with a barge comes up the canal so I slide to starboard.  Crabbers, commercial fisherman with nets and sport fishermen looking for trout work along shore.  An eagle flies overhead.  

Anchor down 9:45 Dixon Creek, tucked back in the corner where is is peaceful and calm.  Omeals oatmeal for late breakfast.  Then a good long nap.

Anchor up 11:30, mizzen and jib, following the winding channel out of the mouth of Goose Creek on to the Pamlico River.  Out of the creek and full sail just after noon on very rough water.  

Calmer water at 12:30 farther away from shore and the shallows, 4.3.  1:15 even calmer approaching the north shore of Pamlico River.  It is hot and the sun beats down, but good steady NE wind.  North Creek channel entrance markers in sight at 1:20.  Enter the creek at 1:35.  Anchor down 2:15 on the East Fork.  Boom tent up to get out of the sun.  Reading, relaxing for the afternoon, almost time to head home.  Beef stroganoff for dinner.

22.75 NM for the day

Sunday, June 27, 2021


 I'm very pleased and honored to show up in the log of Graham Delmarva circumnavigation.  Thanks very much Alan!

Saturday, June 26, 2021

day eighteen - north

A fresh set of clothes for the day!  Take my time pulling off the boom tent and sail covers, no rush as I am waiting for The Bean to open.  Iced tea and a cream cheese bagel for breakfast.  Cast off 7:45.

Heading down the channel Martijn backs out of a dock ahead of me in his steel-hulled PRINSES MIA.  I do not know Martijn well but we have crossed paths a few times in Oriental and also years ago in Chestertown.  He is an interesting sailor, always seems to be coming or going to Europe, Bermuda or the Caribbean.  Martijn waves and asks if I'll be coming back to Oriental soon.  Across the water I shout "No, I'm headed back north."  I tell him I'll see him on the next visit, he waves goodbye.

video, sailing north from Oriental

There's a nice breeze outside the breakwater, better than expected, a cool dry wind out of the north.  Making 5.0 on calm water.  8:30 off Pierce Creek.  Soon approaching Gum Thicket and doing 5.5.  Past the point at 9:20 and can see the Lighthouse Shoal marker.  

Making 4.6 to 5.0 approaching the shoal and decide to cut inside the marker.  Surprised that the cb and rudder touch bottom, I've crossed in this area before.  Must be low tide.

10:10 tacking into the north wind as it gets lighter and lighter.  11:30 in sight of Maw Point making just over a knot.  Whatever I gain with a little puff I seem to lose on the next tack.  Some more wind just before noon, then almost no wind.  Motor sailing at Maw Point, 12:30.  

Under power across the wide mouth of the Bay River.  Anchor down Rock Hole Bay at 1:25.  Boom tent up for shade, an afternoon of reading and relaxing.  Fettucini in a cream sauce with a can of tuna pour on top.  Excellent.

 19.99 NM for the day

my hat is off to Graham

Congratulations to Graham for an incredible Delmarva circumnavigation in CARLITA, his Core Sound 17 Mk 3.  He is not done yet, he still has an estimated four or five day sail back to his home in North Carolina.  I caught up with Graham this morning as he anchored for a break at Hospital Point on the Elizabeth River. 

He did the inside route on the seaside of the Eastern Shore, using little creeks to get past obstacles and, at one point, sawing a tree that had fallen across a canal.

SPOT limits the data on their tracking pages to 500 points so I can't show the entire route.  But below are 500 points that show a good portion of the journey.

I think this is day 32 for his trip, so he should be home by about day 35 or so, well before the two months he had estimated early in his trip.  Well done, Graham.


Monday, June 21, 2021

day seventeen - the goddess on the ICW

Cast off from Beaufort waterfront 6:00.  No wind and markers show an ebb tide that will work against me headed north.

Pass under the high rise bridge, glass calm water.  6:40 a light north wind arrives, not helping at all.

Move to the east side of the channel as a tug and barge comes out of Core Creek.  In Core Creek at 7:15.

I look to the stern and see GODDESS, a beautiful sleek 58' motor yacht out of Providence, Rhode Island.  Someone is on the aft deck taking photographs of SPARTINA.  I shake my head and laugh at the thought of someones on that boat wanting a photograph of a little yawl built in a garage.  GODDESS comes up alongside and slows down, a gentleman leaning out of asking about SPARTINA'S design.  I tell him it is a Pathfinder design from New Zealand.  He smiles, says "We've got a captain from Australia, is that good enough?"  I laugh and say yes.  And the motor yacht powers ahead.

Further up we pass the wreckage of a shrimp boat,  hurricane victim I imagine.  By 8:50 making only 2.6 against the current.  The tide, much stronger and longer lasting than expected, had fooled me.

By 9:15 less current, making 3.8 under power.  Sails up at 10:25 on Adams Creek, motor sailing to the Neuse River.  Dolphins everywhere as the creek bends to the west.  Everywhere, that is, except in the frame of my camera.  

11:00 full sail leaving Adams Creek, a single tack to pass the shoals on the Southside and then close-hauled across the Neuse, 4.0.  I point higher than expected and see that Oriental is directly ahead.  A wonderful sail across the wide river and the wind carries me right inside the breakwater.  Docked Oriental 12:30.

A Ceasar salad makes for a light lunch.  Peaches and cream ice cream along with a glass of iced tea from The Bean as I fill out my logbook on the patio at Oriental Marina & Inn.  A cold beer from the Tiki Hut, then shrimp and grits for dinner at The Toucan Grill.  How nice.

21.27 NM for the day

Sunday, June 20, 2021

day sixteen - and back again

A bumpy night as the chopped rolled around the corner.  Took a while to get to sleep but once I fell asleep it was a good night's rest.  Sail off anchor at 6:00, mizzen and jib with a strong NNE breeze.

First point of business is to round the shoals that reach down south in the bight.  Before I can spot the markers in the early morning light I see the water breaking over the shallows.  Easy sailing with wind just aft of beam.  Past the shoals round up to raise the double reefed main.

Perfect wind for a few of long tacks, then slide out of the bight at 6:35 making 4.3.

On Onslow Bay the water seems calmer than in the bight, excellent wind and gps shows 5.3 as we parallel Shackleford Banks.  By 7:30 can see the Beaufort channel markers.  Making 4.3 and round up to shake out the second reef.  Close enough to the banks that I can hear the surf breaking on the beach.  

Just after 8:00 sailing through the inlet, water calm except for a small patch of water around red buoy 14.  It is the early part of the flood tide and the current carries us along on our way.

Docked 9 a.m.  Pay for the slip and get my two wooden nickels.  They tell me the marina will be full tonight.  

North wind blows all day.  It would have been a long haul into the wind up the canal, glad I stayed in Beaufort.  A burger for lunch at the Dock House.  An afternoon of exploring the town.  A cold beer while I fill out the log book.  And back to the Dock House for dinner, on a Monday evening in Beaufort it is the only game in town.

11.68 NM for the day

Saturday, June 19, 2021

day fifteen - Cape Lookout Bight

The phone alarm wakes me at 5:10, I want to make sure I can leave with the last of the ebb tide.  Sleeping gear and boom tent stowed, cast off 5:50, all sails up at 6:00.

Approaching the inlet at 6:15, the water would be calm if not for all the offshore fishing boats heading out for the day.  

Through the inlet and on to Onslow Bay at 6:30, making 2.8 off Shackleton Banks with wind on the port beam.  Easy sailing as the low overcast slides away.

Making 3.8 at 7:35 a half mile off the beach, shrimp boats dragging their nets offshore.

Entrance to the bight in sight at 7:50, 4.0.  In the inlet at 8:30 past the red marker channel that is right up next to the beach.

I follow the shoreline south past a big navy-grey power boat and then two cruising sailboats.

Anchor down just north of the shallows at Wreck Point at 9:00

It is a spectacular morning with a comfortable north wind.  There is always a tropical feel about the water and white sandy beaches.

I relax and read, catch up on some email and the log.  Early afternoon it gets hot so I set up the boom teen with the fore and aft corners folded back, it gives me plenty of shade but lets the breeze through.

Late afternoon the wind builds and it gets rough with the chop rolling down the length of the bight from Barden Inlet.  I bring down the boom tent, raise anchor and motor a mile to the east to calmer water just below the lighthouse.  Sweet potato rice and chicken for dinner.

11.79 NM for the day

day fourteen - down the canal to Beaufort

Anchor up and under power at 5:50 after a wonderfully calm and peaceful night.  It is very cold and a mist hangs over the water.  Water running past the crab pot markers tell me I have a helping tide.  6:30 still in the shade of the trees along shore and I shiver in the morning chill.  

Sun finally up over over the top of the trees, it feels good. GPS shows I'm getting about an extra knot with the tide.  Just after 7:00 pass ICW marker 195.  7:50 on Core Creek leading into the Newport River, round up and raise full sail.  

A steady N wind and making 4.0.  8:45 following the winding path of the channel as it curves to the east then turns southwest between Gallants Point and an oyster farm where watermen are doing some harvesting.  

9:00 pass under the new high-rise bridge and glad to not have to wait for an opening of the old lift bridge.  

We round near the marked shoals at the west end of Taylor Creek, drop the sails.  There's a running tide and I have to compensate for it as we pass a big boat heading into the docks.  9:30 tied up at the small boat docks.  I walk down to the dock house, pay for one night in the slip and get my two wooden nickels in exchange.

I get rid of the trash, top off the water bottles and clean up SPARTINA.  Lots of people on the boardwalk and I spend lots of time answering questions about the boat and the trip.  Crab cake for lunch at Finz on the waterfront.  In the afternoon I trade a wooden nickel for a beer at the deckhouse and catch up on the log while sitting at a picnic table in the waterfront park.  I check the tides for tomorrow.  Ebb tide at dawn, perfect to carry me out out Beaufort Inlet and then catch the flood tide into Cape Lookout Bight.

Dinner at Ribeyes steak house, and I crawl into the sleeping bag.

14.26 NM for the day