Monday, June 7, 2021

day six - I love my drysuit

I wake just after 5:00.  It is cold.  The crescent moon hovers over the cypress trees that line Raccoon Creek.

I can deal with the cold, wearing a base layer, merino wool shirt, pants and shirt plus my foul weather gear.  It is the wind that has my attention.  Gusts to 28 by late morning and I expect the waves will be steep.  Making 3.7 down the Perquimans River.

Away for the trees on shore 5.0 kts.  At 6:30 the sun is above the horizon, mist burning off.  Blount Point at 7:30, 4.0 ESE.  I have second thoughts about my gear.  7:45, still in the lee of Harvey Point, I round up to take off the foul weather gear and put on my drysuit.  The drysuit somehow makes me feel more comfortable.  

On Albemarle Sound at 8:20.  I look to the north and on what is forecast to be a sunny day a big dark cloud is moving down the river.  By 8:30 mizzen and jib, 5.0 knots, rough water and it's raining.  The rain is gone at 9:30, sun coming out and it feels good.  

Big swells are rolling down the sound, making 3.7 until the steep waves slide up under SPARTINA'S stern and the gps jumps to 5.8.  The swells seem to come in groups of three.  A couple waves reach up over the starboard side, a little water in the boat but not too much.  It is a continual effort at the tiller, feeling the waves and surfing a bit before each swell moves on.  GPS peaks at 8.6 and it reminds me of Sapelo Sound in Georgia.  

Enter the Alligator River at 11:50, hoping the western shore will give us a little protection.  It does not.  I need to get water and think about heading the Alligator River marina at the base of the bridge on the western shore.  With all the wind and waves I don't want to get close to the bridge and I worry about playing bumper cars with the boat in the marina.  Instead I head back towards South Lake.  

Still rough and windy.  At 12:30 slide over the shoal and into South Lake.  Two cruising boats from Maine are anchored inside.  I'm low water so I round up and ask if they have any to share.  The couple aboard fill two of my empty gallon containers and give me some apples and oranges.  Sailboat people are nice.  The captain tells me his anemometer is showing a steady 28 mph wind.  Two more mph of wind and the Alligator Bridge would not open, they were lucky to get through.  I thank them for the water, then head down South Lake to anchor on Northeast Prong.   

Anchor down at 1:55, I hang up the boom tent to dry for the morning heavy due.  And I slip off the drysuit.  Maybe I did not need it but the comfort it gave me was immeasurable.   Spicy sausage and pasta for dinner.

36.38 NM for the day

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