Saturday, September 28, Day 81
This morning dawned with lots of fluffy clouds in the sky and a lull in the wind. I looked at the calendar and realized that our friends Don and D were going on a trip a week from Monday. Wow in only ONE week! So if we wanted to see them for a few days, we better get out of here and not wait until Monday to leave! I looked at the weather. Yes, the winds were to be in the upper teens with gusts to the low to mid 20’s and higher tomorrow, but we can do that safely and most importantly, we would be going mostly downwind. After a quick pow wow, we decided to leave NOW. If we could get far enough south past Albermarle Sound and through the Alligator River today, then we could be in the Alligator R.- Pungo R. Canal tomorrow when the winds are predicted to be higher and anchor in Belhaven, NC in protected waters.
We cast off from the dock @734am just as the calm winds from the N were starting to increase, so we had an easy time leaving. I was suppose to go to the Farmers Market @ 9am with Jane, our new friend Paul’s girlfriend, but I called Paul to let him know about why we left all of a sudden so he could pass that on to her. By 805am we let the head sail out as the wind was already up to 11 kts and by 845am it was gusting to 17kts. 20 min later the wind increased to 22 kts. The max gust was at 1017am at 26.7 kts when we had our 2nd and last rain shower. Soon after we reefed the head sail and even though the wind was mostly in the low to mid 20’s, we had a fairly comfortable sail except when we were near the south shore of Albemarle Sound (increased fetch) We went through the Alligator Swing Bridge this time not hitting ground at the shoal like we did last trip to the Bahamas. Good thing as there weren’t many big power boaters wakes to get us off like we had last time. The waves were less once we entered the river, and we were glad! When we left this morning there were 2 sailboats behind us, only one, S/V Cool Runnings a Beneteau 423, passed us by and anchored in the same place as us, behind Tuckahoe Point just off the channel half a mile before entering the Alligator-Pungo River canal. We sailed most of the day except the 30 min coming up and through the swing bridge and entering the anchorage, which we’re happy about. Our gas tank is low at 1/2 tank with empty jerry jugs. NOT a good place to be so we’ll get more diesel in Belhaven. We saw a Trawler way behind us and finally at 4pm M/V True North entered the anchorage. I suspected that they had a rough go of it today as we could see even far away that they were rocking back and forth with the waves.
We had left over stew for supper. One of the tricks we learned from Lin Pardey is when we leave food out of the refrigerator, we make sure that we boil it for 2 minutes to kill any bacteria that grew. I added carrots so cooked under pressure for 5 min and also made some Potato Buds to make sure we had enough potatoes. I was glad that we had leftovers today! I’m tired from the passage and from not sleeping well last night. There were a few people yelling at the dock last night at 213am – I looked at the clock – and it was a little warm. Phil said this morning that I froze him out with the hatch open slightly AND the fan on.
We don’t have Internet or Cellular service here as we suspected would be the case, so that’s why it feels like we are in the middle of nowhere, though that’s not actually true. I have been hoping to have a buddy boat to go further south with, but with being tired and having enough visiting the past 2 days, I am glad tonight to have some quiet time.