Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Plugging along

Stuck for two days in Southport did not help much ! At least, I no longer have to battle the wind which has turned to a more southerly direction, but I still have to deal with strong winds, almost continuous rain, and rather cold temperatures.
Anyway, I can't possibly spend the whole spring in North Carolina, so I cast off the lines on Monday morning shortly before 11 :00, hoping to get to Morehead City and wait for a favourable weather window to go to Morehea
d City outside. That window never came, but I was able to carry on as far as Harbour Village marina on Mile Marker 267 where I arrived around 5:30 p.m. and that makes Morehead City a real possibility for Tuesday night. So, although it was a wet and windy day, it paid off. In the process, I managed to touch ground once, just to stay in tune with my reputation. The fact is that in the waterway, things happen real fast and it is not advisable to leave the cockpit even for one minute. Around Carolina Beach, as I went down to check my position, the boat came to a sudden stop hitting  probably a mud mound. I hurried to the wheel, and found out that a dredge was kind of blocking the way and that I had to negociate my way around it, under the dredge instructions. No real damage or problem, just a little scare to remind me to stay alert at all times.
On Tuesday, my timing went all wrong. First, I left the marina too early (6:40 a.m.) and had to wait for the Surf City bridge. Then, I thought that by pushing the motor a little, I would be able to make the Onslaw Bridge 10:30 opening. When I called 20 minutes before getting there, the bridge tender told me that the coast guards had instructed him to open only on the hour. So, I had to dance before the bridge, with the wind and the tide pushing me towards it (I am becoming quite familiar with that situation)  and wait for the 11:00 opening.
Then after, it was just going along, with rain and wind. On mile 225, I passed a trawler high and dry on the west side of the ICW, with still someone aboard the boat, which means probably that this was a recent grounding.
Arriving in Morehead city, I did not dare go through the West channel into the channel of the Morehead City facilities and went through the east entrance Still, I dropped the hook at 4:30 p.m. which was not bad.
Tomorrow again, the weather looks like it is not yet going to cooperate. Depending on the strength of the wind, this will be either Cedar Creek, or Eastham Creek, or my favourite one just before the Alligator canal. We shall see......

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