Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Northeaster takes its toll

When I woke up this morning (I slept with my balaclava, long johns and sweater with 48 inside the boat), I was not sure whether I should get going. The wind was already blowing at 20 knots and the forecast was for gusts at 30.
Then, what do you know, if you don't try. The worse that could happen would be like last year to return to the Cedar Creek anchorage in the Adams creek, if the Neuse River were to be too much for comfort.
So, I left the anchorage at 8:30 and entered the Neuse River at noon. Within half and hour, the Northeasterly, which was blowing at 25 knots, took my brotherhood hat that was only beginning to look like an old timer. . . .
However, I was surprised to see how well Papy Jovial was taking it. Last year, in similar conditions, I had to rev up the engine to almost 3000 rpm and I was hardly going at 4 knots, slowing down sometimes at 2 when the waves were a little steep and rough. This year, I went at 2500 rpm and I never slowed down to less than 4.8 knots and I was going most of the time at 6. I suppose that the much lighter weight of the boat this year and the lower dodger helped. Probably, the conditions also were less severe than last year.
Anyway, having paid the price (a cherished hat), I reached the Eastham Creek anchorage at 3:30 p.m., with the wind still at 20 knots. The weather man is promising me better conditions tomorrow. We shall see. . . .
I have found the leak on the generator, which is coming from the outlet of the raw water pump (no further detail at this point, I will check more extensively probably in Coinjock), but I also know that the failure on the electric part comes from the rotating part protected by a kind of mesh, which received salt water. Only a technician can tell me what to do.
I also noticed that the wind instrument is beginning to fail. I knew that it was kind of knocked down by the 60 knots storm that we went through in the Chesapeake bay in July and since then, I have seen it almost stop even with more than 5 knots of wind. This time, it stopped in 15 and then restarted. Another thing to check in Portsmouth.
My plan now is to go through the Pungo/Alligator river canal tomorrow and anchor at the northern end. On Thursday I will go to Coinjock and on Friday I will stop at Great Bridge and wait for Stew to help me go through the locks and into my slip in Scotts Creek on Saturday morning. Almost there. . . .

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