Saturday, April 30, 2011

The penultimate leg

The wind, unfortunately, continued to be almost nonexistent for our last passage in open seas from Wrigthsville Beach to Morehead City and we motored all the way to the anchorage opposite de infamous "Sanitary" restaurant. We had dinner on Papy Jovial anyway for a quiet Easter Evening.
Monday morning, we left leisurely at 9 a.m. to avoid adverse current and we arrived in Oriental around 1 in the afternoon. Having put the boat in order, we went for a walk to look for the local supermarket, around a mile away. Having done the provisioning, we had drinks with local people at the Tiki Bar before a simple dinner at the marina's restaurant.
Next day, I was intended on walking and we made a first attempt to go south of the marina. We did not go even one block before an intense rain chased us back to the boat. We waited a little bit, and having decided that the sky had definitely cleared, we went north this time, and it did not even last half a block before a heavy downpour made us run back to Papy Jovial. The rest of the day, we kept busy doing nothing and reading a little.
I had been told that Thursday was going to be very windy and rainy, so I left on Wednesday trying to move as much as I could towards Norfolk, as time was becoming to be tighter and tighter. Luckily, I was able to use motor and sail to log what is probably my best run ever on the waterway, with 99 statute miles for the day. And we were very fortunate to be able to get an opening of the Alligator River bridge, knowing that it probably won't open on Thursday. We anchored in the Little Alligator River, thinking that we were going to be able to make a run for Columbia the next morning. Unfortunately, the wind kept blowing harder and harder, and we spent Thursday hunkered down with the wind gusting at 40 knots.
No more tourism ! Now the goal is to make sure that the elements won't prevent me from arriving in Norfolk on time. So on Friday, we left directly for Coinjock where we arrived early in the afternoon. My friend Mike (my riding buddy) joined us for dinner and to sail the last leg to Norfolk with me, as he had sailed the first leg to Coinjock with me on May 16th, 2009.
The bridges did their very best to try and scare me and make me think that we could still get stuck. A 400 cars coal train did its best to keep the Gilmerton bridge closed. But all that to no avail. We got to Tidewater Marina around 5, and I will spend the night INCOGNITO there, being now certain that nothing could make me be late for my own home welcoming party. Although, I still have 2.65 miles to go !


MARGARET S. said...

it all is just bloody made it.......outstanding and nicely done.........where did you drop anchor.......would love to come downtown and snap a few pictures of the boat........congratulations squared and to the Nth degree.............
ps i find it interesting that the word verification i was prompted with today was ingSPAR

MJ said...

Nicely done Indeed! When our plans last year started leaning towards a Morgan 41 Classic, I found your blog and read and looked at the photos, you were a deciding factor for our choice. I feel like we have a craft that can take us safely and comfortably anywhere in the world. Thank you for showing us your journey. It helped us purchase our JOURNEY. http://sv-journey dot blogspot dot com/p/blogs.html