December 2, 2015
Boat is packed and sitting deep in the water. We have been preparing to leave for about a month. Most equipment is functioning properly. The only recurring issues are with the refrigerator and the radar. If we turn off the refrigerator it will not restart. When we disconnect the radar up the mast and reconnect it works for a day or two and quits. I would love to have those two issues solved.
We left the dock at 10:30 and took the channels out of the harbor into the Neuse River. The day was grey, fog still lingering and not a stitch of wind. We hung around marker 1A until Tarsie (Joe and Kathy Gormley) showed up and then headed down the river.
The wind picked up a little later and the fog started to clear, so we set sails and continued sailing past Minnesott Point. The winds were out of the west, so as we passed Minnesott we turned down the river and went wing on wing. Once we reached the intercoastal waterway we doused the sails and motored down the waterway to Cedar Creek. Tarsie went in first to drop the hook and we then tied up to them for the night.
We had a little happy hour and chatted for a couple of hours. Talked a bit too long because a storm came in and drenched us before we could get everything all buttoned up. Karen made dinner and after dinner we occupied ourselves with minor tasks that needed to be done.
December 3, 2015
The next morning we untied from Tarsie and headed down the intercoastal for Beaufort. We had a favorable current and made good time. We got to Beaufort in a few hours and headed into the anchorage there. It was a bit confusing going in. They are building a new bridge over the channel there and center of the channel has been moved. Tarsie almost ran aground trying to follow the old channel.
We made it through the construction and Tarsie dropped the hook first. We dropped the hook somewhat near to Tarsie. We looked like we were tucked in out of the way butt… one of the locals came by screaming profanities at us about being in the middle of the channel. We moved up a bit closer to the bridge and reset our anchor. We still had boats coming in all around us.
Once settled in, I went up the mast and worked on the radar. The unit started functioning properly as soon as I touched the wire cable going into the unit on the mast. I disconnected and connected the cables, the unit continued to function. Not sure how to fix the connections to work continuously.
December 4, 2015
We got an early start and headed down the channel to the Atlantic. The current was in our favor so it was a mad dash out to the big water. We put up our sails and headed out. Our destination was the Masonboro inlet. We were hoping to get there before dark. The days are short so it was going to be close.
We got out there and the seas were running four to six feet with five second intervals. It was really sloppy. The winds were also blowing 15 to 25 out of the Northeast. Tarsie was beginning to be overpowered so they shortened sail hoping to be able to get their autopilot to manage the steering. We shortened sails as well so we could match their pace. The rest of the day we continued to plow our way west south west toward the Masonboro Inlet.
Later in the day and we still had not made the inlet and we were not sure we would make it in before dark. Tarsie gave us a call and told us not to wait on them, so we picked up the pace and reached the inlet just a bit before dark. Once inside the jetties everything flattened out and it became quite pleasant. We furled the sails and motored up to the Wrightsville Beach anchorage. As soon as we set the hook, we saw Tarsie coming in just before dark so we did not have to worry about them anymore.
It was good to be out of the rough water. Still it was cold all day and it was cold all through the night. We were wearing all the clothes we could handle.
December 5, 2015
We pulled up the anchor at around 8:00 and headed down the intercoastal waterway. The winds were still quite blustery and the seas were really kicking up so we decided to stay on the inside and do the "ditch" (the Intercoastal Canal.) We passed Carolina Beach which is a nice anchorage and then headed down the Cape Fear River. Again the currents were with us so we made good time.
We left the Cape Fear River at Southpoint and continued down the ditch. When we got into the ditch there were a lot of small sailboats sailing in the channel. The Cape Fear River currents were too much for them so they were sailing right down the middle of the intercoastal canal where there was no current and they were being a nuisance to all those trying to pass through.
We continued to plod down the ditch with no incidents. This area we are travelling is incredibly boring. Noticed the alternator has been overcharging the batteries and the belt is also wearing away. Need to reprogram the regulator so we don't burn up the batteries and the belt. Also the radar quit in Wrightsville Beach. I would love to resolve that problem.
We stopped that night at the Calabash River. It was a tricky entrance. There were two red buoys marking the channel and I was not sure which to keep on the right. Went for the first one and almost ran aground. Turned around and made for the second red marker near the rocks and found adequate water to navigate. Went in several hundred yards and dropped the hook for the night. Tarsie followed in a little bit later. Nice anchorage with a bit of current to deal with.
I worked that night on resetting the alternator, hopefully the adjustments will help.
December 6, 2015
Got an early start to head down the ditch. Had the current against us most of the way so it was slow going. We went through Lockwood's Folly without a hitch. Lockwood's Folly is usually a challenge due to the channel always moving and the heavy currents present there.
We were doing 5 knots for most of the day. We plodded up through the Waccamaw Swamp which is a very picturesque part of the trip but did not stay overnight as we normally do when passing through. The current finally turned in our favor half way through the swamp. We were doing 7-10 knots for most of the remainder of the day. We were going so fast it was scary at times.
We crossed into the anchorage in Georgetown at about 16:00 and went straight to the fuel dock before anchoring. We paid only $2.25 a gallon for diesel and only used about a gallon more than Tarsie, so we are quite pleased with our fuel consumption. Tarsie is a smaller boat with a smaller engine giving us the expectation of us using significantly more fuel because of our larger engine and larger displacement.
We dropped the hook at the far end of the channel right next to the turning basin and in front of the old factory. The current was not bad and the protection was great.
Tarsie rafted up with us and we had a Happy Hour before retiring for the evening.