|Avi and his new crew mate Jim getting ready to depart Wrightsville Beach|
I went to bed after 11:00 pm last night after straightening out the boat, cleaning up, writing my blog, of course, and unpacking. I could't sleep because since the shore power on the boat is not working, I had the generator on, and it was really loud. Finally around midnight, I got up and turned off the generator and quickly fell asleep. I woke up around 4:00 all covered in sweat because without the generator, there's no air conditioning, and it got very warm on the boat. Not a great start for what I knew would be a very long and at times challenging day. By 5:00, I gave up lying in bed and took a shower and got the boat ready for the voyage. Turned on all the instruments, fired up the generator again, turned on the nav lights since we'd be traveling at dusk, had something to eat, and then sat around waiting for 6:30.
Jim showed up with Denise right on time, and we were on our way.
As we pulled out of Wrightsville Beach and headed to the ocean, I had some concerns about how rough the seas would be. The forecast was good, although it called for possible thunderstorms in the afternoon at Manteo. We had decided to go to Manteo rather than push all the way to Coinjock. As it was, this would be our longest and most difficult travel day, covering 183 nautical miles.
The waves actually got slightly big as we approached 2/3 of our way towards the Beaufort inlet. They were around 3.5 feet high, and some quite a bit higher. However, they were SouthWesterly waves, meaning they were going in the same direction as us, so we were basically surfing on them. The winds were about 15 knots also from the SW, so it made for a mostly pleasant ride. A little rough at the end, but nothing too crazy.
The inlet was a bit of an adventure as a very strong wind on our port side beam intensified. However besides taking off our hats so they wouldn't blow away, Jim and I had no real concerns. As we pulled into Beaufort and the canal of the northbound ICW, we saw several dolphins, which made my day.
We decided to stop for fuel despite Dennis's advice that we could easily make it to Manteo on one tank. I don't like to cut it close, and besides it was pretty calm in the ditch (slang for ICW).
|Our fuel stop in the ICW|
After fueling, we headed up towards the Neuse River and from there into Pamlico Sound. The sound can be very intimidating and quite nasty. We dealt with that head on (literally) on our way South a month ago. However, today, we were going with the waves and the wind in our favor, and so it wasn't too bad. At least most of the way.
As we turned left and headed North to the final stretch where Pamlico meets the Croatan sound, I suddenly noticed a sharp bolt of lightning in the distance. There was a clear outline of a bad storm to our NorthWest, and it was moving East, as we were moving North. We were going 24 knots on a collision course with this storm.
|Pirates Cover marina - lots of big charter fishing boats that I did not want to crash into|
|Sababa tied up safe and sound in Manteo|
Here was the view from our table at this great pizza place.
|The small window in the master bedroom with a screen (not my most interesting photo ever)|
It's calling for 35% chance of rain and scattered thunderstorms in Norfolk tomorrow around 4pm, but otherwise, our weather outlook for the rest of the trip all the way to Baltimore on Saturday looks very good. We'll try to time it so that we are in Norfolk well before the potential storms. Today, I learned how to be patient and let the storm pass you by. A very valuable lesson.