Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Off to Charleston

We have been incommunicado for a few days, victim of blighted software from Verizon. A removal and reload of the software has given us new wings.

Hearing from Brian DeBrincat at the Doyle Sail loft in Annapolis that our new genoa was ready we left Meredith at anchor in Spooner's Creek, rented a car from Avis and drove the 399 miles to Annapolis to pick it up.

We also picked up some new fine needles for our speedy stitcher awl and 20 litres of wine. Southport Liquor Store in Annapolis is that good.

Leaving Morehead City NC at 8 a.m. we returned at 9:30 p.m. dropped the sail off in the dinghy along with the wine and returned the car to Avis. It was a brisk but welcome 1.5 mile walk back to the dinghy from the Avis rental office. A quick dinghy ride to Meredith was followed fast on by heavy uninterrupted sleep until 7:00 a.m. next morning.

Anxious to be away we rose at 7, removed the old Yankee from the headstay and replaced it with our new 135 Genoa. Then it was into the dinghy to remove the outboard, retie everything and weigh anchor.

At 7:20 a.m. Meredith left Spooner's Creek. Not bad for a couple whose combined age is well over 100.

Our plan had been to jump outside the waterway at Beaufort/Morehead City but wind was running 20 to 25 G 30 and waves were 7 feet short frequency.

We had a new sail to test so naturally wind on the waterway was on the nose for the entire day.

By 12 noon were entering Mile Hammock Bay, a nice anchorage in the middle of a military base. Connie figures the only reason civilians are allowed to use it is because there are so few anchorages along this stretch of waterway. Mile Hammock is always entertaining. As new boats come in and the easy anchoring spots are taken up captains are inclined to edge closer and closer to the North and East end of the Bay where there is serious shoaling.

The inevitable was inevitable and some very confident newbies, eschewing the advice of the elderly and more knowledgeable, found themselves extricating themselves from the thick clay bottom of the bay.

Well rested we rose early the next day to endure a full 8 hours of North Carolina boredom. South of Elizabeth City there is nothing to see in North Carolina. North of Georgetown there is nothing to see in South Carolina. People who are unwilling to go coastal south of Beaufort are in for a quick course being an anaesthesiologist: hours of pure boredom interspersed with periods of absolute terror. No scenery but a treacherous bottom await those who wish to "sample" the ICW.

Waste of time.

Ton ight we are happily anchored in Carolina Beach, which we prefer over Wrightsville Beach. Our preference is based on a careful analysis of all available factors but is summed up by the conclusion that we have never run aground in Carolina Beach and we have never been to Wrightsville Beach without running aground.

Simple farm logic.

Unable to get on the ocean at Beaufort we will leave tomorrow via the Cape Fear River. We must wait until mid morning for the tidal current to ebb thereby reducing the seastate on the river to something allowing us to retain our morning muffins.

Then it is overnight to Charleston and a visit with friends Carole and Dominique from Hippo's Camp who are beginning their second circumnavigation.

Tonight Connie is having a drink "because I won't be drinking tomorrow".

Hope the new sail works.

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