I know I spoke briefly last post about our time at Wrightsville Beach, NC. Truth be told- we were there to capture a quick shot of my nephew serving a mission in the Raleigh NC area- currently stationed at the Hampstead Ward which was relatively close to shore (a mere 6 miles away:). So we set off a few hours earlier than the meeting to make it in time, thankfully a nice lady offered us a ride at mile 4.5 ! We got to surprise Elder Hargraves and even snagged a few pictures between his duties of welcoming members and prepping for teaching Gospel Principles– what a blessing he was still there as transfers had just happened the previous Thursday!
We decided to use Southport, SC for our staging of the next passage- the motoring down Cape Fear brought some wonderful wildlife opportunities- brown pelicans showed us how to dive bomb and attack the fish from a birds eye view and additional waterfowl was abundant. One of the items we wanted to cross off the list after anchoring in Southport was checking the wind indicators on the top of the mast (to help identify correct direction and speed). The list of who was okay with heights, could get pulled to the top AND reach above the masthead limited our choices to just Samantha and me. Samantha got the opportunity and had successfully completed her 2 missions- removing any debris that had limited the wind indicator’s accuracy and take a picture of the boat from atop the mast. (I will let her share some of her thoughts about it via her blog) I forgot to mention we also got the harness rigged up for the trapeze events we will be holding every anchorage from here on out!
Looking back, our planned passage was a bit over-zealous- it was to involve a lot of miles, little sleep, and beautiful weather- and it did, but just a bit less of the miles than we had hoped for. We set off with expectations of atleast 5 knots and hopefully 7 if we managed the wind effectively. Taking South Carolina by the coast seemed to be the right thing as it should have gotten us to where we wanted to explore quicker. In this case, we took off from Southport, SC and headed due SW/W with Beaufort, SC in our sights. Check out the picture below which indicates how flat the ocean was when we started at sunrise–
The idea that we could use any of the wind that came quickly lost its savor as we had to tack quite a bit to use any of it, and staying our ‘line’ reduced our speed over ground to about 4 knots. Needless to say, the day and night grew increasingly longer as we slogged along at 4.3 knots even with the port engine running AND we couldn’t use any of the wind.
On the plus side, we did get along fairly well on miles covered just due to the added night sailing time put in, making it to Charleston, SC when the sun was rising. Shortly after we did a watch change, Travis started the starboard engine and it promptly began to smoke- verifying us that yes, something had worked itself loose during the night and we would need to get some repairs made to continue on with 2 engines. Travis has since resolved the issue thanks to JB Weld, the dock refuel guy- Jon @ Rockport Marine, and the extra belts on board. Once again arriving at our destination of Beaufort, SC right on schedule with the sunset (good thing the bridge lady and the anchor cooperated to get us settled before sundown:)
Yesterday (Halloween and Samantha’s Birthday) was spent enjoying on an early morning run and walking through the downtown area for birthday food and the little girls enjoyed some evening trick or treating ( some of the existing homes here date back to 1838 pre-Civil War (I wouldn’t be surprised to hear if the plentiful spanish moss was that old too).
Today the weather has turned cold as a front has enveloped this part of the nation. This morning Madeline’s memorable comment was- “Wow mom, this is my first time seeing snow on the boat!” Yes folks, it is that cold, we are definitely still going further south! Hopefully we will be able to dinghy ashore tomorrow and not get pelted with spray.