Monday, October 26, 2009

October26th - Beaufort NC to Wrightsville

My care package arrived at noontime today.  I don’t usually wait as late in the day to depart but I had to move Reboot out of the marina or pay another hefty sum to spend the night.  Since I am on a very tight budget moving won out.

I had a so so weather window.  The good news was that the wind was from the NW at 20 to 25 with seas of 3 to 5 feet.  The bad news was that it was overcast with the possibility of rain.  Net net, as we used to say, it was a very fast sleigh ride down the coast to about 20 miles north of Cape Fear.  I tried to round Cape Fear and keep on going all night but the wave action was rolling Reboot quite a bit and I did not want to venture further offshore to get a stable boat when I could duck in at Masonboro Inlet, pick up the ICW to go around Cape Fear, and then go back outside to travel direct Charleston, NC.

On the way down I ran into two large and several small US Navy ships engaged in military exercises off Camp Lejeune.  I can remember the day when I used to be on one of those ships – either Saipan or Boulder.  I had a nice chat with them as in “do you hold the sailboat approximately 2 miles off your starboard bow?”  Then, after a minute, “Oh yes, we have you in sight.”  Nice, I wonder what the guys in the Combat Information Center (CIC) were doing.  Most likely so focused on their exercise they were not paying attention to me.

I arrived at Masonboro Inlet (Wrightsville, NC) at about 2300 local and almost ended the journey a few hundred yards offshore.  It seems that there is a new jetty that does not show on the charts.  And it sticks out past my GPS “safe” arrival point.  So there it was, dead ahead.  Of course to add drama there was fog.  The good news is that there were also some new entrance buoys that didn’t show on my chart either.  Fortunately I had not disconnected the radar as I had planned.  A combination of charts, radar and dead slow got me to a safe anchorage for the night.  In general it is not wise to arrive in a new location after dark.  I was not wise today.

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