We are back at Matthews Point Marina in Havelock NC, where we lived for the past 10+ years. We arrived Friday, the 14th, after a hard push south.
The last update had us in Summit North Marina in Bear DE to be hauled out to remove a line wrapped on our prop. In the morning the marina staff towed us to the lift and hauled us out. Sure enough, we had a line wrapped with two of its buoys still attached. It turns out we were the third customers in a week to be hauled out because of wrapped lines. The line was wrapped so tight that it took them about an hour to cut it out. In the meantime Cori got out a scrub pad and started to clean the bottom. We asked about a power wash but decided that it was too expensive. Once the bottom was clean we were dropped back into the water and tied up at the dock to wait the tide change for a favorable current through the rest of the canal. Once out of the canal we motored down to the Sassafras River to anchor for the night. That evenings weather report was that hurricane Matthew was expected to shift its course and we should not be affected this far north. Since it was Wednesday and we were one day out of Annapolis we decided to stop there for the weekend and take in the boat show. If you are into sailing the Annapolis boat show is like going to sailing heaven. We had been to the show twice before and we enjoy it.
Thursday morning we pulled the anchor early and headed down the Bay. The wind was light and from behind us so we decided to play with our other sails. We hoisted the spinnaker and then decided to add our mizzen staysail, our two light wind sails. The wind shifted around a little and continued to build and eventually we were making six knots, not too shabby for light wind sails. As we approached the Bay Bridge we dropped the sails and motored up the river, bypassing the harbor to check out the creek we stayed in last year. The boat show is very popular and there are a lot of people that attend by boat. The moorings and most of the anchorage area was filled so we went back to the harbor and anchored off of the Naval Academy. Once we settled in we got a short concert by the Academy band that was practicing nearby. We settled in for the night and in the morning we called a water taxi to pick us up so we could attend the show. We had a list of things we needed to pick up and vendors to see. As usual the first purchase we made was not on the list. We spent the day checking out the booths and seminars and at closing we hit a couple of parties that the vendors were hosting. The forecast was for a front to come through on Sunday with a lot of wind so Saturday morning we opted to move to a mooring that came available. Saturday was forecast to rain and it started just as the show opened. We had not planned to attend a second day but there were a couple of things we decided to go back for. I hit the show and Cori took a big load of laundry to the laundromat. Sunday we spent on the boat and installed some of the things we had bought at the show. I needed to be in New Bern NC the next Saturday and we tried working out the routes to get there. Every scenario showed us getting there on Saturday, too late for my appointment.
Monday morning we dropped the mooring ball at sunrise and started down the Bay. The wind was out of the North blowing 20-25 knots with four foot waves. We put out the headsail and had a fast ride. By mid-morning the wind and waves dropped a little. We were planning to stop in the Solomons for the night but since we were making such good time we continued on. We pulled into a protected bay for the night and dropped anchor. We started out the next morning as the sun came up. The winds were light and we set the mainsail and motor-sailed with plans to stop at Deltaville. Again we made good time and continued on to Mobjack Bay and anchored for the night.
Wednesday morning we watched the sun rise as we left the anchorage. We motor-sailed again, arriving in Norfolk just after noon. We continued through Norfolk and spent the night at the free dock at the Great Bridge in Chesapeake. The next morning we had to hold up leaving because we had a bridge that was not scheduled to open until 8:30. There was thick fog but we started out anyway. We made the next two bridges with a group of boats and once we got into the North Landing River the fog cleared. We continued through Coinjock without stopping for my prime rib and when the other boats pulled off for the night we continued on. We motor-sailed across the Albemarle Sound and entered the Alligator river a couple of hours before sunset. We decided to continue up the river since the channel was well marked with lighted marks and anchored about 9:00 pm at the mouth of the Alligator/Pungo canal. We set an alarm for an early start and watched the sun rise as we entered the canal. The water in the canal was calm and we were able to travel through it running at 7.5 knots. We use a bit more fuel at this speed but we were on a mission. Once out of the canal (20 miles) we continued up and down the various rivers and creeks until we finally turned to go up the Neuse River, almost home. We were able to maintain the 7 knot speed so we were ahead of our planned schedule. We had estimated arriving at the marina after dark but arrived about 6:30. We got tied up, plugged in, hit the showers and settled in for the night. We were home a day early!
We were up Saturday morning and had made arrangements to borrow our friend Louise’s car for our trip to New Bern. The big rush to get here was because I had committed to taking my ham radio general license test. If I didn’t take it today I would have to wait several months or find another location, not easy when you don’t have a car. The good news is that I passed and am now legally able to take advantage of all of the capabilities of our single side band radio. From there it was a trip to Walmart to start provisioning for our next adventure. We filled two carts and after dropping that at the boat we made a run into Havelock to drop off and pick up some items from our storage unit.
Now the projects will begin.