OK, I was going to try to post some photos from the past two days and today, but the connection speed is lousy, and it would take me until sometime in March to get them loaded.
So instead, I’ll regale you with a description of my day, and tease you with the promise of neat photos to come as soon as I can get a connection to the internet that is speedy enough.
So…today, we traveled from Oriental, NC to Wrightsville Beach, NC, mostly offshore. The day started well, and we got an early start. In fact, I got to see the sun rise over Pamlico Sound. That’s one of the photos I’ll show you later. The run from Oriental to Beaufort was really nice, quite pretty, and completely uneventful.
We slid out into the Atlantic Ocean at Beaufort, and started a 65 mile run down the coast toward Masonboro Inlet, just south of Wrightsville Beach. The trip was a bit disorienting for me, because in my mind, I’m traveling south to Florida, but the first part of this run, about five miles offshore, was made almost due west. Take look at a map…it’s weird.
So we got out into the ocean, set the throttles for about 10.5 knots, engaged the autopilot, sat back and watched the world go by.
Autopilots are Da BOMB!!
No sawing the wheel back and forth, just sit there and let hydraulics and magnetism do the work for you.
I also decided to fire up the radar and play around with it. That too, was really cool. I could see a boat every once in a while, and I’d run to the lower helm to find it on the radar screen.
Admiral Janet, I hate to tell you this, but a radar repeater for the flybridge is going to be on my gotta-have list pretty quickly.
The trip took a little over five hours, and by 4:30, we were tied up at the dock at Wrightsville Beach. There are several marinas all nearby, and they were all full. Boats from everywhere, in all shapes and sizes.
Which reminds me…there was one in Oriental this morning, an 83 foot Burger, that decided not to fuel up because the fuel dock was too hard for him to get into, and besides, he still had a half-tank of fuel left…four THOUSAND gallons!! A HALF-TANK is four THOUSAND gallons!!
You could buy a really nice car for what it costs him to fill his tank!!
We were planning to go offshore again tomorrow and make a 30 hour overnight run all the way to Jacksonville, but the weather forecast is deteriorating, and it seems like the prudent thing to do is not push our luck, and just take a few extra days to slog down the ICW. The way the forecast is looking, things could get pretty snotty about the time we’d be doing the in-the-dark part of the run, and that holds no appeal at all for me.
Anyway…time to get to sleep, because if we are going to run the ICW for the next few days, we need to try to get as many miles in each day as possible, and that means trying to get ahead of all the slow blow-boats, and that means getting underway before dawn cracks.
Hopefully, I’ll find a good internet connection soon and can post some pics.