Pungo creek to Oriental Harbor Marina

Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We heaved anchor early on Nov 3rd but were the last boat out of Pungo Creek. We sailed a little way down the Pungo River and then motor-sailed across the Pamlico River with our head sail and on to the canal that connects the Pamlico River with the Neuse River. In the Neuse River (a huge body of water) we were in company with a Beneteau First that we had met at Elisabeth City who seemed to be sticking religiously to the magenta ICW line on the chart so that by cutting corners at the marks which were in deep water we got ahead of them. Then we remembered they told us they had lost their rudder on a previous ICW grounding and lived for ten days on the boat while it was on the hard being repaired. They told us they only draw 5 feet but had taken a wrong turn at a day-mark. Easily done.....

We continued along the Neuse River section of the ICW with the wind and sea building from astern. Since leaving Pungo creek the sky had appeared threatening and our Sirius weather radio chart showed heavy rain moving up from the south. We knew there was a low building up to the south but what we were seeing was forming on a trough. We decided to duck into Oriental and here we are on a relatively inexpensive slip until the weather eases. (The anchorage is small and close to a bridge and not our cup of tea). On the night of the 3rd/4th the wind really howled and it rained very hard and confirmed we are not being too cautious. We nearly lost our bimini mounted semi-flexible solar panels and these will now be kept for use in fine weather - we configured the setup to be easily removeable and with all this motoring it is not currently needed. The big solar panel over the dinghy davit and the Rutland wind generator are adequate for most situations other than a really long period without using the engine. Yesterday - the 4th, it continued windy and looked very threatening all day with the few serious looking cruising boats in the anchorage staying put. During the day more boats came in and tied up on the big T dock here to wait out the weather. There is a strong developing slow just to the south of Cape Hatteras moving slowly north and the bad weather has now delayed the start of the Caribbean 1500 from Hampton, Virginia by 5 days. On the evening of the 4th the forecast for this area today was for winds 25 to 35 knots with some gusts to 45 knots. We will wait out the weather again today and service the engine, do some other small jobs and enjoy the town. Last night we watched the election results come in on our TV which we installed practically as the last job before we left. It was fitted about 3 years after Ros won it in a raffle at work after she said she would win it for the boat. The length of time before fitting was due to some reservations about TV on a boat when the object is to get away from it all and also the priority of fitting solar power, AIS receiver and Sirius. The small LCD TV has turned out as a very neat installation and works well with the Hinckley TV aerial that came with the boat and we would have had to pay extra to have removed. (prior to this the aerial has only functioned as a mast top thunder box for birds to make a mess on the deck)

Oriental is a very pleasant and cruiser friendly town so we are at a good place to wait out the weather. We hope to resume passage on the 6th.
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