Sunday 24 May, passage Cayman to Chesapeake day 10, Cape Lookout inlet:: It’s Memorial holiday weekend in North Carolina.
OMG, such an amazing deep sleep last night. We awoke to the perfect fresh air of early summer in North Carolina. A gentle breeze is blowing through the cockpit and clear blue skies. Still lots of boats anchored here for this memorial holiday weekend. Many of them flying huge “Trump 2020” flags, some with 3! I think we should get one for Cloudy. Why? Asks Oana. Well it would be interesting to see if our blog readers number doubles or halves! But if we got one, I’d definitely want one bigger than everyone else’s.
As we eat a leisurely breakfast the wind increases. Spot-on forecast, it had swung to NE during the night. This was the wind direction we had to avoid going around the Hatteras. It was the reason we aborted and diverted to Beaufort, to wait for the next rounding opportunity. With this wind change, we are now anchored on the lee shore with at least a 2 mile fetch. The water is already choppy and it’s only going to get worse. Oana wants to take a sea sickness pill but I say let’s re-anchor on opposite shore.
1nm later we are there, ready to drop the anchor again. Wanting to get as close to the beach as possible I take Cloudy close ashore to survey the depths prior to deciding our anchor circle, as usual. As I edge Cloudy in, Oana is telling me the water looks very shallow. But I know what I’m doing, the sonar chart says it shelves up slowly. Then, from 3.5m depth, THUD! We suddenly hit the bottom. And I get a well deserved slap on the head from you know who! And from Cloudy too, if she could. Thankfully, Mr.Volvo pulls us off and we proceed to anchor ok. Well, we needed the weed off the keel before we haul out – so that box is now ticked 🙂
Certainly the wind waves are less here, but we now seem to be on the highway through the inlet. And as usual in this country, power boaters seem to have zero respect of how their wash effects other people on the water. So Oana has to take a pill anyway 🙁 If I ever make the silly move to have a firearm on board, it won’t be for pirates, it will be for inconsiderate power boats….. or jet skis …. or any similar things that get under a peaceful sailor’s skin! So it’s best, you see, that I remained unarmed. Well, I still have Oana, she can be pretty ferocious when certain buttons pressed. But a little less friendly fire in that respect might be nice! (just joking, and when she does get mad, I usually deserve it).
By midday we are still sipping coffee and reading in the cockpit. Classic Sunday morning laziness. There are now a serious number of boats anchored and rafted up around the bay. I’m certain there must be over a thousand in our view. Same as yesterday, large gatherings on the beach and several raft-up of power boats. Zero sign of any social distancing attitude! It’s clearly a party weekend.
Anchored behind us is a new looking Beneteau with apparently no one on board. I notice it’s gradually getting further away from us, dragging its anchor. Among all the powerboats next to the beach is just one dinghy, so they must be close by ashore somewhere. I debate putting our dinghy in the water and all the faff of putting the engine on, then going to rescue the yacht before it ends up on the opposite beach. But really don’t see why I should when surrounded by all these high power motor boats. We finally see the 3 crew getting into the dinghy. They don’t seem worried at all, and simply amble back to the yacht as if nothing has happened!
It’s now low tide and between us and the beach large sand flats have appeared. In fact, just 40m (40yds) in front of us people are just waist deep in the water. No wonder we had bumped the bottom there! I’m also wondering why Oana hadn’t warn me 🙂
During the afternoon and early evening I start to tackle the mainsheet traveler rebuild. While the car and track end fittings are off I decide to service and clean them. Not surprisingly, the stainless steel bolts are all well corroded into the alloy fittings. It takes heat and WD40 to get them out and 2 of them have to be drilled out and re-tapped. By 8pm they are all back together and looking and working like new again. This time I used generous amounts of TefGel to mitigate the dissimilar-metals corrosion factor. It was amazing how much salt and corrosion was in them. Tomorrow we try to get the traveler back onto the track and just hope we have enough ball bearing left to allow it to run smoothly. We recovered all the ones that ended on the decks, but for sure a lot went in the sea or down the scuppers. I already feel bad for the fish that thought it was raining Caviar!
By the evening it’s actually chilly. It was nice to have fresh cool air for once…. but “chilly” is taking it a little bit too far, thank you very much! So we shut hatches, including washboards and main hatch, and have a cozy evening in the saloon watching a movie, complete with popcorn. And we both comment that it’s wonderful to be cozily in the saloon again for a change. Maybe we’ll even need the heaters back on soon. Last December, when we arrived to the Bahamas, I’d given the heaters a 4 year sabbatical!
As we go to bed, we find we have to get the bed blanket out of stowage. Something else we hadn’t planned on using for several more years! But it’s nice to actually snuggle under warm covers again!