Moorehead City, NC

Friday, November 3, 2006
North Carolina, USA

034-43.140 N
076-42.360 W
Marine forecast for this location

Ahoy from Moorehead City, NC!

It's Cold!The morning was very dark outside when I woke up. I checked my watch and it was 5:20. I still had 10 minutes to stay in bed. From the v-berth I could see the thermostat display reading 58 which meant that the heating system wasn't able to keep up with cold outside. Ten short minutes later my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed, threw on lawyers of clothing and headed outside to get the boat ready to leave. A faint glow in the east showed that daylight was coming and it couldn't come fast enough as the 20+ kt winds and 43 degree temperature sucked your body heat away. At 6 AM we pulled away from the dock and began our 65 mile trek to Moorehead, NC and we sun began to warm our world at 6:23.

The following wind howled as we worked our way down the ICW. We put the jib out as soon as we were outside of the harbor and we motor sailing along at 7+ kts. We didn't put the main up as we would winding our way through many narrow canals and the constant sail adjustments combined with steering the boat through the canals was asking for trouble. Our plan was to make it to make it to Moorehead City, but we had backup plan to pull into Oriental if we determined that we wouldn't make it. Other than it being cold, very cold, there wasn't a lot to report on the 1st half of the trip. We saw 20-25 kts and had 2-3' following seas. I was sure glad that we weren't trying to head the other way! We made it to Oriental at 11:30 so we decided to push onward.

Broken WindvaneJust past Oriental we entered Adams's Creek which is much narrower than the waters that we had been sailing on. As we entered Adam's Creek I looked up at the wind instruments, which are located on top of the mast, and was quite surprised to see it flopping around apparently only held up there by a cable. Considering that this instrument costs $1200 (and I've already replaced it twice before), I didn't want to lose it. Unfortunately it seemed that all of the power boats had waited until after lunch to depart from Oriental and power boat after power boat passed us by throwing up big wakes. I was able to contact some of the boats and they passed us slowly, however some of the boats just blew by, reinforcing their stereotype.

Amazingly the tide was with us as we went and at points we were making close to 10 MPH! You'll note that I stated MPH instead of knots because for some odd reason the ICW is measured in statute miles instead of nautical miles (1 nautical mile = 1.15 statute miles). I switched the instruments over to statute miles as it's a lot easier doing calculations in your head. Anyhow, we pulled into the Portside Marina at about 3 AM.

After getting the boat tied up and hooked to power, I headed up the mast to figure out what had happened to the wind instruments. I found that the base, which has 4 pins which hold the arm in place, had sheered off in a ring around the pins. This was clearly a case of material fatigue from the constant whipping motion. Luckily I had a spare base and on a 2nd trip up the mast I replaced the base. I should have been able to mount the arm on the 3rd trip, but I've always had trouble lining the electrical pins up with the socket, and I managed to bend the pins requiring a trip down to align the pins and a 4th trip up the mast was required to get the arm mounted. I descended just as the sun was setting and headed inside to warm up as it was cold and windy at the top of the mast.

We had planned on heading to Wrightsville Beach, NC tomorrow, but all of the marinas are full. It seems that no one is moving due to the weather. We also figured out that we couldn't make it there anyhow as there are a bunch of bridges to go through and we'd never make the 77 miles going down the ICW. My preferred alternative was to go outside, but since there aren't any available marinas, that's a moot point. It's way too cold to anchor and there's no way that I'm going to ask Sue to do an overnight sail with temps below freezing. So, we're going to make a short 25 mile hop down the ICW and head to Wrightsville Beach the next day.

-- Geoff & Sue

For the cruiser:

Portside Marina is directly off of the ICW next to to the cargo terminal. Their dockage rate with a Boat US discount was $1.25/ft. The docks are in OK shape and the staff is very friendly. There's no WIFI, so if you need that you can pull into the Moorehead Yachting Center directly across the street from Portside and pay $2/ft. I didn't need $30 worth of WIFI...

Log ID: 909

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