Sunday, June 30, 2013

Final Leg of Journey

June 28, 2013

I hate the Albemarle Sound.  I hated going across it from Elizabeth City to Ocracoke and I hated it today as we left Alligator River.  A quote from describes the experience perfectly.

The Albemarle Sound has the deserved reputation of sporting the roughest inland waters on the Eastern Seaboard. North Carolina’s two predominant wind directions, southwest and northeast, tend to funnel all the way up or down the sound’s entire length. Coupled with the relatively shallow depths (only about 15 to 18 feet along its mid-line), this long wind fetch often spawns short (close together), steep chop which can sometimes jar the fillings out of your teeth.

The waves this morning were forecasted at 1-2 feet, but were closer to three as we made our way up North. As we got hit from the chaotic waves, the boat leaned over a little too much for my comfort. Once again, we put on our life preservers and we put everything in the sink that was sitting out.  For the first time the whole trip, Bella was shaking too. I think this was worse than the storm yesterday because the rocking and rolling lasted so much longer.  Also, we had to be diligent on crab pot patrol.  We passed Ocean Music as we tried to find a way out of the turbulence. Our tug has better stability when we travel at a faster speed.  Finally, we entered the creek up to Coinjock. Everything was calm again.  Soon Ocean Music passed us as we slowed down. Sarah came up to the helm and helped me navigate. It was before noon and we decided not to stop in Coinjock.

We had been reading about the Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge. reviews raved about the maintenance work. So we decided to head on up to that marina and get a haul out to have the repair work done on the rudder seal.  (7-16-2013 Update:  The rudder seal was replaced and the bilge is very, very dry!!!)  You can read more about it here:

It was another long day. We left Alligator River Marina by 7:45 and we made it to Great Bridge by 3:00.  It was above 90 degrees with no breeze as we pulled in.  Once I knew we were hauling out, I had about an hour to pack up everything. When we docked, we tossed everything out as quickly as possible to be able to get the boat hauled out before they closed. Sarah took Bella for a walk. Then we saw Rainshadow get lifted out of the water.  

Watching Rainshadow haul out
This is how our trip ended.  We waited a couple of hours until our older daughter, Kelsey,  could pick us up a bring us home.

The next day, Charlie and Kelsey went back to the boat to leave the rudder seal kit and close the boat.  They also worked on the white rubber streak on our hull from leaving Beaufort.  They were successful in buffing it out - with a lot of elbow grease I might add.

It was a good trip, we met wonderful people, experienced new places and learned a great deal about cruising!  We also grew more attached to our tug. She got us through some pretty hairy experiences, with a ton of help from Charlie.

I began writing this blog at the request of They just launched a new beautiful blog site.  Sometimes they post a story from my blog. But I am no journalist. This is hard work!  Take a look at the site. There are also professional journalists and good stories.

As a memento, Charlie created this track of our trip. The orange circles are all the places we stopped.

Intracoastal Waterway Trip June 2013

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