Finally good weather rolled in. I can’t believe 4 days without rain and cool temperatures, the evening low in the upper 60’s. The only snag, northeast winds, which bring cooler temperature (plus), low humidity (plus), high water in Whittaker Creek (plus), and the stumbling block rough surf in the Pamlico Sound. I e-mail my friend Dave and Gale and asked them if they were up for sailing. They were planning on coming to Oriental on Thursday and staying until the weekend, but not arriving until after 5PM on Thursday. I prepare for a long weekend in Oriental. Michele was able to come down until late Friday night, plus there’s a lot of stuff going on in New Bern this weekend.
When I got to the boat early Thursday morning, I open her up to air it out. The weather was nice and I decided to go out single-handed sailing for a few hours. You couldn’t ask for a better day. The winds were out of the northwest, which meant no fetch on the river. The temperature was in low 80’s. The wind was blowing between 10 to 14 knots. It was great to get underway for a day.
Dave and Gale arrived Thursday evening, and we talk about our plans for Friday. The weather forecast was calling for NE winds at 15 knots. Unfortunately, the forecast was off.
It was beautiful morning on Friday.
We got underway on their boat SiSu, we were expecting the river to be choppy, but forecast was off. The wind was greater than what was forecast. We start heading toward South River, northeast of Oriental. Dave had problem putting his main sail. It wasn’t going up correctly. Dave decided to reef the main but it was difficulty due to the strength of the wind. We decided to tack back to Oriental and call it a day. There several small vessels that decided to the same. On the way back to Oriental, we were in run (running downwind – A point of sail where the true wind is coming from directly behind the sailing craft). I asked if there was way we can fix the main sheet while on the run. I asked if they had any lubricant onboard. No, there left the WD-40 at dock and didn’t anything on the boat. I asked if they had any grease, baby oil, or petroleum jelly. No! How about butter, you had toast this morning for breakfast. So, Dave lubed the rigging with butter and it seem to do the trick. The main sheet was working properly now, but it was still too rough for sailing.
In October of last year, I was talking to Steve Dixon, the owner of “Freebird”. And he told me when he gets northeast on Neuse River in a strong northeast wind, he tack toward Adam’s Creek. You are cutting the surf at 45 degrees and usually a smooth ride. I had never done it and Dave was there when I had the conversation with Dave, so suggest how about heading toward Adam’s Creek. We are already out.
We found out maximum recorded wind in Oriental was 27 knots at 12:47 in the afternoon. The trip to Adam’s Creek was nice. SiSu cut through the surf smoothly. When we got the main for Adam’s Creek, there was fisherman anchored in the middle of the channel, lucky we were able to sail down wind for him. We were hoping a tugboat pushing a barge make him move, but there wasn’t any barges on Friday just other sail boats and shrimping boats.
If felt good sailing down creek past channel marker #8. The last time I been down this way on my sailboat was on the way to Beaufort and I was using my power.
Over all it was a nice day for sailing. Now I know on a northeast wind to head for Adam’s Creek.