It was another gorgeous day for sailing. It rained most of the week in North Carolina along the coast. They were calling for no rain for the entire weekend, and there is Full Moon on Monday. Hopefully I will get chance to capture it over the weekend. I went out sailing on National Flag Day, June 14. Friday evening would have been perfect for a sunset cruise, but it is hard to sail a boat and take pictures at the same.
So where did I go? They were calling for NorthWest wind 10-15 knot, and the forecast was right on. It was cloudy when I arrived at the boat, but you can see that front was moving away toward the east. When I got under at 10:30 at docks, to a cool 68 degrees and while sailing I had to put wind breaker on. I never been to River Dunes, which a waterfront community that offers the best in coastal living and year-round boating. It is located on the Pamlico Sound and Intracoastal Waterway and the mouth of the Neuse River. Unfortunately, I never made it that far, I made it to Gum Thicket Shoal, just south of River Dunes. River Dunes is of Brown Creek.
While heading Northeast on the Neuse River toward the Pamlico Sound, the winds started picking up. When I got adjacent to South River, the winds were constantly at 12-13 knots. When I got to Gum Thicket Shoal they were at 18 plus knots. Because I was single-handed sailing, I decided to turn around. I went out for 4 hours and travel 13 nautical mile (a nautical mile is 1.1508 miles, or 6,076 feet). I was averaging 3 knots speed, and my maximum speed was 5.9 knots.
For the pictures, I used my 7+ iPhone and Nikon D7100 DSLR camera with the Nikon DX AF-S Nikkon 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 GI lens. Out of the three lenses I have, the Nikkon 18-55 was original lens that came with the camera and I hardy use.
There is rebate about using a smartphone camera over a DSLR camera and sales of the DSLR gone down, but the quality isn’t the same. For example, the following to picture were take moment apart while underway with the iPhone 7+ and Nikon D7100 with 18-55mm lens. Because I was sailing and at the helm, I had the DSLR camera (Nikon D7100) in AUTO mode.
The Nikon picture was taken at 13:52 Latitude: 35° 1′ 0.978″ N ; Longitude: 76° 39′ 48.456″ W
The iPhone picture was taken at 13:53 Latitude: 35° 1′ 0.82″ N;Longitude: 76° 39′ 50.19″ W. I think Nikon capture the moment correctly.
The following are other pictures I took while underway.
Today, 4th of June and it was a gorgeous day for sailing. The temperature was in the low 80’s, the winds out of the NE at 10-15 knots, bring in the cool temperatures. The sky was partially cloudy. Yes it was a gorgeous day for sailing, too bad I had to do it solo. My wife was busy at work and could not take the day off. I was thinking about anchoring out over night, but going to Taylor Creek or any where there is current, it would be difficult doing it single handed. So I just went out for a few hours.
Start Time: 06/04/2019 10:15 AM
End Time: 06/04/2019 03:08 PM
Track Max Speed: 6.12 kts
I first tack was to Adam’s Creek. I was thinking heading down Adam’s Creek and eventual the ICW, but decided to head toward Minnesott Beach instead. When I got to Pierson Point, I started tacking back. Heading from Adam’s Creek to Pierson Point, I was cruising downwind. When you’re out sailing there are different ‘points of sail’, which refer to your boat’s course in relation to the wind,Do you know your points of sail?. When you are cruising downwind, the wind is directly behind and can be relaxing. A good time to have lunch.
On my tacks back, I was at a close hauled. The winds were out of the Northeast at 10-15 knots, must of the time around 13 or 14 knots. There were very little chop and with a 14 knot winds, I was kneeling at 15 degrees and make 4.9 knots speed on my tacks back to Whittaker Creek.
There wasn’t many boats or vessels on the river. But, I did spot an old Navy or Army Landing craft.
I guess it would be cool to own one. YES, it was a a gorgeous day for sailing.
Another wet weekend. So what else is new. Did you ever notice that it rains more on weekend, then during the work week. If you are retire like me, then it doesn’t matter. But for my wife who isn’t retire, then you are waiting for the weekend to go sailing, or to take a romance walk on the beach, or to go for a nice motorcycle ride on the back roads of Eastern North Carolina. It was another rainy weekend in Eastern North Carolina, but that didn’t stop us. Friday night we walked around downtown New Bern for their monthly Art walk. Saturday, we took a drove to Oriental for their annual boat show. There was also the North Carolina State Sailpack Regatta in town. Eighteen teams are competing in the Sailpack Regatta. After Saturday’s sailing Jacksonville University is in 1st, NC State 2nd, and Clemson 3rd.
I used my Nikon D7100 camera with the Nikon Nikko 50mm f/1:18G lens for the sunset at Atlantic Beach.
The Latitude and Longitude for the regatta was 35° 1′ 29.91″ N and 76° 41′ 44.142″ W
I love taking pictures of Coast Guard vessels, maybe it was because I served in the United States Coast Guard between 1975 to 1985.
Oriental Town Dock at 12:39 iPhone 7 plus
Oriental Town Dock at 12:34 iPhone 7 plus
Oriental Town Dock at 12:33 iPhone 7 plus
Oriental Town Dock at 12:34Shutter Speed: 1/160Aperture: f/6.3 ISO: 200
I was boat coxswain in Coast Guard, and I never captain the 45Ft. When I was in the Coast Guard, at the small boat station in Portsmouth Harbour, New Hampshire and at Cape Cod Canal Station in Sandwich Massachusetts, we had the 41FT and my favorite 44FT. The 45FT RB-M is designed for multiple missions, including search and rescue, was introduced to the fleet in 2015.
Length: 45 feet
Beam: 14 feet, 7.75 inches
Draft: 3 feet, 4 inches
Displacement: 36,500 pounds
Maximum Speed: 42.5 knots
Range: 250 nautical miles at 30 knots
Endurance: one day
The Coast Guard 44 FT Motor Life Boat were designed by the US Coast Guard and built in the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, MD. They are virtually unsinkable, needing to have the 9 water-tight compartments filled with water before they will go under. The 44 FT were designed to operate up to 50 miles offshore in 30 foot waves and 20 foot breaking surf close into shore. They have room for 21 survivors below decks and have approximately a 250 nautical mile cruising range. Since the boat was designed to tow up to 125 tons, she may assist much larger vessels to reach safety.
I didn’t take that many shots of the Sailpack Regatta.
The 30th of October would probably be the last time I get to go sailing this year. I was hoping on sailing more during the month of October, but that didn’t happen. October was busy month and probably the best time for doing anything in North Carolina. The evenings are cool, and days are sunny with warm temperatures, and very little humidity. I started the month out hiking in the mountains in western part of North Carolina. Then there was funnel the following weekend we needed to attend, and the third weekend a wedding. I was planning on getting underway on Monday and anchoring out until Thursday, but mother nature did not cooperate me. There were small craft warning from Sunday afternoon to Monday evening and another set of small craft warning for Wednesday to Saturday afternoon. Therefore Tuesday was the best day to take a day cruise. Unfortunately, I forget to bring my camera, so there isn’t any picture of the trip. There were many snowbirds heading south for the winter, so day I will be one of them.
Tuesday was prefect with the temperature in mid-70s and the winds out of northwest wind at 10-15 knots. I would had stay out longer, but my GPS was acting up. When my GPS on the console start acting up, that usually means my battery is losing power. It been 2 months since Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina and I still don’t have power at the dock. I haven’t been able to charge my battery since the first week of September. I look at it this way, there is always spring. My wife doesn’t mind cruising for a couple days, but she made it clear I am not going to spend the winter in Florida without her.
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.
Nikon Camera – 06:31:57
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.
On Saturday, I was looking for something to do. My wife went to a bridal shower in Benson, NC and I am home alone with my two dogs (Ziva and Harley). It wasn’t a nice a day to go sailing, beside my dogs doesn’t like the sail boat. The wind was from the SSW at 15-20 knots, which would mean not enough water in Whittaker Creek to take the boat out. The maximum wind for Oriental on Saturday was 26 knots. Back in 2007, I moved the boat down to Oriental, because Broad Creek in Washington, NC had the some issues. The past hurricane seasons took it toll on the Neuse River and southern Pamlico Sound. The last reason for not going sailing, because the river was to busy the One Design Regatta. The starting line for the regatta was at the entrance for Whittaker Creek.
Me the dogs went to Oriental to watch the regatta. I use my Nikon D7100 with a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5/6 G ED VR lens to capture some pictures.
You can see have windy it was for the small sailboats. There were several the capsize.
On June 8, I decided to do some single-handed sailing on the Neuse River. The weather forecast looked good; northwest wind at 5-10 knots, clear sky, and no rain. Usually the wind is higher than what is forecast, but in this case it wasn’t. It was dead calm in the middle of the river. While at the dock, I thought I was going to have a good sailing experience. The wind was pushing me off the dock, but when I got into the middle of river it was dead calm. I only went sailing for a hour. I spent more preparing and cleaning up the boat, then I did sailing.
Practice, practice, and more practice, so that is what I did with my Nikon D7100 camera and on sailboat on Monday.
The last weekend in April and the first week of May is and was gorgeous. I started out taking pictures of the wild life in my backyard and moon rising in the evening.
ISO 3200 f/5.6 1/160 on 26th of April
April 28 in Oriental, NC ISO 100 f/11 1/125
April 28 in Oriental, NC ISO 100 f/11 1/125
Moon rise on 28th of April at 19:45:08. The moon was at 98% Waxing Gibbous ISO 200 f/8 1/125
Moon rise on 28th of April at 19:54:49. The moon was at 98% Waxing Gibbous ISO 200 f/8 1/125
Moon rise on 28th of April at 19:59.55. The moon was at 98% Waxing Gibbous ISO 200 f/8 1/125
On Sunday 29 April, the moon was full. We decided to drive down to Oriental to capture the moon rise over the Neuse River. It was a good call.
Moon Rise at 19:48:57 Full Moon 100% ISOP 800 f/4.8 1/160
Moon Rise at 20:10:52 Full Moon 100% ISO 200 f/9 1/200
Moon Rise at 20:10:26 Full Moon 100% ISO 200 f/9 1/200
Moon Rise at 20:10:08 Full Moon 100% ISO 200 f/9 1/200
Moon Rise at 20:07:50 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/4.8 1/6
Moon Rise at 20:07:21 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/4.8 1/6
Moon Rise at 19:59:05 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/2.5 1/125
Moon Rise at 19:58:35 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/2.5 1/125
Moon Rise at 19:56:56 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/2.5 1/100
Moon Rise at 19:53:50 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/2.5 1/125
Moon Rise at 19:53:45 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/2.5 1/125
Moon Rise at 19:52.50 Full Moon 100% ISO 500 f/8 1/25
Moon Rise at 19:52.16 Full Moon 100% ISO 640 f/7 1/25
The Neuse River before Moon rise at 19:41;16
The weather was ideal for sailing on Monday, and rearrange a sail date with my friend Dave, who was in the Coast Guard also. We met down at the docks and decided to take my boat out. I checked the weather forecast again to make sure nothing changed. The forecast was the same, Northwest wind in the morning at 5 to 10 knots, becoming West in the afternoon at 10-15 knots. With both a Northwest and West wind, we can stay in the same tack heading out the sound on the Neuse River. At one point, when the wind was out of the West at 16 knots, we were keeling at 35 degree. I told Dave that if my wife was onboard, then we would have to level it off. While sailing on a beam reach back to Oriental with a 16 knot wind, we were making 7 knots. The nice thing about a West and Northwest wind, first there is plenty of water in the creek to motor out to the river. Second, there is very little fetch. Wave height is affected by wind speed, wind duration (or how long the wind blows). The fetch, which is the distance over water that the wind blows in a single direction. Therefore we had good wind and smooth water condition. The third thing nice about a Northwest wind, it is usually associated with cool temperatures and low humidity. You could not ask for better conditions for the Neuse River.
Dave ask if I want to stay for a beer. We leave the mooring at 11:00 AM and did not return until 17:15. We sailed to South River, because Dave never been there and wanted to check it out. We travel 22 knots and at one point reach a maximin speed of 7 knots. We saw a school of skates in the Neuse River and pods of dolphin in the South River. Because I was handling the lines, I did not get a chance to take any pictures. In morning, I woke up early to capture the moon setting and the sunset.
It was a busy weekend. Michele stated that she wanted to getup of the house. She works from home 5 days a week and wanted a break.
We were on the go for 12 hours, starting with the Tryon Palace Gardens (free admission over the weekend), then the Pottery Festival at the Historical Society in New Bern, then the New Bern Farmer’s Market, and last but not least the Oriental Boat Show. We did not get home under 9 PM. Therefore, I think I kept her busy for one day. My son Daniel stop on the way home from Atlantic Beach Sunday. It was off and on rain, so we cook him a bunch.
I been subscribing to Photography Life dot com. The key to being a good photographer is to practice, practice, and more practice. So I take a lot of random shoots in the backyard, at the beach, and especially at special events like the Tryon Palace Garden. On the 8th, we went to Swansboro for lunch and eat at an Irish Pub and Deli. On Friday and Saturday, I went to Tryon Palace to take pictures at the garden. It more crowded on Friday with photographers than Saturday, but I think I got good shoots on both days.
April 8 – Swansboro
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 125 f/7 1/250
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 125 f/7 1/250
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 125 f/8 1/250
April 11 – Backyard wildlife
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 900 f/5.6 1/125
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 1100 f/5.6 1/125
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 1100 f/5.6 1/125
Nikon 7100 70-300mm ISO 1000 f/5.6 1/125
April 12 – Sunset on Neuse River
April 13 – Tryon Palace Garden
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 250 f/5.6 1/160
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 400 f/4.5 1/80
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 720 f/8 1/50
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 560 f/8 1/50
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 640 f/8 1/50
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 360 f/8 1/50
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 800 f/8 1/50
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 400 f/4 1/60
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 500 f/4 1/60
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 800 f/7 1/80
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 800 f/7 1/80
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 200 f/6.3 1/160
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 125 f/8 1/250
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 125 f/8 1/250
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 125 f/8 1/250
April 14 – Tryon Palace Garden with a Tripod
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 200 f/8 1/200
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 320 f/8 1/250
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 100 f/8 1/250
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 800 f/4.5 1/125
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 720 f/8 1/100
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 100 f/8 1/125
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 140 f/5.6 1/160
Nikon 7100 Nikkor 50mm AF-S 1:1.8G ISO 100 f/5.6 1/160
Being semi-retire is great, which means I have 4 day weekend every weekend until I retire at the end of March 2018. Unfortunately the weather is not cooperating with me. The first week in October, they calling for clear skies for 5 days. You made ask “what’s wrong with that forecast”? I am planning on going to sailing and there are also calling for ““small craft advisory” until Thursday afternoon. A Small Craft Advisory is issue for coastal and lakes that could be hazardous to small boats. There is no precise definition of a small craft. Any vessel that may be adversely affected by Small Craft Advisory criteria should be considered a small craft. According to the U.S Coast Guard (“http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2009/10/small-craft-advisories-and-boating-safety/“), Small Craft Advisory (SCA) advisory is based on the weather and sea conditions in a specific geographic area rather than on the size and type of boat. For the South,
Southern (GA to TX and Caribbean) – Sustained winds of 20-33 knots, and/or forecast seas 7 feet or greater that are expected for more than 2 hours.
Really, Small Craft Advisory until Thursday afternoon. Sometime I just can’t win. Lucky for the Neuse River the SCA was only for Monday Morning (2 October) and SCA were was for Ocracoke and Cape Lookout. So guess where I am not heading. That is correct, I am not heading toward Ocracoke or Cape Lookout. My sailboat been moored most of the summer and I need the training and to get underway. So, I decided to head to New Bern. How ironic, I live in New Bern and I will sail from Oriental to New Bern. It was about 24 nm (natural miles) by water, which mean 5 to 6 hours course depending on the sailing conditions.
They were calling fore 15-20 knots wind out of the Northeast for both Monday and Tuesday for the Neuse River, and for the lower part of the Neuse River (between New Bern and Minnesott Beach) 10-15 knots winds out of the Northeast. In English, part of the trip will be rough and other half will be smooth sailing. Between Minnesota Beach and Oriental, the Neuse River flows Northeast. From New Bern to Minnesota Beach, it flows Southeast. The roughest part of the trip will be coming home (back to Oriental), 12 knot miles of batten against the wind.
On Sunday afternoon, I left New Bern for Oriental to prepare for my 2 or 3 days adventure. The temperature are prefect, mid 70’s all week with lows in in the upper 50s. Even if I have to anchor out, the temperature is cool enough for comfort sleep. I would prefer to sailing to Cape Lookout, but the SCA scary me. I leave Oriental at 10:00 am. I starting prep the boat for getting underway at 09:00. It takes time to made sure every is secure for my trip. The winds where out of the Northeast at 18 knots as I enter the Neuse River. Because I was heading for New Bern, I will be running down wind all the way to Minnesota Beach.
A point of sail is a sailing craft’s direction of travel under sail in relation to the true wind direction over the surface. At 180° off the wind (sailing in the same direction as the wind), a craft is “running downwind”. From Minnesota Beach to New Bern, I should be at “broad reach”, a point of sail at At 135° off the wind.
There were several other sailboat on the river. I spotted two sailing heading toward the mouth of the the Neuse River. The mouth of the Neuse River is 8 miles from Oriental. The Neuse—derived from the Native American Neusiok tribe and translating to “peace”. Dolphins and alligators are seen regularly in the estuary, and sharks and manatees occasionally appear as far upriver as New Bern. But, in October will not be seeing any marine life.
There was one sailing boat following me to New Bern. When I got close to Fairfield Harbour, I decided to hail the New Bern Grand Marina (NBGM “http://www.newberngrandmarinayachtclub.com/“). But that was long way off and first needed to made it to Minnesota Beach and turn the corner. It was to rough to take pictures while underway (in the upper part of the Neuse). Sailing single handedly in 18 knots is a workout. I did not think it alway through and did not put water or some thing to drink in the cockpit. Even on a running downwind, the seas were 2 to 3 feet and at time the vessel was surfing on the waves. Waves in the sound are different than those in the ocean. Waves are created by energy passing through water, causing it to move in a circular motion. However, water does not actually travel in waves. Waves transmit energy, not water, across the ocean and if not obstructed by anything, they have the potential to travel across an entire ocean basin.
Waves are most commonly caused by wind. Wind-driven waves, or surface waves, are created by the friction between wind and surface water. As wind blows across the surface of the ocean or sound, the continual disturbance creates a wave crest. The major difference is that there is any interval, and they just come right after another. It took me 6 hours to arrive at the New Bern Grand Marina. It took 3 hours to get Minnesott Beach averaging 4.6 knots for 12.7 nm. From Minnesott Beach to New Bern (on a broad reach), it took over 3 hours averaging 3.9 knots for 16 nm. The wind was still from the Northeast, but after making the turn toward New Bern it came down to 15 knots.
My stay in New Bern was lovely. Michele came drove to the marina in the downtown area. We had dinner at MJ’s Raw Bar & Grill (“http://www.mjsrawbar.com/“). We ate there several times and food is always good. I enjoy the Fish & Chips, while Michele had the fish Taco Wrap. In the past, I had their crab cakes too. It was the perfect evening to capture the Moonrise. The pictures where taken at 19:27:42 from the slip I was moored at. It’s was busier at the NBGM than at my marina in Oriental. It was in walking distance to the restaurants and to MJ’s.
New Bern have a nice water front park. There is walk way from the Neuse River to the Tryon Palace. In the morning, I walked down the water front to catch the sunset at 07:07. People were out walking their dogs, and every one is said “Hello” or “Good Morning” as they walk by. New Bern would be a great place to retire. I guess that was the reason why I moved to New Bern in the first place, because it is a great place to retire. Don’t take my words, google New Bern and you will find links like “http://www.greatamericancountry.com/places/local-life/what-its-like-to-live-in-new-bern-north-carolina“.
At 0900, I cast off to Oriental. I checked the weather the forecast again to see if any changed. If the conditions at Ocracoke or Cape Lookout got better. Unfortunately, they didn’t and it will be 15-20 knots from Minnesota Beach to Oriental.
From Fairfield Harbour to Oriental, it took me 5 1/4 hours, averaging 2.9 knots. The distance was 21.3 nm. I have nice app for the iPhone from Navionics. It is great GPS. I stop to take the picture of the weather condition and stop recording between New Bern and Fairfield Harbour, which is about 2 nm.
On the first half I was doing great, 16 knot winds. I reef my main sail, and put the boom out to maximize my speed. I was doing 6 knot and at time 6.5 knots (when then wind reached 18 knots), but when I got to Minnesott Beach and made that turn Northeast into the wind, my average speed dropped to 2.8 knots. I haven’t master sailing the Neuse River on a strong Northeast wind between 15 to 20 knots. The ride was enjoyable when I was tracking, but the only problem was after doing 4 tracks, I only wind up going 100 yards. I wasn’t making any head way. So, I motor from Pierson Point to Oriental. It was in rough seas pounding the waves. I tried staying as close to land as possible to cut down the fletch on the wind. It was rougher in the middle of the river.
I moored in Oriental around 1500 and straighten up the vessel. I planned to drive back down on Thursday to wash her. When I got home, I made dinner for Michele and asked for we could catch the sunset at Atlantic Beach. I wanted to capture a pictures to end my perfect adventure.
And we did. We took our dog Ziva with us. She likes running in the sand. She isn’t much of a water day, but she like running on the beach. October is nice time to visit the North Carolina beaches. Most of the tourist are gone and you can walk on the beach peacefully.
You could not ask for a better day to shaking the dust out of sails. Mother’s Day would be the first time getting underway for 2017. I was excited and looking forward to spending the afternoon sailing on the Neuse River. It was rainy and cloudy on Friday and Saturday, but the weather forecast was calling for clear sky and mild temperature for Mother’s Day, and winds from the NW at 10-15 knots.
Lucky, we went out to dinner with my boys on Saturday evening for Mother’s Day, which freed up our Sunday. My first-mate (Michele) was apprehensive, this would the be her first time under way for over a year. I was fortunate enough to spend last summer working afloat, while we were in the transition of moving to New Bern, NC. This would also be our first time sailing without our wimpy crew member (Ziva). Ziva is our an eight year old mix want to be. We are not sure what breed she is, but she is a good house dog and companion. Ziva isn’t a water dog. She tolerate being on the water for a while, then she starts whining. She does better on a kayaks than sailboat. I think she have issues with kneeling.
Sunday was a perfect day for sailing. Even though Michele was apprehensive, I convince her to go sail. With NW wind at 10-15 knot and coming across our beam, the river would be smooth and giving us a nice smooth ride keeping the kneeling down to 10 degree or below. Personnel I like it 15-20 degrees for an adrenaline rush, but Michele not so such. During dinner on Saturday, we chatting about our plans for going sailing. Both my boys remember when we once had the sailboat at a 30 plus degree kneel (I did it just to see now the boat and crew would react). It was a adrenaline rush for every one expect for Michele.
The plan was to tack from Oriental Harbor to Adams Creek. It took me a while to get the Navionics App on my iPhone to work properly. Therefore when you look at what we recorded, it will be off by 15 minutes (getting under-way was more important than getting the app to work properly).
The first tack was the hardest, but after that we were doing it like a pro. It’s easy to tack with a 10 to 15 knot wind at your beam. Because this was Michele first time being under way for over a year, I was quizzing her on basic sailing terminology and technique. I even throw in several knots. Every sailor should at least know how to tie a bowline knot.
We were not alone on the river. There were several sailing vessels enjoying the Sunday afternoon. We were living the dream. When we moved to New Bern in 2016, it give us the opportunity to going sailing in the evening or afternoon. There were no more 120 miles to get to where we moor our sailboat. We got under way around 1pm and moored at 3:30 pm.
Around 3 pm, the wind shift to SW and pickup to 18 knots. I decided to call it day and end it on good note. We were already on Oriental side of the river, which made it a smooth transition to heading back Whittaker Creek. Mother’s Day 2017 will be in the record book as one of the best. I did miss not having my boys around, but we ended the weekend on as high note and dinner at the Ruddy Duck Tavern in Morehead City.
On April 1st, and no April fools, the sailing capital of North Carolina hosted 2017 Sail Pack Oriental Inter-Conference Regatta. Sail Pack, because it was a North Carolina State University (NCSU) event.
Unfortunately the local schools did not do well. The weather was perfect. The wind was from the Northwest at 156 knot on Saturday giving the sailors a nice beam reach. The sky were clear and temperature in the mid 70’s. Sunday was difference story, the wind was coming out of the Northeast at 10-15 knots giving the sailors 1 to 2 foot chop. Over all for the first weekend in April, what more can you ask for.
The following is list and standing of the colleges that participated.