Ahhh…Day 13 starts off with a thud, Christy slightly sprained her ankle yesterday and today it’s pretty sore. It was right after she talked to Charlie on the phone so I’m pretty sure he had something to do with it. So there was to be no wandering of the town. I did patch the dinghy though but it won’t be for another 24 hours till we see if it works. The older couple I saw at the gas dock a couple of days ago in that terrible storm are a couple of slips away, so it’s nice to know that they survived.
When the other boat starts up and leaves we decide that we may as well head out too. We secure all our gear and get ready to go, turn the key and ……..nothing. Crap. Now I get out all my tools, take apart the engine enclosure and start to diagnose the problem. It turns out to be some bullshit wiring job by the previous owner and were underway by 1110. The wind is blowing between 10 and 15 knots off the starboard beam, we have both sails fully up and we’re running along at better than 7 and half knots. It’s an absolutely perfect sail for better than 20 miles on the same tack. The sun is out and its tee shirt weather even with the sides of the enclosure open.
About 5 miles before we reach our destination we have to drop the sails because the wind is straight behind us and the entrance to the Alligator River is somewhat sketchy. We motor into the channel and it’s not well marked and seems to be rather confusing. We’re headed straight into the setting sun making seeing the surface of the water extremely difficult. We can’t seem to get the marks straight when we realize why. Ones missing, then bang!, scrape!, we look behind to see an 8 inch piece of I-beam just under the surface of the water protruding up from the bottom. Even without the sun, I don’t think either one of us would have seen it. I take the helm while Christy goes below to see if we’re taking on water. Everything seems to be okay, it was only a glancing blow but we’ll have to be short hauled in Oriental, N.C. to see what repairs if any we might need.
The marina we’re staying in for the night is the only one for 30 miles in one direction and 50 miles to the south. The fuel dock and slips all look brand new, it’s very nice. Its way out in the sticks, the restaurant on the premises is not open due to lack of help so Christy and I along with 2 other couples on huge powerboats eat dinner at the local gas station which is part of the same establishment. It was bizarre, picture a 7-11 with 6 tables along one wall. The woman who sold us diesel cooked us dinner. No, I’m not kidding. You had to place your order at the counter, swing by the cooler and take a beer out of a six pack and grab a table. Christy even went for the crab cakes and everything was really very good.
Tomorrow we should be underway by 0700 or so for the 50 mile trip to Belhaven N.C. We should be able to sail for the first 16 miles or so and then it’s into the Pungo River Canal where we will be forced to motor again.