Wednesday, June 3, 2009

May 30, 2009.

Last nights forecast of violent thunderstorms turned out to be spot on. We had a good bit of rain, some gusting winds and of course thunder and lightning. The unusual thing was that Christy slept through it all. She’s usually a very light sleeper so we were both pretty surprised that she slept so soundly.

We were up and underway at 0700 for the 46 mile day to Mile Hammock Bay. The issue with the day, besides the adverse tidal flow and lack of water was to be the bridges we had to transit. There are 3 in a 15 miles span and they all have a strict opening schedule.

The chartplotter incorporates some software that calculates your estimated time of arrival at each bridge if you maintain a certain speed. So I can see that if I maintain my present speed that I will arrive at the next bridge 17 minutes early. So I usually chop the throttle a bit and take my time arriving so we don’t have to sit and try to hold position in front of the bridge forever while every small powerboat for a hundred miles comes blasting by.

Even so, sometimes it just doesn’t help. We ended up spending a total of an hour and a half dilly dallying while waiting for bridges to open today. It’s frustrating but it is what it is.

The ICW can be exceptionally boring but every once in a while you see something that just leaves you wondering. Today we saw a house for sale with a 20 foot tall giraffe in the backyard. Selling point? I dunno.

Then of course there was the house that’s practically its own private island. It sits at the end of a long narrow peninsula and is exceptionally “pink”. I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen this color of hot pink on a house before, not even in the Bahamas.

Our arrival in Oriental felt like the end of a long road. We turned into Whittaker Creek and crept along with the usual 6 inches of water under us. At the end of the creek we have to turn around and come starboard side to our friends, the Small’s backyard dock.

As usual we ran aground a few feet from the dock. There’s no tide per se up here in the creek. The water is influenced by the prevailing winds. When the wind is from the southwest the water is blown out of the Neuse River and the water in Whitaker Creek goes with it. Luckily there were some docklines attached to the piling that Christy could reach with her boat pole. We got lines attached fore and aft and warped the boat alongside the dock.

It’s good to be here as we’ve got a few chores to do.

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