November 4, 2009.
Anchored here in Morehead City we didn’t have the luxury of internet to aid us in making an informed weather decision. There are dozens of wifi signals but all are password protected. Bastards. So we listened to NOAA on the VHF, we used Skymate to grab an update and called our friend Jay for a weather update. Based on all these inputs we decided that an overnighter on the ocean wasn’t in the cards. As it stands there’s some ugliness scattered over the next couple of days with Friday being unfit for neither man nor beast out on the deep blue. So our choice was to either sit in Morehead City (with no internet) until Friday rolled around to see what happens or to head off down the ICW making our way slowly south. I guess something is better than nothing, so away we go.
When we retired for the night the wind was non existent. Since we had dropped the hook so early in the day I forgot that our American flag was still up on the backstay. I usually take it down every night at sunset. Of course by 0200 the wind had started to kick a bit and had the flag flapping vigorously. The metal clips for the flag bang against the backstay. The sound travels straight down the backstay right into our frontal lobes as we pretend to be able to sleep through the racket. So, as a result we were both wide awake and ready to go before 0600.
We had the hook up and retraced our way out of the anchorage. The mainsail was soon up and shortly afterwards the genoa made its debut and the engine was off. It was only to be a 45 mile day ending at Mile Hammock Bay. We were able to sail the 25 mile length of Bogue Sound at better than 8 knots due to a great tidal push. We had to start the engine and drop the sails for the last 20 miles of the day as we wove our way through the ICW to our anchorage.
Mile Hammock Bay is part of the military base at Camp LeJeune. It’s a wonderfully protected, very popular anchorage along a stretch of the ICW with very few options besides a stay at a marina. While we were sitting in the cockpit reading we were treated to the sight on a small intracoastal cruise liner making his way along the ICW. How the hell he can make it through these waters just baffles the hell outta me and I was glad we were anchored when he came past. Talk about a big fish in a small pond.
The next suitable stop for us is at least 40 miles away at Wrightsville Beach. Even leaving at first light an 80 mile day was out of the question as days get shorter. With our early departure we arrived early and had the hook down by 1300 hours. We spent the afternoon reading and watching the anchorage fill in around us. And I did remember to take the flag down at sunset.