Day 6, Year 10: ICW-Coinjock, NC to Alligator River, NC
Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Weather: Sunny and Warm, Winds SW 10 to 15
Latitude: 35 40.373 N
Longitude: 076 05.580 W
Total Miles Traveled: 497 Nautical Miles
Miles Traveled Today: 48 Nautical Miles
Location: Tuckaho Point, Alligator River, NC, Mile 104 on the Intracoastal Waterway

The weather today was just perfect making for a most enjoyable day. Tonight’s anchorage is a new one to us. It is only a mile or so from another anchorage we have used, but it has a character all its own. When you are in swamp country, you have to look at the details to see any differences, but they are there. We had a good day crossing the Albemarle Sound, but we didn’t get to sail as the wind was on the nose all day. We left the dock at the Coinjock Marina at 7:15 am, but we were just about the only boat left on the dock. I guess everyone else was in a bigger hurry than us. But then, the other boats were all motor boats except for one sailboat (named Coco) and they get going early, go fast, and put many miles under their belts each day.

We left Coinjock and wound our way through swamp country for a about three hours before entering the Albemarle Sound. It took another three hours to cross the Sound. We had to wait a very short time to get through the Alligator River Swing Bridge and then it was another three plus hours of motoring to transit the Alligator River. Our anchorage tonight is within sight of the entrance to the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal, a very narrow 20 mile long canal that we will transit tomorrow morning and then on into the Pungo and Pamlico Rivers. This will mean more motoring. In fact, we don’t expect to get to sail for the entire ICW trip to Little River. But we take turns being on watch and just enjoy the days. There are about ten sailboats anchored within two miles of us tonight. And there are quite a few motor yachts headed south. But the anchorages are not too crowded, so that is good.

We have been very pleased with the performance of the new heading sensor that Mark installed before we left. We have been able to use the auto pilot for the entire trip so far. In the past, when we were in the narrow confines of some of the canals, we had to hand steer because the auto pilot had us swinging from side to side. The heading sensor, at least so far, keeps us nicely on the straight and narrow. The other new addition, using a tablet for navigation with Plan2Nav software and C-Map charts is also working nicely. The one problem is that the tablet needs to be recharged every four hours. We don’t have a power source for it in the cockpit, so when it comes below to be charged we fall back on our old C-Map and NOAA charts on Open CPN. That is not nearly as satisfactory, so we have to get power to the pedestal for the tablet. In the meantime, we will just switch back and forth and make do.

141016 Day 6 Passage to SC, USA–Intracoastal, Coinjock, NC to Alligator River, NC
Day 7, Year 10: ICW—Alligator River, NC to Bay River, NC
Day 5, Year 10: Intracoastal Waterway—Chesapeake, VA to Coinjock, NC