Day 14, Year 8: ICW Mile 180 to Mile 244, Neuse River to Camp Lejeune
Date: Saturday, November 17, 2012
Weather: Partly Sunny and Windy; N 15-20, Gusts to 30
Latitude: 34 33.055 N
Longitude: 077 19.529 W
Location: Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 244, Mile Hammock Bay, Camp Lejeune,
NC

The transit of this ‘ditch’ just gets tougher. Today we headed out toward
the sea to Beaufort and Morehead City and then headed down the ICW with the
ocean sometimes visible far to our port across miles of marshlands. It is
beautiful country but we didn’t have time to enjoy it as one of us was
always at the helm and the other was constantly watching the paper and
electronic charts to make sure we were exactly on course. There is very
little margin of error here. So the dolphins and pelicans and other birds
didn’t get photographed today. And when we came to places where there are
inlets from the sea, the going got really tough. The sailboat in front of
us, Spunky, went aground in the Bogue Inlet. We were right behind them when
we saw them keep a floating red to the right and then return to an ICW green
on a pole and immediately go aground. The floating red was a marker for
those coming in from the sea and should have been ignored, but it was very
confusing. We had to go on past them but were relieved to see that they
were able to free themselves and continue on. About that time, I head a
boat named Sanderling calling someone asking for clarification on how to
negotiate a floating red and green in Brown’s Inlet ahead of us. The person
who answered the call told him to go ‘outside’ both marks. Sanderling
interpreted that to mean that he should go around the marks on the sea side.
Wrong. He was aground and had to call Tow Boat US. When we got to this
spot, Sanderling was no longer aground, but the three boats in front of us
slowed down and one called the dredge boat ahead for further clarification.
This time the man said to keep both the red and green to port and favor the
green. His directions were much clearer this time and we all made it
through just fine. We made it to our anchorage for the night but not before
we heard another call for Tow Boat US from a boat aground at the next inlet
at New River. That will be our first inlet tomorrow so we will just have to
hope that we make it through there. Our Tow Boat US insurance expired while
we have been on this trip. I remember getting the email when we were in
Chesapeake City. We took care of that as soon as we got into our anchorage
for the night. We got online and upped our level of insurance. We might
need it tomorrow morning.

Our new friends Bill and Cathy of New Wave got underway early this morning
and almost caught up with us. They are spending the night in Morehead City
and when we called them to tell them about the upcoming shallow spots, they
said they are laying over tomorrow and not moving again until Monday due to
the ugly weather forecast. Right now the winds are roaring and the forecast
for tomorrow is for a 70 per cent chance of rain and winds 25-30 with gusts
to 35. If it was just wind or rain it wouldn’t be so bad, but the
combination sounds really yucky. We’ll wait until in the morning to make a
decision, but we might have to lay over as well. The other option is that
we will leave but just not get quite as far as we had hoped. In any case,
the weather on Monday should be much better, so we will be able to get to
Little River-just maybe not until Tuesday. We shall see.

I talked with my sister today and made plans for our big Thanksgiving
dinner. And I also talked to Heather and Oliver. Jed, Sam, and Jonah were
in Boston for the Yale-Harvard football game, but Heather and Oliver stayed
home as Oliver now has the cold that Jonah had earlier in the week. It was
so much fun to hear Oliver babbling in the background. I just know I heard
him say, “Hello, Oma. I love you.” Sure miss that little guy.

121117 Day 14 Passage South, USA–ICW Mile 180 to Mile 244
Day 15, Year 8: ICW Mile 244 to Mile 283, Camp Lejeune to Wrightsville Beach
Day 13, Year 8: ICW Mile 102 to Mile 175+4, Alligator River to Neuse River