Day 11, Year 8: ICW Mile 12 to Mile 50, Great Bridge to Coinjock
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Weather: Partly Sunny, Winds Starting at NE 4-6, Building to NNE 25-30
Latitude: 36 20.987 N
Longitude: 075 56.886 W
Location: Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 50, Coinjock, NC

The day started out on a calm note, but unfortunately that all changed
before noon. During the morning we made our way through the cypress swamp
sighting a bald eagle and a deer swimming across the canal right in front of
us. The cypress swamp turned to grassy swamp as we entered the Currituck
Sound and then the wind piped up. By the time we were crossing that broad
open expanse of water, the winds were a good 25 to 30 knots. We had hoped
to go beyond Mile 50 tonight and anchor closer to Mile 60. but the only
anchorage deep enough for Windbird didn’t look like it would be all that
protected. So we stopped at Mile 50 at the Coinjock Marina. It was early
in the day and since we have so many miles to go, we really hated stopping
so early and having to pay to stay in a marina, but in the end we were
really glad that we made that decision. A boat that was in front of us this
morning, New Wave from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, went on past Coinjock to
go to the anchorage that was our original destination. Then another
sailboat went by headed in that direction. We were feeling very guilty for
not going on, and then about that time, both sailboats returned. We met
Bill and Cathy on New Wave and they explained that when they got to the
anchorage area the wind was roaring and there was very little protection so
they had to turn around and come back the ten miles to Coinjock. They move
a bit faster than Windbird, so if we had done the same thing, it would have
been dusk by the time we got back here. Prudence won in this instance.

We had dinner with Bill and Cathy who are on their way to the Bahamas after
a stop in Myrtle Beach for a few weeks while they fly back to New Hampshire.
Bill is a professor at UNH and needs to finish up the semester before his
year-long sabbatical begins. After 42 years as an elementary teacher, Cathy
is retired. She started teaching a year after I did in 1970. During dinner
we talked about education and about the weather, which is not being very
cooperative, and the few and far between anchorages we have to choose from
in the next couple of days. We have a lot in common and it was nice to meet
another couple making this trip. Mark and I are finding the transit through
the Intracoastal a bit tedious. The winds today were way more than
predicted and it was hard to steer Windbird. We had the dinghy on the
davits on the back of the boat, and we think that made the steering more
difficult than it should have been. We have now put the dinghy back on the
front deck. And it is chilly. But the biggest problem is the lack of safe
havens for anchoring at night. Tomorrow we will start at first light and
try to make it to Mile 161. It will be a long day but at least the winds
will still be coming from the north pushing us along. Our first obstacle
tomorrow morning will be getting off this dock with the wind blowing us onto
the dock. I’m hoping there will be an early morning calm.

121114 Day 11 Passage South, USA–ICW Mile 12 to Mile 50