Day 13, Year 8: ICW Mile 102 to Mile 175+4, Alligator River to Neuse River
Date: Friday, November 16, 2012
Weather: Lovely Sailing Day–Partly Sunny and Windy; N 15-20
Latitude: 34 58.228 N
Longitude: 076 34.720 W
Location: Intracoastal Waterway, Mile 175+4, South River Off the Neuse
River, NC

Sunrise . . . sunset . . . has become our routine. We get up at 5:45 am
and have the anchor up by 6:15. The sun doesn’t pop up until 6:40, but
there is enough light to get underway. Then we tuck into some little
anchorage near the ICW by 5 pm. The sun sets right then but there is still
enough light for about 30 minutes to get things settled and go below for the
evening. If, with Windbird’s help, we can continue this for the next three
days, we will be in Little River on Monday (well before sunset). Tomorrow
we will make it to the Beaufort-Morehead City area and then head south down
the ICW to Camp Lejeune. This is a US Marine Corps reservation that borders
on the ICW and there is a dredged anchorage where they allow cruisers to
spend the night. The next night might have to be spent at a dock in
Southport as there are no anchorages listed in our guidebook, and then on
Monday we will head to Little River. This ICW travel is tough. There are
uncharted trees barely poking their nasty little heads above water and
shoals encroaching on the channel trying to ground you. And we continue to
have difficulty hand steering Windbird. Auto pilots don’t love downwind
sailing with strong winds so we switch off being at the wheel. But at least
Windbird is still chugging ahead. Our new friends Bill and Cathy weren’t as
lucky today with New Wave. Bill called saying they had a massive oil leak
and had to be towed back to the closest town of Belhaven. We passed by them
and felt terrible leaving them behind. But we did see the bright red tow
boat arrive to take them back to Belhaven. Bill called late this afternoon
at one of those moments when we had cell service and said that the mechanic
took the head off the engine and hoped to be able to make the repairs in
time for them to get underway tomorrow morning. Whew! The report of “lots
of oil” is never a good thing and can sometimes require major work, so we
are ecstatic that New Wave’s problem was on the minor side.

We’ve decided that North Carolina along the ICW is like a third world
country. All we have seen is marsh land and cell phone signals are VERY
spotty to non-existent. We did see a number of hawks today and were
welcomed to the Pamlico with a couple of bottle-nosed dolphins. But we are
once again without a cell signal, so tonight’s log will be sent via HAM
radio. If we take the phone up to the cockpit we have one bar and might be
able to make phone calls, but that is certainly not enough to allow us to
get on the internet. By tomorrow night we will back in civilization with
all the good and bad that brings, but that will allow us to internet service
once again and I will be able to post photos once again.

121116 Day 13 Passage South, USA–ICW Mile 102 to Mile 175+4
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Day 14, Year 8: ICW Mile 180 to Mile 244, Neuse River to Camp Lejeune
Day 12, Year 8: ICW Mile 50 to Mile 102, Coinjock to Alligator River