Saturday, May 7, 2011

Albemarle Sound Sailing

On Thursday p.m. as we were taking Kala to shore in the dinghy, the bottom separated and water started leaking in the boat.  So Friday morning Kala and Baxter went alone at sunrise.  They made it back okay but that was probably the last ride until we could make some repairs.

Stepping our way through “crap pot havens” we meandered back to the junction of the Neuse and Bay rivers.  As we followed Steve in Chandara, his Valiant 40, he stopped moving.  His 6 foot draft hit the muddy bottom but after an hour of back and forth, he managed to wiggle her out. Once out on the Bay River, we sailed on a fast-moving beam reach and then across the Pamlico River to the Pungo River.  We stopped at mile 127 before the Alligator River since it is just a channel for 5 more hours and we couldn’t find any obvious anchorages on the chart. 

Saturday we had wind on our nose and our only option was to motor up the Alligator River.  That changed as soon as we got to the Albemarle Sound which turned out to be the best sailing Baxter and I have had with Stella Blue.  We were doing over 7 knots with about a 12 knot wind on the port beam.  As the wind faded, we thought the fun was over until it instantly picked up to about 15 knots directly on the starboard beam.  We continued across, dodging and weaving the crab pots and making up some time lost from motoring.  At about 7:30, we pulled into a great anchorage right next to the Coast Guard Air Station, in Davis Bay, just south of Elizabeth City.   Steve came by Stella Blue and picked up Kala, Baxter and I and we joined him and Stevie for a couple beers on their boat before the rain moved in.  

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