Saturday, September 8, 2018

July 15-17, 2018 NC to VA passage

As we were lifting the anchor today, Dave realized our anchor was caught on an old mooring cable.  It took him about 20 minutes to free our anchor from it.  That meant that all the time we were here our anchor wasn’t set.  It was hooked into this cable.  Once he lifted it, we didn’t know if it was attached to anything, so I had to watch to be sure we didn’t drift into anything.   Wrightsville beach is not a good spot for us.  First lightning 4 years ago, and now this.
the anchor has the half circle bar and it is attached to chain.  The rest is the cable we brought up
As we were leaving, you could see people enjoying the beach and swimming.  Dave commented “the part the sharks like is below the water.”
approaching the inlet to the ocean

view with channel on the left and ocean on the right

beach view from the ocean
While we were under way, I decided it was smooth enough to defrost the freezer.  Afterwards, I mentioned to Dave that he would feel better if he got up and moved around instead of sitting at the helm all day.  He said he likes I that way.  It dawned on  me that he’s been preparing himself for this position for some time now. 
I made meatloaf for dinner tonight.  That will be good for sandwiches while on passage.  After dinner I tried to get some sleep while Dave took watch.  We were a few hours outside of Moorehead City, NC.  We decided to continue to the Chesapeake, since the weather was good.

phone view on Active Captain/Garmin. left flag on left at 8:00am
chart plotter of the shoals off of Cape Lookout, NC

phone view of NC coast
phone view of shoals off Cape Lookout
July 16
I took over watch about 1:00 am.   It was about 40 nautical miles to the Diamond Shoals off Hatteras.  We’ve been averaging about 6 nm/hr.  So that’s 6-7 hours.  It was an uneventful night. 

chart plotter view with waypoint set off of Cape Hatteras 1:20am
6:15am  I love this part of the day, but it puts Dave to sleep
Dave was up by 7:30 am to take over watch just as we were passing the Diamond Shoals off Hatteras.  There were red lights marking the area.  We had read to stay to the east of the furthest red light.  We were lucky to have nice weather and other boat traffic was further off shore.  It seemed unreal to be making our way past this area.  There is a long history of ship wrecks off North Carolina.  Black Beard was known to sail these waters.
off Diamond Shoals off Cape Hatteras.  Other geometric figures are other ships

phone view

light house off of Cape Hatteras
We took turns napping today.  The wind had been at our side last night, which rocks the boat.  Today it was calmer with “following seas”, the wind on our back.  Again, I went to bed early while Dave started his watch.  

Example of Dave tethered to the jack line as he is bringing a jerry can of fuel to the cockpit

testing his tether
July 17
I took over watch at 1:30 am and we were already in the shipping lane heading into Norfolk, VA.  What a sight.  I really should have studied the charts for this area before that moment.  I’ll remember that before we go into New Jersey/New York.  At this time of night, the shipping wasn’t real heavy.  That gave me time to look at the charts and my surroundings and get my bearings.   Dave slept in the cockpit instead of below so he would be handy if I had any issues. 
There is a bridge that connects Virginia and Delaware.  It has a tunnel under the bay in the 2 shipping lanes, 1 into Norfolk area and one up the Chesapeake Bay.  At night it is lit up, but goes dark where the tunnels are.  Pretty impressive view to wake up to.  At 2:15 am, an out bound ship called me asking what my intentions were.  I explained where we were headed.  He recommended we move outside of the shipping lane to the “auxiliary channel” on the north side.  There was plenty of depth.  And I felt more comfortable with a little more distance between us and those big ships. 

our boat on north side of shipping channel.  purple line in center is the bridge, but it goes under the water in the shipping lane

not a great photo, but gives you an idea of what we were trying to avoid in the shipping lane

crazy chart of Chesapeake Bay heading towards Hampton/Norfolk
I woke Dave about 5:00 am before we entered the channel to Old Point Comfort bay near Hampton, VA.  This area had been recommended to us.  It was pre-dawn, so Dave was searching the area looking for crab pots, or whatever.  The sun started coming up after we finished anchoring.  With a clearer look at the area, we decided to move the anchor to move further out of the channel for fishing boats. 
We both crashed until about 11:00am.
Later, we took 4 diesel jerry cans to the marina in this bay to be filled.  Then we ate at the restaurant on site called the Deadrise Restaurant.  Early to bed!

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