The latter was important, as the weather was less than ideal. Oriental had been locked into a weather pattern that included almost constant thunderstorms and rain. These would pop up at any time, and could be severe. Our plans were to take Sea Bird to Point Marina, a couple of hours motor down the Neuse River and up Broad Creek. It was too late to start that project.
We spent Friday night at the dock at Deaton's Yacht Service.
We spent Saturday morning chasing Wi-Fi, trying to get a weather picture. AT&T has very spotty service in this part of the world. After several radar snapshots, we decided that the weather was so unstable that:
*There really is no pattern to this system
*We are either going to get rained on or not
*We really don't like living in a boatyard
*We are going to make a run for it
Taking advantage of the loaner car, we drove our car out to Point Marina and returned to Sea Bird. She seemed impatient to be underway. Collecting our lines, we backed her out of the slip and negotiated the shoaling channel out to the Neuse. Managing not to run aground and mark up my new bottom paint, we cleared the final channel mark and turned towards the Pamlico Sound and the entrance to Broad Creek.
Making way at around 6 knots, the Yanmar chugging happily along under grey skies, all seemed well. I turned the radar on just to practice. The boat behind us showed up, as well as a ketch ahead. The land was right where it was supposed to be, except for that piece behind us. It didn't quite make sense. A quick look over the stern, and I realized we were being chased by a squall.
No need to mention this to Carol. Maybe we will outrun it. (Right. We are in a sailboat.)
Soon enough it became apparent to both of us that was not going to happen. We had caught up with the ketch by that time, and realized it was anchored. Does he know more than we know about this storm? Maybe he has Verizon, and therefore more information than we do?
We saw the squall line approaching. A white line of wind and spray. I spun the boat into the squall and throttled down so I still had steerage, but we were basically not making way, around one knot. Holding us there, we rode out the relatively short period of wind, rain, and lightning that is typical with these storms. As a side note, I need to waterproof my canvas. It dripped. On me. And, more importantly, on Carol.
After the worst had passed, we resumed course and had an uneventful, if familiar, run up Broad Creek and in to Point Marina. We were going into a slip on the other side of the marina than we were used to, but the wind had subsided, the rain had stopped, and we had good conditions for docking Sea Bird into her new home.
Approaching the slip, I promptly ran aground. With my brand new bottom paint.
Thankfully, we were able to back off without calling TowBoatUS. Especially since Deaton's Yacht Service has the franchise in the area. I'm sure I would have taken some ribbing for that.
After a couple of days of cleaning and various other chores, we got tired of the constantly drippy weather and returned to Concord (in the rain). After all, the pressure is off. We will revisit when the "coast is clear".
While the wanderlust is still strong in her (and in me), Sea Bird is, after all, back at home.