After the thunderstorm delay in Morehead City (and coffee), we left through the inlet to the actual ocean, and turned left to the cape. (See pictures in the previous post.) Relatively smooth waters through the inlet (there was some tide running) and no problem at all in the big blue. We made the bight and found a spot to anchor in the lee of Shackleford Banks where we would (I thought) have some protection from the forecasted 10-15 knot winds.
The waters at Cape Lookout range from depths of around 20 feet to 1 foot and the gradient is steep. When you anchor, you want to maintain a ratio of at least five to one "scope", meaning five times the water depth is the amount of anchor "rode" (rope or chain) you let out. Sea Bird's primary rode is chain, which is heavy and has to be hauled back up (by me) so anchoring in seven feet verses twenty feet makes a big difference. So I had Carol drive the boat (under extreme duress) into six feet of water (our draft is five feet), where I dropped the anchor and let out a conservative six to one scope, given the wind and the possibly poor holding conditions. She then fished and I played with the dinghy. Later on, because of increasing wind, I went ultra conservative, and let out another 20 feet of rode. We are now at around eight to one scope.
And the wind blew.
There was no escaping it. I checked the forecast, and it was to continue for the next five days. AND it was going to rain. AAAND the wind was going to get stronger.
So, I went to bed with that on my mind.
Just before bedtime, another sailboat peeled off of the far shore, heading our way, and anchored behind us.
Sometime in the night, I was awakened by Coast Guard traffic on the radio. Apparently they were engaged in a rescue operation somewhere offshore. As I was up, I went up on deck to check our position. The tidal current was running with the wind at around one and a half knots. And I became convinced we were dragging anchor.
Things look different at night. I was sure the anchor light of the other boat was closer. So I took a range off the beacon and the lighthouse. and both told me we were maintaining our position.
Still, that boat kept getting closer. Then the sun came up, and I realized it was in the exact same place it had been at sundown.
I checked the weather forecast again. No real change, except now the wind was going to be even stronger. And rain for the next five days.
So, over morning coffee, we decided to bail out. We pulled anchor and had a pleasant trip back into the inlet and up through Adams Creek Canal into the Neuse River. Then we turned right into the wind.
The rest of the trip was a little bumpy. We were taking green water over the bow with a few waves washing over the deck and onto my new dodger. That's why they call it that, it keeps the waves off of you. It did it's job.
I was worried, not about Sea Bird, but about Carol. Her worst fear is getting seasick. She missed a good opportunity here. All was well until we made the final turn into Broad Creek, the sea state decreased, and she went below to check for damage.
The forward port had leaked.
Onto our bed.
We spent the evening washing and drying bedding. I went and got takeout pizza from The Silos which was excellent.
And we both got a good night's sleep.
Rebedding hatches has been moved to the top of the list.