Morehead City to Broad Creek in position 35:05.65N, 76:35.65W
Our early departure from the City Marina at Morehead wasn't as early as planned, as we had to remove the dead battery, which was still very warm, from the locker and reconnect the other batteries. We then couldn't start either of the engines as there was no power whatsoever. That was strange as it had only been one of the domestic batteries that had died. Although the engine start batteries had also been isolated to facilitate removal of the dead'un. After some heart stopping moments the problem was sorted and we were on our way at past midday - hours later than planned.
The weather was still foul, but as there was no space in the marina because of the fishing tournament we decided to move onwards to an anchorage in a small creek on a bend in the river 10 miles away We arrived on the extremely windy bend and started to enter the creek but aborted when the depth under the keel read only 2.5 ft. Being blown around we felt this creek wasn't for us and headed for Oriental on the River Neuse. By the time we were off Oriental it was clear that the place was full, some boats even returning back into the ICW for shelter. We decided to head on to an anchorage in Broad Creek another 10 miles up river. This river can be rough being extremely shallow and 6 miles wide in places. We had 30+ knots blowing us along in a short sea, which was better than having it against us we supposed.
Broad Creek was indeed very broad and looked uninviting in the failing light. But with overcast skies and a near gale where does anywhere look inviting except a comfy chair next to a log fire in winter. It was shallow as well, with depths off the channel of only 3-4 feet under the keels. At least we knew we wouldn't drag in the sticky mud that forms the seabed in these creeks. We re-heated the remains of the Sanitary fish dinner (not brilliant the second time around), took some bearings on shore and buoy lights, set alarms on the depth and gps position instruments and went to bed for another night of disturbed sleep in the high winds and choppy waters of the creek.
Morning revealed a complete change of direction in the wind, less, of it but blowing from the same direction we needed to be heading in up the Neuse River. BUT, We were now above 35 degrees north. the latitude insurance companies insist you are north of during the hurricane season. And we made it on the last day the insurers allowed us to be in the hurricane zone. So we can now take our foot off the gas a little and gently head onwards towards the Chesapeake where we will spend most of the summer sorting out the little problems (long list actually) that we have left untackled whilst we cruised through the Caribbean. On the list are:-
New Hydraulic Ram for the steering system
Sort various leaks
Staysail furling swivel to halyard fatigue break
Buy charts for the East Coast USA (we are using borrowed ones) & Bahamas pilot for the winter.
The list grows daily, some are fixed immediately, others go on the 'round-to-it' list. Every boat has one.
Sat. 6th June.
From Broad Creek we continued up the Neuse River in rotten weather, low cloud and heavy mizzle (just like England) and dropped anchor in Eastham Creek, 35:17.77N, 76:35.36W, a small Shrimping creek full of pots but with room to anchor and swing. The wind has dropped and although still overcast the worst of the bad weather has now passed and the silence and isolation is a welcome change from the last couple of days. If the sun were to come out it would be simply bliss. Maybe tomorrow.