Thursday, 14/5/2015. Beaufort, North Carolina. 34.42.93N 76.39.84W

David Batten
Sat 23 May 2015 18:24
Our trip from Marsh Harbour to Norfolk was interrupted by a very certain forecast of strong northerlies on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 4th, so we decided to make for Beaufort instead, which turned out to be an excellent decision.  We had a very variable sail, part really lovely with the wind just behind the beam, part frustrating with not much wind from dead aft and part pretty hairy, with gusts of 30 knots and a huge sea as we approached the Beaufort channel in the dark.  Before dark, we had a moment of shock when the mainsheet wrapped itself around the top of the big port side winch and just ripped the self tailing top off and threw it into the cockpit.  Clearly what happened when crossing the Atlantic when the starboard one disappeared one night, only no one witnessed it then and luckily, this time, it landed in the cockpit and without hitting either of us.  Note to selves:  must not allow the mainsheet to flap around the cockpit when reefing/un reefing etc., particularly in a big sea.  After dark, we had the additional excitement of lots of lightening and some thunder.

Coming into the channel with what seemed like a mass of flashing red and green was challenging  and there is no doubt, older eyes do not manage so well in the dark as younger eyes, so it was with relief that we found a couple of other yachts anchored just off the Morehead City channel on the port side beyond the first dock, where we had planned to anchor.  Just after dropping the hook at 00.30 we had a torrential rain storm, so we retired below for a large anchor nip to restore status quo.

Wednesday morning at about 10.30 was lovely as we motored up the Beaufort town channel to tie up in the Beaufort dock marina to meet customs and immigration and we managed to park the boat with the help of the marina staff in between the correct piles and floating dock without any mishaps.  Immigration were no problem, but the customs official insisted on removing all the potatoes, onions and apples, even though they came from the USA to the Bahamas and we had to boil all the eggs or surrender them as well.  As we had stocked the boat for going all the way to Norfolk, we now have over 12 dozen hard boiled eggs and are consuming large quantities of egg mayonnaise, to which the skipper is fortunately very partial!
visasmallAlcedo in the town dock at Beaufortdavid
Moored off the town docks in big company, lovely weather.
visasmallMoorings on the river at Beaufortdavid
The view from our pontoon when there were no motor boats to obscure it.

Beaufort is a lovely place, somewhat reminiscent of the Lymington River and we have had a very pleasant stay here.  The marina is quite pricey by some standards, but the staff, mainly gentlemen of reasonably mature years, are very helpful and included in the price is the use of some cars for shopping and one free drink.  It is an excellent place to stock up and it is well worth taking the ferry to Carrot Island for an explore.
visasmallWalking on Carrot IslanddavidvisasmallCarrot Island, looking out towards Cape Look Outdavid
A walk on Carrot Island, looking back at the Island and inland and then out towards Cape Lookout.

visasmallWhite Ibis and Whimbrel on Carrot IslanddavidvisasmallRed Winged Blackbird on Carrot Islanddavid
White Ibis and Whimbrel on the Island and then a red winged blackbird.

The northerlies have been with us for 2 days as expected, but they should moderate tomorrow and become light and variable and then eventually a southerly wind should establish for Saturday and Sunday, so we are planning to head for Norfolk tomorrow am.


Sent from my iPad