We planned to leave Sunday, but the winds were high and the bridge wasn’t opening. When it did open later in the day, we watched a sailboat with a much bigger engine then ours struggle to get out of the marina. We decided to stay put one more day. The marina has a wonderful tradition of putting a newspaper under your dock lines each morning. It was fun to have something to read early in the morning. On Monday, the winds are still high but the bridgetender says that he will open when it isn’t gusting. We are the first sailboat to leave and then there are 3 other boats that follow us out. Once we are through the bridge we put out a furled jib and head down the river. We sail until we hit the land cut of the Pungo River Canal. Then the autopilot was started and did a great job steering and giving us a break from the helm. Although it was chilly out we ate a soup and biscuit lunch in the cockpit. Finally anchor in the Slade River for a very chilly, quiet night. Lots of use of the cabin heater lately!
Before leaving in the morning we work on the SSB system and the electrical interference we seem to be experiencing. Dick disconnects everything from the batteries and we still have a higher level of noise then we should. We are finally able to Chris Parker on the SSB for weather, but still have not been able to Herb. Dick is totally frustrated at not being able to solve this and we both worry about not being able to hear weather forecasts. The tropical storm IDA will have an impact on our plans and we will need to see what happens. Our plan is head to Oriental, NC and that puts us only 20 miles from Beaufort, NC. It is warmer today and the sun feels great. Tried to sail downwind on just the jib, but winds are light and variable and we end up motoring. We find a great spot to anchor in the town basin and go into the very cute, friendly town.
Leaving the next morning for Beaufort, we are surprised by the strength of the wind. We only have about 2 ½ mles to cross over the Neuse River but it is harder than we expected. After that we are in land cuts until just before Beaufort. Made it in through a cut that has been dredged since we were last here. Yeah, now we just need the weather to cooperate.!!! We stayed at the Town Dock Marina that night and picked up our mail. We were surprised to find our checks had not arrived from the Boat Show and found that they had been mailed to Maine instead. We then contacted Millie and Greg at our house and they said that they had received our checks. Millie over-nighted the checks to us however we missed our weather window and were now on a holding pattern.