|Departing Fort Pierce City Marina|
We reached the Barge Canal around 3:53 PM and turned east. Minutes later (4:00 PM) we arrived at the Christa McAuliffe Bridge only to learn that the next opening was at 6:00 PM. No problem. We threw out an anchor and waited for the opening.
|Heading east in the Cape Canaveral Barge Canal|
|Christa McAuliffe Bridge opening at 6:00 PM|
|The Cape Canaveral Barge Canal Lock|
They required us to wear PFDs.
|Impressive Highway 401 Bridge|
|We head out toward the Atlantic|
|we catch another great si\unset|
At 8:41 AM we were abeam of St Augustine with winds out of the west northwest at three knots and visibility of 1 mile in haze. Shortly thereafter we took a direct shot to Morehead City, which at that point was about 350 NM away. We recorded a four foot swell with an interval greater than 10 seconds. This 10 second interval produced a smooth ride.
|We make for Morehead City on a direct route|
|David at the helm|
|Brad and Sarah playing cards|
|Captain Wayne enjoying the calm seas|
At 3:00 AM on Sunday morning we were 77 NM east of Hilton Head (i.e., the Savannah area), which put us into the Gulf Stream. At this point we were averaging 9.0 knots (which, as readers know is .6 knots above our optimum cruise speed of 8.4 knots). Winds by this time had shifted to the southwest and were blowing 20 knots. I noted in my log that the winds had been trending up in the past 6 hours. However, we were in a following sea with a smooth ride.
|We are catching the western edge of the Gulf Stream as we proceed toward Morehead City.|
The dark red indicates the Gulf Stream
|A cold front approaches from the west.|
|We encounter a naval vessel crossing our course. They requested we alter our course|
|This is how the naval vessel appeared on the chartplotter as an AIS return|
At 8:08 AM we encountered a pod of at least 6 dolphins who then proceeded to accompany us for the the next 20 (unusual) minutes. They put on a spectacular show. At 2:30 we encountered a second pod and were treated to another 30 minute show.
Later that morning, at 9:31 AM, I recorded following seas of 5 to 7 with an occasional 8 footer. The higher seas continued for the rest of the day due to thunderstorms associated with a passing cold front. The rough seas continued for the rest of the trip to Morehead City, although they began to diminish as we got closer to shore.
We reached Morehead City approach at 2:45 AM on Monday morning and headed up the channel reaching Morehead City Yacht Basin at 3:50 AM. Fortunately, there was room on the face dock right by the fuel pumps.
Explanatory Note: Because we were out to sea beyond cell phone range and due to the lateness of the hour, we took a bit of a gamble heading into Morehead City that there would be room on their face dock. Lady luck was with us. Not only was there room but we were able to tie up right at the fuel pumps.
At 8:00 AM the folks from the marina arrived and we took on 1038 gallons at a very favorable price of $2.70 per gallon. We had covered 553 NM since Fort Pierce and recorded a total distance covered since leaving Sarasota on Monday of 956 NM.
Written by Les