Wednesday, December 23, 2009

South Bound Again

Tomorrow morning I set out from Manteo and turn south heading down the Pamlico Sound. My next official stop will be Beaufort, where I intend to head out into the open ocean and make the sail for Florida. It will probably take me 2 or 3 days to transit the sound, and then another day to get to Beaufort. So it is going to be Christmas on the water. Depending on the weather, I may lay over there for a day or so, but if the weather window is good, I am going to head out immediately. I am not sure if my phone will work, or if it does if I will have reception. So far the phone has been kind of hit and miss.

This is the part of the trip that causes me just a bit of anxiety, going out into the open water alone. In reality, the ocean should be much smoother than the sounds, the waves out there have more distance between them, and, a 5 foot wave on the ocean is a smooth rolling wave, whereas in the Bay or any of the sounds, where it is much shallower, they are steep and sometimes breaking waves. The Wikipedia definition of a sound is: "In geography a sound or seaway is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, wider than a fjord, or it may identify a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land (see also strait).
There is little consistency in the use of 'sound' in English-language ."

All I know from my experience that here in NC they are relatively large, shallow bodies of water, most are not deeper than 25 feet, and many parts of all of them are much shallower, and not navigable by my boat. I am all topped off with water and fuel again, the pantry is full, and my clothes are all washed and clean. Gary and Alice had ordered me a pair of waterproof sailing gloves from Defender Marine, so between those and the gloves Beth gave me I should be able to stay much warmer than I have been so far.

Last night was frigid, when I got on board it was 38 in the cabin, and the temp was falling. When I woke this morning, the cabin temp was around 36, outside temp was much lower, there was a very thick frost - and - there was ice on the water here in Manteo Harbor. I took Spook in for a walk and to get more kerosene for the stove and heater, and I noticed as I dinghied in that there was a nice thin film of ice from about 50 yards out on into the dock, and it got thicker the closer I got to the pier. I walked about 6 miles today going out to see if I could find a burner for the stove, as before, no luck, perhaps I can find one in Florida.

Right now I am in the Coffeehouse On Roanoke Island, using their net, enjoying a cup of really good coffee, and getting a bit warmed up. My friend Ali and I have been here a few times, and in addition to good coffee they have just incredible hot chocolate. I've had just a few cups of that since I have been here, does wonders on cold days. The clerk here has been extremely helpful, after hearing of my tale of walking all the way to the other end of the island, she started to call around trying to help me find the stove burner, again, with no luck. The thrift store here had a stove, but no burners, so close, but.....

Today I made a few repairs to the stove and heater, and cleaned out all the burners. God knows I am going to need them working well tonight, but I think this is the last bit of really cold weather for a few days. But, in a week or so cold weather will be mostly a memory, and I will be in a much warmer place.

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