The day was finally here. After all of our hard work and planning we were now about to take our maiden voyage home. We gave ourselves plenty of time to make this trip, 8 days to cover the 220 or so nautical mile trip home. We decided early on that we would take the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), although not completely. We had just bought a sailboat and wanted to sail her. As many of you know there is not much room to sail on many parts of the ICW. Our route planning had to include sailing. We were going to sail up through the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds and take the Virginia Cut portion of the ICW to Norfolk.
Day 1-3: Waiting out bad weather….We were now experiencing for ourselves what we have read a lot about when cruising, weather delays. The forecast was for sun and breezy conditions, what we got was wind , rain and miserable dreary weather. Best thing was we were not miserable. We were on our adventure home. We were together and made the best of it. We explored Oriental from one end to the other. This also gave us an opportunity to become more acquainted with our Sal. Life was GOOD!
This is what the first few days looked like, but we made the best of it!!!
The second day was even worse, white caps in the Oriental anchorage
Day 4: Underway! We got up early in the morning and untied the line and motored out into the Neuse River. Once in the river we hoisted the sails and said good bye to Oriental. We were sailing, we were on our way home, we were cruising!!! Everything went according to plan. We sailed up the Neuse River up into the Pamlico sound. We were bound for Englehard, NC. This was about 60 miles. We figured about 10 hours….took us 9. This was because the wind really picked up in the afternoon and Sal was moving right along. I have to be honest, the wind was more than I was comfortable with. Both Crystal and I were a bit nervous. I would venture to say wind was blowing some 20-25kts. We had steep choppy waves breaking over the bow. The Pamlico Sound was getting angry. but ole Sal kept us on course with the wind on her beam, her starboard rail was underwater. I was uncomfortable with this because this was our first sail with her. We should have reefed earlier but because of my inexperience we didn’t. We did try sevral times as the wind was really blowing and could not get the main down to 2nd reef point….What can I say, we were newbies and really had no place in the Pamlico Sound in 25kt winds on our first sail. But our ole Sal and Garmin led us to Englehard. We were wet and tired but safe!
We had set sail!!!
A very nice morning sail up the Neuse River heading home.
Winds starting to pick up as we head up the Pamilco for Englehard
Sal has a nice balanced helm, even in a steady 20kt breeze!
Once in Englehard and tied up, the marina owner gave us a ride to the only store in town to get dry blankets. Back at the boat we had a nice dinner and settled down. We were safe and Life was Good!
Englehard, NC!!! Leg one complete
Stay Tuned for the rest of the adventure!!!