Our morning began as predicted; checked 3 sources for weather and all promised, in that tempting assurance of weather forecasts, that today would be a 10! Keep in mind that Monday had been billed as a 9! Hardly. Sanuk would go only in enough wind and calm seas since their wind vane doesn’t work if it lacks wind. Ortolan was named Leader of the Pack and once past the inlet and turned north, we radioed the present conditions. By the time Sanuk and Chance Encounter were off Wrightsville Beach, the wind chose not to play and a short time later, Sanuk called to say they were heading back in. Wednesday was “Blame Someone Else Day”, so we allowed them to blame the lack of wind on us and in return we hoped that their turning back bode well for us.
Sailed lazily for 2 ½ hours; motored for 2 with the main still up until our wind reward appeared. Gradually the wind picked up, knot by knot. We feigned interest but once 14Kts showed on the gauge the screacher came out, but that didn’t last long and the jib soon replaced it. Great wind but a crappy angle, as in 10 degrees off our stern.
Captain Creative had set the main and jib wing to wing- the main all the way out on the port side and the jib to starboard, but it needed help. Lines in hand he goes to tie the jib clew, creating a barberhauler, to the leeward cleat, thus forcing the sail further outboard to catch more wind.
Suddenly he’s gesturing and saying one our favorite words,”dolphins”! No less than ten of these graceful creatures were playing around our boat. I watched as sets of five surfed down a wave- oh yes, the waves were 2-3 ft, but swells, not chop- picking up speed, twisting, turning as they sped toward the bow and then zig zag all about. We enjoyed their company for 15 minutes, snapping as many pictures as possible. Just last night we’d all asked one another if we’d seen the last dolphins, as North Carolina seems to be the boundary. Maybe the others had seen their last, but we still had the best to come!
Today the wind was our friend. Since leaving Miami, springtime has been riddled with regular bouts of crappy weather, but nestled in between we’ve enjoyed warm, sunny days.
Spent Thursday in Beaufort but bypassed the outrageously expensive Beaufort Docks Marina for the much nicer Morehead City Yacht Basin. Beaufort, as in “your best beau”, has a cute downtown/waterfront area and a wonderful museum, filled with life saving, outboard, fishing boat, and Queen Anne’s Revenge exhibits. In 1996, Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, was discovered in the Beaufort inlet in only 20 feet of water.
Saturday’s forecast (so much boring weather talk) was an unpleasant T-storm and windy one, therefore mandating a safe and secure anchorage with swing room. Using charts and ActiveCaptain, we evaluated several and finally settled on one that met our criteria.