Friday, April 25, 2008

Almost Though the ICW!

Swansboro to Pungo River Canal to Coinjock

Days 171 – 173 April 23-25

Cruising Friends
As we were motor sailing from Swansboro to Oriental, both Rich from “The Great Catsby” and Alan (a cruiser friend from Jacksonville Naval Marina) on “Whale Song” called us. We had dinner with Alan in Oriental and spent a nice evening catching up and reconnecting. We left Alan there, cast off at 7:50AM, and caught up with Rich crossing Pamlico Sound (he had anchored in Cedar Creek, six miles before Oriental).

Enroute we planned a potluck dinner for eight, which we’ll share at the Pungo River anchorage this evening. I do love the social aspects of cruising!

Pamlico Sound
We were pleasantly surprised and grateful for the nearly calm conditions we had while crossing the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers – waves about ½ ft and winds about 5 kts from the NE. It was an enjoyable ride, especially in light of the nasty ride these rivers are known for.

Bill Hooper - Once Again
Bill Hooper heard us being hailed on VHF and listened in. He heard me say, “I’ve checked my stores on board and can make a pot of white chicken chili that will feed the eight of us.” Bill said, “I told Cheryl, that must be Hollie and Bob on DeLaMer.” He recognized my recipe and called to say he was an hour and a half behind us and had been wondering if he would meet us on the trip north. He and his wife are delivering “Wolf” from the Bahamas back to Boston. They pulled alongside for a brief visit before charging along in speedy delivery mode.

The anchorage at Pungo River was delightful; great holding, very rural, and lots of singing birds. This morning a light fog covered the area, making the area appear ethereal and even more beautiful.

Alligator River, Albemarle Sound and Coinjock
The color of the water has steadily declined. It’s absolutely brown in the Alligator River. Most of the boats we see now have a “brown mustache” on their bow, discoloration from the water.

The Wisteria in the Alligator River are beautiful along the banks. Their fragrance is wonderful - very prominent.

The wind is very light and on our nose and the water is almost flat. We’ve decided to push on to Coinjock today, crossing the Albemarle Sound. This will be another long day – 78 statute miles.

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