November 14, 1999 -- Underway

When anchored, getting underway can sometimes get interesting with just one anchor, with two it can be frustrating! We had completed 2 circles around our anchors which made the job even harder. We tried to power the boat around to untwist the anchors, unfortunately, that did not work due to the strong current. So we paid out all 360 feet of anchor chain from one of our anchors and then wound the chain around the opposite direction and started raising the anchor again. The two anchor chains slid surprisingly well against each other and finally in a flourish, the anchor chains untangled and we raised the first of our two anchors. We finally got underway at approximately 1040 GMT.

We left the Beaufort channel expecting NW winds. Every forecast we had seen said we would have NW winds. We were really hoping to sail. Unfortunately, the wind was coming from the WSW, almost exactly the direction we were headed. While we could tack back and forth into the wind to get there, we would not have arrived during the day doing this.

Shortly after we left Beaufort, we saw that a catamaran was heading the same direction that we were. We called them on the radio and set up a loose check in with them periodically. Island Princess was indeed heading to Beaufort. Right after that, dolphins joined us for a quick swim in our bow wake.

Between 1400 GMT and 2100 GMT, we watched the barometer drop about a millibar per hour signifying that the low that wasn't supposed to come in until evening arrived early. We were on a frontal boundary! We watched the waves grow from nothing to almost 6 feet, and of course, there we were pounding into it! Periodically, we would take spray over the bow that would cover us in cold salt water mist, we were glad we bought that new foul weather gear. At 1700 GMT, we had a 'bell ringer.' A bell ringer is a wave that is large enough to build our momentum, or stop it suddenly enough, that the Ship's Bell clapper swings of its own accord and rings the bell. This occurred frequently until the seas started to calm around the entrance to Wrightsville Beach at the Masonboro inlet.

The Masonboro inlet is very well marked, as well as comfortably deep, we never had less than 10 feet under the keel. The breakwaters extend out from shore at least 200 yards giving a relatively well protected and easily navigable inlet. We did a final check in with Island Princess to let them know that while getting to the inlet is rough, at the inlet the seas calmed and the wind died.

At 2120 GMT, we anchored in Wrightsville Beach and celebrated with cocktails in the aft seating area.