November 23, 1999 -- This Is Monday Right?

At 0930 GMT (4:30 AM EST), we complete everything we needed to do to get underway. Mike actually got up earlier to listen to the weather. They were reporting 5 foot seas with swell period of 11 seconds and 15 to 20 knot winds. It would be a bumpy ride, but we could do it.

First task, haul the secondary anchor aboard. This time we used the danforth instead of the 2nd CQR as the bottom type was hard mud and the Danforth hold better in that. Sounds simple right?Well, it would be, were it not for the fact that the two anchor rodes were wrapped six plus times! We unwrapped the anchor rode slowly but surely raising one anchor then the other, then lowering our CQR anchor again to work the counter wraps down. Finally, the secondary anchor rode was free! We raised the anchor as far as we could; unfortunately, the anchor was not freed from the bottom. We hauled out our spinnaker pole and attached the rode to that with a block and tackle. We hoisted until the anchor broke free. Round one to us!

Next feat, get the anchor aboard without damaging the boat. We lifted the anchor as far as we could with the spinnaker pole, then grabbed the chain and hoisted with brute strength. We got a hold of the shank, and between the two of us, we managed to get the anchor on our toe rail, outside the life lines! We pulled the hose out and rinsed off the anchor then moved it on deck. We were successful! We disassembled the anchor and stowed everything. Next on the list, the dinghy!

This would be the first time we put the dinghy aboard with the new extended spinnaker pole lift line. We dropped the pole all the way down and hoisted it aboard. It worked well, and as it turns out, we never did use the lift to move the pole further up the mast!

We needed to complete one more task and we would be underway! This one was easy. We used the windlass to raise our CQR and headed down the channel.

Before we left our anchorage, we could hear the surf breaking on shore. When we got down to the inlet, we could see the surf breaking on the jetties. We saw the wind increase from 5 knots to 18 knots. We could see the big rollies coming in. We headed out. We made it out to the sea buoy before deciding to turn around. While I am sure we could have made the run to Southport, we decided it would be easier and more comfortable and go back to Wrightsville Beach and wait for better weather.

We turned around, and just as we cleared the beginning of the breakwater we spotted about 10 dolphins playing in the big rollies! Initially I became concerned, as we were bearing down on them, that we would hit them. Mike told me not to worry about it, they would get out of the way; we were more constrained by draft than they were. Of course they saw us coming and headed towards our bow wake!

We dropped anchor approximately 20 yards from where we left from. Our anchor set on the first try. We decided not to put out the second anchor as that makes for a very long morning the day we leave. We did ensure that we had sufficient scope out for the exceptional high tides though.

We had been there for a few minutes when Mike saw something floating in front of the Blockade Runner hotel headed towards the channel. It was a piece of floating dock with a dock box on it! He radioed the Coast Guard who came out and towed it away. He is getting quite good at finding things and calling the Coast Guard.

After that bit of excitement, we dropped the dinghy and settled down for a nap. A couple of hours later, we noticed the boat was not completing its anchor swing turn with current and wind. We flipped on the depth sounder and discovered we were in mud. We grabbed the hand held depth sounder, hopped in the dinghy and made a circle around the boat sounding. We had plenty of water all around us, except where our keel was. We flipped on the sonar and saw a small shoal right under us, but clear everywhere else.

I climbed back in the dinghy and tried to pull the stern of the boat off the shoal. That didn't work. We then tried to tow the boat off from the bow. I didn't think it worked. However, the boat started turning with the wind.

We decided that it would be good, since we were staying in place waiting weather to have our mail sent to Yvonne's. We called the mail service and requested the mail be sent out Tuesday overnight. The woman was very confused, momentarily and informed us that today was Tuesday. After a few minutes of conversation, assuring us that it really was Tuesday, she said she wasn't sure if they could get it ready to ship in time but they would try. We then spent a little time trying to figure out where Monday went.

We pulled out the control panel for our inverter figuring that we could at least complete that. WRONG! We need a whole host of stuff to complete this, including rewiring our solar panels, and our port 12 volt alternator (when we get it working). So much for completing our inverter!

My parents were due in to Yvonne's sometime that afternoon. Yvonne and I discussed several possibilities for being picked up. We were still waiting for the boat to complete one full swing so we knew for certain that the anchor was set. That never happened. So, I called Yvonne to let her know that we would not be visiting until Wednesday as we felt uncomfortable leaving the boat. Mike insisted I go by myself saying that he could handle any problem that might arise. I felt that I had an obligation to stay in case there was a problem. I also didn't think Mike would be able to get the anchor up and handle the helm by himself with the snubber in place. Without the snubber, it would have been easy enough, but since we have all chain rode, we put a rope snubber in to absorb the shock load.