The Adventure Begins

The Adventure Begins
Skinny Dippin'

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our First Big CRUISE!! April 2010

I'm going to be brief with the updates to bring us to present day!  Before the big cruise, we did all the typical projects to make the boat ours. New fabric, new name, new mattress. We spent endless hours cleaning and shining and changing fluids. We decided to go to the beach for a month and visit the Cape Fear area - do a little “mini cruise” to get an idea of what the “real” cruisers do!

We took a long weekend for the trip down, leaving New Bern on a Friday morning. We tossed off the lines around 10am and had about a 4 hour 35mile cruise to Morehead City, passing the ferry at Minnesott Point. This was not our first trip down Adam’s Creek, but it was no less special. Coming into the channel at the end of Adam’s creek we were following a line of sailboats.

We always stay at the Morehead City Yacht Basin when in MC. We just love Mike the dockmaster. He runs a top notch marina. And super knowledgeable about the winds and currents in the area. Another big bonus is that it’s walking distance over to the waterfront and Ruddy Ducks!  A favoritite spot for a nice Fat Tire draft and an oyster po’boy.

Saturday morning we left as soon as the morning fog burned off…..we were making way to Snead’s Ferry where we would over night. This is our first trip on Skinny Dippin’ through Bogue Sound.

And our very first Draw Bridge. We made it with just a little time to wait and learn some local knowledge from the bridge tender. It’s a beautiful clear sunny day….couldn’t be better….the dolphins are guiding us…..again.

It’s about a 45 mile day and we arrive into Swan Point Marina before 4pm. The Marina is a DIY boatyard. The depths run about 4.5 feet at low tide….be careful here. The staff was friendly and there is a little store with beer, ice and bait. The bathrooms weren’t “that” bad….I guess the ladies room was better than the men’s room…Tom was a little disappointed in the facilities. 

Easter Sunday dawned with heavy heavy fog. We thought for sure it would burn off in a minute. So we tossed the lines. Note to newbies out there….be prepared to plot a course with a compass, or wait for the fog to burn off. We couldn’t see buoy to buoy. But luckily…I learned a little about navigating before we left. Between knowing what course we should be on, and following the crab pots that are usually on the edge of the channel…we made it through the fog. As we went under the Top Sail Island fly over bridge the fog burns off.

Our second draw bridge is Surf City, then the Figure 8 and on to the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. Tom was very happy to have mastered the art of keeping Skinny Dippin' sitting still as we waited for the bridge openings.  This was one of his greatest fears of the trip.  She actually tracks quite well and will go bow to the wind without much input.  Only had to fight the current.  At Wrightsville Beach we are 12 miles from our destination. The wind is picking up and it’s getting a little chilly….but we’re so excited for our arrival at Joyner Marina. Our home port for four weekends.

A safe landing at the pump out and another one at our temporary slip. Frosty beverages all around and a quick walk on the beach for Tivo (boat dog). His favorite thing in all the world is to pee on sand castles!!  Don't worry, I never let him pee on them as they are being constructed!  ;-)

We spend three of four weekends at the beach, visiting Wrightsville beach and Southport each once. We didn’t get to do everything we’d wanted too….but the good news is we can always come back!

The Trip home was an over night at the Beach House Marina at Surf City, and Oysters at Buddy’s on the beach. Very nice docks here, the marina isn’t yet built, but it is walking distance to the beach and restaurants. One more overnight at Morehead City - Love Mike at the Yacht Basin. We had a few mechanical issues on the way home that I’ll let Tom detail in his own words.

We arrive back to our home marina at Northwest Creek on the Neuse River. I remember the feeling of being home…and happy that we had our first big adventure.  We had a great time….can’t wait to do it again!

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