Once clear of the bridge we went perhaps a hundred fifty yards and then aground in mud. There is a fork in the watery path, of which we have to take the right because the left fork was silted in years ago. Mindful of that, I was so vigilant to to not take the right that I took a left, but at earlier fork, and into a channel that was too shallow for ILENE at low tide. It was low tide so I knew we would float off eventually. But after half an hour I tried another trick. I swung the boom far out to starboard and hung my weight way over the side of the boat to heel her, just a few degrees, to break the contact of the keel with the mud, while Lene gunned the diesel. We were off again, delayed by half an hour, but no worse for wear. It seems I make more mistakes first thing in the morning. This is something to watch out for.
From then on, the only problem was the tide which slowed our progress up the Beaufort River, and through Adams Creek. With low tide at Beaufort at about 9, I thought we would have the help of a flooding tide pushing us on our way up. No such luck. About ten miles up is a high bridge and there the low was at 10:30. I put up the small jib but furled it soon, when it was obvious that there was NO apparent wind to breathe life into it. Even in the broad Neuse River, which we beat down in 2012, there was no wind. Our depth sounder stopped working for about ten minutes but then came back to life while entering River Dunes off Broad Creek. This place was dredged out of the pine forests since our chart was published and has about 160 docks constructed, less than half the number when it is fully built out. They try to make it feel like a Yacht Club, with its own Burgee and Clubhouse with library.
|ILENE is at extreme right|
I washed the topsides, cleaned off the rust stains leading from the anchor chain down the outer edge of the starboard side of the deck, where the salt water washdown pump washes the rust particles it takes off the anchor chain, and then waxed this strip to try to keep the rust out in the near future. One shouldn't wax the nonskid deck; it is made rough on purpose. But this narrow strip is now waxed and I have to be careful to tell Lene not to place her feet at the outer edge.
We met some interesting people on our neighboring boats, including a Canadian man on a Catalina 42 with a 185 pound Pyrenese. We dined at the River Dunes Clubhouse's dining room, only serving ten dinners that night, in addition to those for a wedding party above. Good food here.
On our day day we were picked up by Bill and Sandy, and served a delicious brunch of baked french toast with ALL the trimmings in their home, with its commanding view of the Neuse. They picked us up at 9 and brought us back at 2:30, so we had a good long time for discussing boats, destinations, books, politics, families, etc.
River Dunes is a relatively new marina, with good wifi and showers. They have an exercise room, pool and sauna. It is very well maintained, only $1.50 per foot and we cashed in the one-time-only Annapolis Boat Show special offer of two nights for the price of one. We liked it here when we visited at about this time of year in 2012 and just as much this time. We hope Bill and Sandy will visit us in NY, perhaps on their way on the loop around eastern Canada aboard m/v Lucille. From NY they would go north on the Hudson, through the Erie Canal, into the Great Lakes, east through the Thousand Islands, down the St. Lawrence River and, after Nova Scotia and Maine, back to North Carolina.