Monday, April 30, 2012

More on Morehead City. Morehead City is VERY windy. VERY!

We pulled into the Portside Marina in Morehead City on 4/25 with stiff winds. As I mentioned in the previous post docking was relatively easy because the wind did all the work pushing Why Knot onto the dock as I eased her close and parallel to the dock. We did a quick walk of the downtown area and ate at a restaurant called The Ruddy Duck and returned to boat for the evening. We slept well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012 was a different story.

There were strong westerly winds the entire day with sustained winds at 20+ knots and gusts up to 50 knots – 50! Needless to say we were rocked around pretty darn hard. Enough so that about 10:00 am we decided that it would be best to be ashore, and we pretty much stayed ashore the entire day. And from ashore we could see Why Knot and all the other boats hopping and popping in the hard winds.

There is a nice shielded gazebo up near the marina office that all the boat owners and transients hang out. We talked to a couple of nice guys that were crewmembers of a delivery crew on a 50 foot sailboat that was tied up just to our bow on the floating dock. They told us stories about the cruise to deliver this boat to New York. One of their big struggles is that this boat is a deep sea sailboat with a 10.5 keel. This means that they spend all of their time out in the ocean and their choice of inlets and marinas are limited. At this marina and at their anchoring position the depth is about 9 feet or so. Lets see…10.5 – 9 = negative 1.5 feet. That means that during low tides especially their keel was sunk in the mud a foot or two. While we were talking a young fresh faced couple came to the gazebo and gathered them together to go into Beaufort for the afternoon. They looked young, college age young. Turns out the guy of the couple was the captain of the crew. That struck me as odd.

Portside marina is on the south side of a spit of land that goes via a bridge from Morehead City to Beaufort which is the larger town of the two. On the other side of this spit is another marina and we went over to take a look. We almost immediately spotted a familiar boat, The Pumpkin, a 34 foot American Tug that belonged to Henry and Edith from New Jersey. We knew them as part of the bad experience waiting for the swing bridge at Surf City (see previous entry) and talked to them at the Beach Home Marina. We knocked on their door and Edith came out and we talked for a bit. She told us that the marina had a loaner car, that they were going out at 3:00 to do some errands including a stop West Marine and would we like to go along.  “West Marine?”, I said with excited anticipation. Of course we said yes and we were able to make some important purchases at West Marine and pick up a few things at a grocery store. Very timely and handy.

We ate dinner at a terrific restaurant called Floyd’s 1921 and the food was delicious. It has a good reputation with boaters and it is well deserved. I had a Reuben sandwich which was to die for. Lisa had an oysters tempura on a bed of grits that she like a lot too.

Our evening on the boat was aok. It was still pretty rough but as it approached our 9:00 pm bedtime it had slacked off a tad bit. There was less rocking and more bobbing up and down. However as I write this it is 3:00 in the morning. Both Lisa at I were awoken by some more violent rocking around 1:00 am. On top of the winds a thunderstorm has rolled into the area. And what does the National Weather Service say as its forecast for Morehead City for today, Friday April 27th? Sunny, coo and almost calm winds. I’ll believe when I see it.

If this is the case our next leg is a short hop to a marina at what is described as one of the east coasts boating havens, Oriental, NC.