By Dan Boney
The trip was wonderful. Good music, several new performers that really impressed. Ranging from guitar to cello, rock to bluegrass, gospel to sea shanties. The performance by the Ocrachicks showcased their individual skills and ability to blend their talents on a moments notice.
Linda and I arrived at Matthews Point on Saturday the 26th and prepped the boat for departure. By 1100 on Sunday we were underway. Wind was S 10+ Kt and we raised the jib as soon as we cleared the Matthews Point channel and then turned into the wind to raise the main before we got to Marker 8. We cleared Marker and shut down the A-4 and had a very comfortable sail to Lower Broad Creek. Dale and Cori's big Morgan, Hi Flite, passed us just as we rounded Neuse River Marker 6 at the mouth of Lower Broad Creek and led the way into the anchorage. I fired up the A-4 but never needed it as the wind was still south and we sailed in and dropped the hook between Markers 3 and 4 to get a early start in the morning. Cori and Dale took Hi Flite deeper into the creek to anchor. Another Matthews Point boat, Victoria Gaye, also departed the marina and anchored in South River.
0600 Monday the 28th the Marian Claire motor sailed out of Lower Broad Creek and then sailed to the entrance of Big Foot slough. Wind was again south 10 to 15 knots. Buck and Vicki, sailing on Victoria Gaye, reported 18 to 19 at times. The sailing was wonderful but the boat motion was a little rolly with 2+ foot seas on the beam. We averaged just under 5 knots for the trip. Big Foot Slough was its usual self with chop and ferry traffic, and the new prop did its job and brought us into Silver Lake with no problems. Victoria Gaye passed us in Big Foot Slough and we found our spots and anchored. Spotted Dog, another Matthews Point boat, arrived a few hours later after making the run from Matthews Point and Hi Flite arrived Thursday. The week was filled with exploring ashore by bike, dinners aboard Spotted Dog and the usual beer and banter among friends with many fellow Matthews Pointers there. Our "crew" Rae, Sebastion, Scott, Bud and Mackenzie all arrived Friday. And all reported enjoying the trip.
Tropical Storm Beryl arrived Wednesday and brought E-SE-S winds around 25 to 30, lots of rain, and then after a short calm kicked up a fuss with NW winds topping out at 47 mph. I payed the penalty for some decisions I made and my dingy flipped and the 2 hp outboard got dunked. Luckily I had recently read about dealing with this and with some confirmation from Buck I had her back up and running the next day. Several boats went walkabout with one bearing down on the Marian Claire. Linda and I worked thru the situation and spared the Marian Claire any contact. Linda was absolutely flawless in her performance. Again it was one of those situations that we learn from and come away stronger and more experienced.
The Marian Claire departed 0600 on Tuesday the 5th with NE 10 to 15 Knots. I motor sailed out Big Foot Slough with only the last few hundred yards being rough. The new prop made all the difference and pushed us thru with ease. Again it was a bit rolly until we cleared Royal Shoal and could get the seas off the beam. I tried several sail set ups. Main and jib, main alone, wing and wing. The best for the dead down wind with the lumpy conditions proved to be main only. Plenty of speed and I did not have to listen to the jib collapsing and flogging. After Brant Island Shoal I put her on a starboard tack and made a long run with both jib and main. I had to run about 10 t0 15 deg north of what I wanted but both crew and boat were happy. Wonderful run under sail all the way up the river and into Clubfoot Creek, where I dropped the hook at 1700...
Dan S/V Marian Claire