Sunday, April 22, 2012

Now We are Three

ICW, North of Charleston
32 48.68 N 079 45.21 W

Sten-Orjan arrived yesterday on schedule.  We have been having a great time catching up on news of old friends.   One thing caught Sten-Orjan's eye quickly was the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier berthed directly across the river.  

Yesterday afternoon we rode the water taxi across the river to visit the Yorktown, and the WWII destroyer berthed next to it.   It was very interesting for us two engineers.   There is nothing in the world quite comparable to a major aircraft carrier.  Alas, the museum did not allow us to go down to the engine room and mechanical parts.

We departed at first light this morning.  Our sailing plan is causing me pangs of doubt and guilt.  Sten-Orjan's interest it to get outside to sail in the open sea.   If I look at the NOAA weather forecasts, it sounds OK today, and every day this week.   However, when I look at the grib files with the weather barbs I see very disturbing patterns with intense local cells of winds more than 30 knots appearing and disappearing.   If that were all, I would say GO.   However, our offshore course to Beaufort, NC takes us past Frying Pan Shoals.  I have deep respect and feelings of caution about Frying Pan Shoals.  We've been beaten up twice out there.  It is the most dangerous section in the whole USA East Coast, and I've vowed never to attempt it again in heavy weather.  I'm spooked.

Therefore, we are on the ICW today and tomorrow.   Monday night or Tuesday morning, we go outside at Little River and head for Cape Fear.   We'll go inside up the Cape Fear River to Wrightsville Beach, and outside again there, for the final 80 miles to Beaufort.  

Every time I think about it, my conclusion flips. On even thoughts, it seems prudent to keep this plan, on odd thoughts it seems unnecessarily cautious.  We should just get out there and go.  Tarwathie can handle anything the weather is likely to bring.  If it were anyplace at all except Frying Pan Shoals, I would say go outside.

The bad thing about that plan is that time may be short.  Sten-Orjan's plane leaves from Raleigh Friday at noon.  That means we need to .get to a place by Thursday night to meet up with a car.  We could rent a car, but David has offered to drive down Friday and pick us up.  We would like to spend the weekend with Dave, which means that we need a safe place to leave the boat.  The Hilton at New Bern would be ideal.   Whether or not we can make it there by Thursday is tight.

On the good side, today Sten-Orjan will get to see the lovely salt marshes between here and the Wacamaw River.  I don't think he has ever seen salt marshes before.  Tomorrow, we pass through the cyprus swamps on the river which have their own unique beauty.

Sten-Orjan in the Captain's Chair on the Bridge of The Yorktown.


  1. I feel that the decision of whether to go outside has some similarities to the decision of when to reef. If it crosses your mind that it may be prudent to is time to reef. If you have any doubts about outside it may be prudent to enjoy the inside route.

    Fair winds,

  2. It is my understanding that you can see the engine room and 9 levels of the USS North Carolina in Wilmington,NC

  3. I served three years on an aircraft carrier (USS America CVA 66) in the Engineering Department, Boiler Division and it is quite a place for an engineer to be involved. We made the westpac cruise (Viet Nam).I too would like to visit those spaces again so I may have to go to Wilmington sometime in my future. Most museums don't open those spaces probably due to poor accessibility and tight quarters. I can tell you they were hot while underway. Four main engine rooms with two boilers and a main turbine in each one.

  4. I didn't mean for that last comment to be anonymous, Dick.

    Don Mattice


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