We decided to leave this morning even though the wind was blowing, it was cold, and the current was running three plus knots. Normally I pull out of a slip pretty well but this morning's exit from the dock had the potential to be ugly. We untied all the lines just as we always do, leaving one line tied at mid boat to the dock. I pit the boat in reverse and Shirl pulls the line off of the cleat as we back out. Not this morning...as soon as Shirl took the line off of the cleat we shot directly sideways into the next empty slip. The docks are well padded, and the current was alot stronger than it appeared. I began to back slowly while Shirl held us off the dock as best she could. Serenity was on an inside dock, meaning we had to turn 90 degrees left to enter the dock...turn 90 degrees left again at the end of the finger...then turn 90 degrees left again into our slip. To leave I just simply had to do the opposite. Not so simple. As we backed slowly to keep Serenity off the dock the wind and the current took the stern in the wrong direction. We are now out of the slip pointed at a dead end of docks with boats in them, and of course the wind and current is taking us backwards. My choices are... make two 90 degree turns in reverse to exit the dock...no chance of a successful outcome here, or to turn 180 degrees in a small space and make the turns moving forward. One thing that Serenity does well is turn in a small area. I pushed the throttle and turned to starboard, (right) and the boat began to turn. As soon as the bow was sideways to the wind and current, it whipped around so fast that all I had to do was continue forward and make a 90 degree right turn out of the marina. I had to go out very fast to keep the current from causing me to move sideways into a big cruiser parked on the outside of the dock. I hope someone got a video of us leaving. It probably appeared that we knew what we were doing. We then left the harbor and motored to the Beaufort Inlet, which opens up into the Atlantic. Instead of turning left to go into the Atlantic, we turned right to continue on to the ICW. As soon as I turned I noticed the current taking us sideways, and looked up to see sign that said "Caution -Eddy". It took all the motor Serenity has to get us out of there. The water was moving in different directions, pushing Serenity to a shallow area. Shirl would have taken pictures but she had her eyes closed. My grandfather always said "if you can't be good be lucky." He was a wise man. The next twenty miles were current assisted, and we at one point were doing 10.8 MPH. I know that does not sound fast, but it is.
After getting back in the ICW we were stopped by a navy patrol boat because they were using live ammo and firing across the ICW from Camp Lejeune. We anchored and waited about an hour until they stopped firing so we could pass through. The navy patrol boat radioed us and stated that we could pass and to proceed at maximum speed. That we did! After all of that excitement we did see dolphins three different times today and a few times they would swim up and bump the hull of the boat...not sure why they did that, but you could hear the thump. Our boatographer got so excited that she forgot to get pictures while they were up close. We did get a few pictures though. It was a great day if you like excitement...but overcast, so not so great for pictures.
Rental houseboats in Beaufort, N.C.
Check the GPS speed...10.8 a new record!
There are so many beautiful houses along the ICW. I really like this outside spiral stair case.
Lined up waiting for a bridge to open.
Shirl's bridge shot today...a swing bridge
We decided to wait.
Our anchorage tonight