Escape from New Bern Docks: Return to the Intracoastal Waterway

Winches on our sailing catamaran
Sunday, September 3
We've been delayed in leaving New Bern for a number of reasons: see the eclipse, wait for parts, more waiting for more parts, bad weather, extreme laziness. After all, the thought of leaving our comfortable dock is terrifying. How will we know where to anchor? How will we sleep at night? How will we weather storms? Not crash in to other boats? This living on the hook thing seems like a very bad idea; I can't why imagine why anyone would choose to do it! 

With Irma's early models showing an interest in the Carolinas, we decided to enact our hurricane plan: haul out in Chesapeake Bay, 2 weeks before our planned maintenance haul. Sadly, Scotty isn't around to beam us over. We’ll have to leave the dock, travel 250 miles at 5 mph, anchor in random locations, and stay alive while not hitting boats, crab pots, or logs; manage weather, bridges, and even a lock. 

First, we left our dock. The rest of my concerns fell away like dominoes. The bridge opened. We arrived at a fuel dock and Hastings ran down the dock, thrilled to be back on land after 5 long minutes on the water. We bribed him back onto the boat, and went under bridge #2. 
Sailboats against a blue sky, Neuse River, North Carolina
Holiday weekend traffic on the Neuse River, North Carolina
Sailboat with American flag and a fishing boat, Pamlico Sound, North Carolina
Pamlico Sound fishers - we didn't crash into them!
Fishing boats on the Intracoastal Waterway, Hobucken, North Carolina
Hobucken Bridge area fishing boats
Hobucken Bridge- we had an extra 10 ft clearance, but it always looks too close!
Intracoastal Waterway, North Carolina
Hastings secretly approves of being underway again
We motor sailed the Neuse and Pamlico Sound. We avoided collisions. The engines ran. Everything worked. 48 miles later, we made it to our anchorage, picked a spot away from the 4 other sailboats, and dropped the anchor.

I was just patting myself on the back for a job well done when I saw a small power boat approaching. I waved. They turned and circled us. Oh god, what do they want? 
"We're the anchorage police". 
My worst fears realized. It's getting dark. We've had a long day. We're ready to have an anchor down beer, have dinner, and go to bed. We don't want to know that we're in a channel or on a cable or too close to them.
The Anchorage Police
"We thought we'd welcome you with some beers!" 
They moseyed up and handed over beers that had alcohol in them and were ice cold! Stunning! They went back to their party and we watched the sunset, enjoying cold beers from our new friends. There's nothing like the cruising lifestyle!
Anchorage at sunset, just south of the Pamlico River
This Bud's for you!
Sunset over the ICW, Pamlico River, North Carolina
Have strangers ever given you something priceless?

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  1. The anchorage police - how cool. Every anchorage should have welcoming committees like that.

  2. I miss the cruising and boating community, exactly for reasons like these... anchoring in a nice place and being welcomed genuinely, with a little gift! We have received freshly caught fish from other cruisers, but have never had anyone come by and hand out beers.

    1. It is a special community. Everyone is so welcoming and open. We obviously are a beer magnet....today a boat yard neighbor brought us over a 6 pack! Long may this tradition last!

  3. How cool is that!? We once had a windjammer (Maine schooner) captain row over in an anchorage and give us two cooked lobsters and a half bottle of champagne for "intruding" in our anchorage... Lovely!

    1. It's these moments that make the cruising lifestyle truly special!

  4. When we were in Punchbowl Cove in Alaska, the crew from a small cruise ship came over with a nice bottle of wine and some homemade fruit bread (can't remember what kind) with a note of apologies in case their guests made too much noise whilst out kayaking (they didn't). It was a very cool gesture!


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