Saturday, May 25, 2013

Hello Alligator River

Yesterday's mileage was 32 miles and today, Saturday was 25.

We left our safe anchorage at 7:30, a bit too prematurely as the small craft advisory was out till 10:39. Out on the Alligator river with full sails, we found the winds were NW, 20-25 and gusting. The long fetch made for 3 ft swells and an uncomfortable and wet ride into the wind. We opted to stay close to the western shore for some protection, but after about 7 miles we turned back 2 miles to a quiet anchorage, and sat it out till lunch when the forecast was to be 15-20.

This is a huge river (bigger and longer than Sarasota Bay), a northern wind has a fetch all the way across the Albemarle Sound.

After lunch we headed out choosing to motor close to shore for about an hour till we got to Rattlesnake Cove, then set sails with 2 reefs in the main and 1 in the mizzen, still moving 3-7 mph, lots of gusts about 25 mph, requiring Paul to release the main often to keep me happy.

Staying close to the western shore requires a constant eye, as there are snags, dead trees and stumps all along shore as far as a couple hundred yards. Driftwood visits elsewhere it lives here. Even the NOAA chart warns "Caution logs and snags are likely to be encountered in Alligator River at all times".

This is a vacation after all, and Paul has promised anchorages around 4 pm each night. So we pulled off before making it to the Alligator River Marina, one of the planned checkpoints for the new Watertribe NC Pamlico Challenge.

We had a nice gourmet Paleo camp dinner, zucchini squash noodles with clam and bacon sauce, and are hoping for warmer temps tonight.

1 comment:

Canoe Sailor said...


One thing that might benefit you is a tiltometer. Then you can know the tilt angle. I will bet Graham will tell you the best angle is 15 degrees. But the best part is that you will know when to worry and when to have Paul reef.

Thanks for sharing you !