Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We Glimpse Pamlico Sound

North Creek to Cedar Island, Judith Island, through Mouse Harbor Ditch and back: Oh big fun!

11 & 12 May 2012

One of the great things about the Pamlico River area is that we can go virtually any direction to make the most of the wind.  From our little marina on North Creek we’ve gone west to Bath, south to South Creek and into the tiny town of Aurora, east to the Pungo River (ICW) and southeast into Goose Creek (ICW).  And the cool thing is that there are so many more places we have yet to see.  We haven’t yet been to Little Washington, Belhaven or, the ultimate destination:  Okracoke.

This weekend, finally, the wind was just right to head out toward Pamlico Sound.  I have wanted to get out there since we brought the boat here in March.  We got a late start, but the wind was perfect and we breezed Oyster Creek and anchored among the crab pots behind Cedar Island, which is not so much an island as a bunch of marsh grass.  We didn’t want much protection from the wind because we wanted the wind to blow the skeeters away.  It worked great and we slept like babies.

The sunset was particularly dramatic

The next day we were up at dawn, like two kids on summer vacation, sailing with the wind again up to Judith Island, where Eric had seen a tiny island with a nice beach on the satellite photo.  According to our trusty GPS, we sailed right over that little island, which apparently washed away in Irene and found a lovely little beach on this scrap of land:

On Judith Island
We beached the boat easily this time and Eric held her while I jumped around taking pictures and observing new birds, who were none to pleased to find us invading their nesting grounds.  It was the farthest we’d been out in the sound and we were very pleased with ourselves for being so brave in our itty bitty boat.

Once again the wind carried us right down to Mouse Harbor.  Eric said he couldn’t resist seeing a place with a name like that.  Unfortunately the (really nice) beach was posted so we decided to try navigating the “Ditch.”  It was very shallow, but our girl only draws eighteen inches and she made it through just fine.  In fact, with our motor idling we flew up the ditch going over three knots!  Again, the wind was with us.  I would have preferred to take it more slowly, there was so much to see:
Mouse Harbor Ditch
Since we had the wind with us again, we decided to keep going and made it all the way back to the dock in North Creek before dusk.  It was a rousing downwind sail with a three-foot chop surfing us along and we were rewarded with a circumzenithal arc on the way:

It was over all too soon.  Can’t wait to get back!

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