We have now reached Oriental in North Carolina, which is about 20 nm from Beaufort, mile 205 on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). From Beaufort you can leave the ICW and go out in the Atlantic, which we’ve met several boats that do, and which we also consider doing ourselves. We don’t sail more than 4-5 knot an hour, and we normally don’t sail more than 5-6 hours a day. Miami is at mile 1085, so with 25 nm a day, it’s a long way to Miami!

I leave this shrimp boat dock myself, and even though I did it as a demonstration, I was a bit proud of myself for doing it all on my own!

One of the reasons we don’t go any further per day is that it’s almost impossible to sail in the ICW after dark. This week we took the chance, because there weren’t any anchorages closer by, but it turned out to be more complicated than we thought. There wasn’t light in the buoys that was supposed to be light in, so we had to get the big flashlight out to look for them and find our way to the anchorage. At the anchorage we thought we were alone, but the following day we found out that the lights we had seen ashore were three other boats at the same anchorage. From now on we’ll stay away from sailing after dark!

A way to compensate for the shorter days is of course to get started earlier, but we’re not really good at that. Henrik barely wakes up by himself, and the other day I got so tired of
always leaving late that I managed to untie us from a bridge on my own. We were tied to the bridge on starboard side facing the right direction of the channel, so I figured that this would be a relatively safe place to demonstrate how unsatisfied I was with the situation. First I removed the two lines in the front and then jumped aboard to pull in the line in the back. This one of course got stuck on the bridge, so I had to step back on to the bridge and untie the line.

While I was doing this, the bow started moving outwards, and for a moment I wondered what I should do if the boat left without me. Luckily, this didn’t happen (which was good, because I hadn’t come up with anything), and I got back on board, put the engine in gear, and safely left the shrimp boat bridge, we had stayed at the previous night.

Henrik woke up a little later after I accidently stepped on the gas pedal and gave it full speed. He got up in the cockpit a bit surprised, but complimented me for have the courage to leave the dock and managing everything myself. Reluctantly, I accepted the compliments, but had to explain to him later that I had done it because I was tired of the fact that he didn’t get up.

(“Then I can just do it myself!”) However, he didn’t seem to find it very threatening, so I guess that if we need to do a couple of Atlantic trips, if we want to reach Miami before Christmas!

Signe Storr Freelance journalist and friend of Boatshed