Cape May to Ocracoke, NC.
It was still very cold when we left Cape May. Surely we would find some warmer weather soon..... We didn't know it at the time, but it would be a long time before we would sail again. We motored across the mouth of Delaware Bay and on down the coast to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, where we got our first taste of warmer weather. Not really warm, but definitely warmer. We had officially entered the South. We didn't see any ponies swimming in the channel, but we did have a beautiful anchorage all to ourselves.
From Chincoteague we bounced our way across the choppy mouth of the
Chesapeake and made it to Virginia Beach, ears still buzzing after a second day of
motoring from sun up to sundown. With a fixed bridge blocking entry into the larger
harbor, sailboats are limited to a fairly small anchorage. Unfortunately the
inlet was being dredged and the dredge support barges were taking up the entire anchorage.
We ended up anchoring in somebody's back yard for the night. The next day we
motored all day, entering Oregon Inlet just as all the 45ft+ sport fishers were
returning from the fishing tournament de jour. The wakes were worse than out in the
Atlantic. What a bunch of Bozos. Anyway, after three days of motoring all day, we
were getting very very very low on fuel. The small marina just inside the inlet had
no fuel. Just a bunch of power boaters drinking cheap beer. We had to go north
to get fuel. I hate to do that when I'm headed south. We got to Roanoke Island but the
marina was closed. Fortunately one of the locals happened by and took us to a
convenience store in his truck where we were able to fill up our auxillary tanks. The
next morning we headed down Pamlico Sound. The wind was out of the south (of course)
and it wasn't long before it was blowing at 18 knots. About halfway down the Sound
it picked up to 20 knots and gusting higher. All the bouncing around was
uncomfortable, but I was very impressed with the way the boat behaved in these conditions.
A short, steep chop that would have stopped most other boats dead in their tracks.
These photos don't even come close to showing what the conditions were really like.
The video gets much closer to showing how we were bouncing around.
We had been to Ocracoke a few times before by car, but had always wanted to arrive by boat. It's unfortunate that I had to crash-land on our first time. Anyway, we loved it there. This time we arrived early enough to walk around the town a little before dark, have dinner and return to the boat just as the last ferry came in for the night.