A few minutes into the trip, we passed under our first bridge. It is frightening how tall a 55 ft mast appears to be when passing under a 65 ft bridge. Glad we are not taller.
Still raining and starting to blow as we leave the creek and head into the Neuse River. Fortunately, Junie had attached the dodger and bimini the night before even though the windows are all missing. That is part of the work to be done while in Oriental. At least it provides a little protection from the 25 knot wind and the rain and the 48 degrees temperature. But we are grinning from ear to ear.
Our destination is Deaton's Yacht Service boatyard. They are, among other things, the BoatUS towing representative in the area. We have called them multiple times over the last week to advise them that novice sailors with a big boat are headed their way. They informed us that they have some shoal areas coming into Whitaker Creek. So, I did the only prudent thing and joined BoatUS.
Within sight of the entrance, between the last set of markers, we once again proved that our depth gauge was perfectly calibrated. When it said 'zero ft', we stopped. Backed up and tried moving to starboard as recommended. Bump. Port. Bump. Finally finished the job, got firmly grounded and called our new best friends to come and get us. Leave your pride at the dock. (Side note: BoatUS sends a summary of what they pay the towing rep. Let's just say that it was worth joining - about 6 times over).
Optimistically thinking we must be past the challenges for the day, we arrive at Deaton's - and the only slip they have open for us is up the channel, 2 ft wider than our boat with boats parked behind us leaving a 50 ft wide space for us to turn our LOA of 45' 4". With limited drama, we get docked, high-fives, and we have arrived.
Our plan is to get some teak refinishing, new canvas, bottom paint and some check-out. Anyone with a boat knows what happens to a plan once you get into a boatyard.