Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wanchese to Ocracoke via the Twilight Zone

So, picking up where I left off…

We spent one short night in Wanchese. We topped off the diesel and water, talked to the commercial fishermen in the next slip, ate dinner, set the alarm and went to bed early. We needed to be up early to make the run down the Pamlico to Ocracoke. And you just never know what the Pamlico is going to be like.

There are a couple of side stories. First, one day before we left, Bank of America notified us that our credit card number had been stolen and they were canceling our card and issuing new ones. Great timing. The new cards were supposed to arrive by 10:30 on our planned departure day. They didn’t make it. Our friends Marsha and Dennis offered to pick them up when they arrived and bring them to us at our marina stop in Wanchese. How nice is that?! Unfortunately, the new cards still had not shown up later in the day so we left home without them.

A bunch of charter boats relocated from Oregon Inlet
to the Broad Creek Marina due to the
government shutdown. Once again, we were the
only sailboat in sight at Wanchese.
The second story is our commercial fishing buddies. They were a great source of information on inlets on the east coast and longline fishing and all sorts of stuff. They were scheduled to go out of Oregon Inlet the next morning. They didn’t want to be the first boat out because, after five days of bad weather, the condition of the inlet was an unknown. Several days later we read on the Outer Banks Voice (local news stuff) that the inlet was so badly shoaled that day that no boats made it out through Oregon Inlet. Tough news for the fisherman and a charter fleet that was already burdened with relocating their business dealings due to the government shutdown. The Oregon Inlet Fishing Center is a concession that is located within the Cape Hateras National Seashore – which was, of course, closed.

Crazy flat Pamlico. The picture may be upside down. Not sure.
Back to our story. We left Wanchese on Saturday morning and had much better luck than our dockmates. We motored out through Old House Channel with no issues into a Pamlico Sound that looked like a pond. It started out smooth , then got flat, then glassy. We were actually looking at the reflections in the water of the seagulls flying overhead. This is not the reputation that the Pamlico has earned over the years. It was kind of surreal at times. It was misty, hazy, grey. The sky and the water merged together such that there was no horizon in any direction. Twilight Zone kind of weird.

SeaClearly from the dinghy dock in Ocracoke.
Doing absolutely nothing on a beautiful afternoon.
We made the trip in good time and cruised into Ocracoke Silver Lake after a ten hour trip. Much to our relief, the National Park dinghy dock was still accessible – not blocked off with yellow tape or locked gates at the end of the dock – even though the park was closed. Good for us because Roux was really anxious to get off the boat. We went through our routine of anchoring the boat, shutting down, getting the dinghy off the davits, motor installed, arrange the ramp, get Roux in and take him for shore leave. Then we settled in for the night and patted ourselves on the back for getting this party started.

We spent two nights in Ocracoke, did absolutely nothing and it was everything we dreamed it would be.

We have since moved on and are anchored in Cape Lookout Bight tonight. We are the only boat here. There were some interesting occurrences along the way that I will try to capture tomorrow and catch up the story. We are all safe, happy and tired.


  1. So happy for you both! Sounds like a great trip so far. We are all enjoying your blog. Might watch "Captain Ron" this weekend just for fun...Safe travels!!!
    Love, Aimee

  2. Hey, if it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there! Thanks Aimee.
    Love ya.
    Junie and Duane