It’s been quite a while since our last post, so here’s a recap of the last leg of our trip home from Southport, NC and the repairs and preparations for our next major trip.
We pulled into Southport Marina and arranged for repair of the davit and fiberglass, including replacing a broken 1/2 inch bolt. The repairs were completed within a few days which gave us time to spend with our son Brendan and enjoy the restaurants and shopping in Southport. We also ran into a couple we had met in Emerald Bay in the Exumas in the Bahamas. I’m amazed at how often we have crossed paths with other cruisers we met in different ports. They were preparing their boat to return to the Bahamas and then head further south to the Carribean. We hope to see them again when we head there later this year.
With repairs completed, we were once again ready to resume our journey home. As we approached the Atlantic from the Cape Fear Inlet the winds came up to 20 to 25 knots causing large waves that would have made the journey very uncomfortable. We decided to head a little further north on the ICW and exit to the Atlantic through Masonboro Inlet. We had a major concern about going under 65 foot fixed bridge. We lost all of our mast top instruments last year going under a fixed bridge and didn’t want to repeat that. It was low tide so we thought we would give it a try. Just to be safe, Pete went up the mast about a mile before the bridge and removed the wind transducer and anchor light. He stayed at the top as we passed under the bridge to see how much clearance we had. Thankfully, we had about two feet of clearance. Brendan had the helm while I was holding Pete’s safety line (and holding my breath until we cleared the bridge).
We made our way to the Masonboro Inlet at dusk and found much calmer seas. We motor sailed with a reefed jib. The winds stayed steady and we made 8 to 10 knots for most of the night. We set a course to pass south of Cape Lookout and then around Cape Hatteras. By morning the wind abated as we turned north. The west winds dropped below 10 knots as we continued motoring for the remainder of the day.
By late the next night we were off the coast of Virginia and turned into the Chesapeake Bay just before sunrise. We tied up to our new home slip at Bay Point Marina at about 0800 on June 25, 2015, completing our 8 month trip through the Bahamas, Florida Keys and the southeastern Atlantic coast. We estimate Delphinus sailed over 4,000 nautical miles during this cruising period. It was a surreal feeling to know we had completed our first cruising journey, met many wonderful people and made many new friends.
We took the next few days to clean out Delphinus, emptying the refrigerator and freezer, and taking linens and clothing home for laundry. I have thoroughly enjoyed having my full sized washer and dryer at home – who knew an appliance could bring me happiness!
Pete has been busy since with his list of projects. He leaves home nearly every morning to “go to work.”So far we’ve completed a good bit of his list:
- New helm station foot rest
- Oil changes and servicing of all motors and pumps
- Pulled the engines and generator for medium overhaul service and thorough degreasing/cleaning of the engine compartments (I think most of the grease came home on Pete’s clothing and under his fingernails)
- New sunscreen covers for windows
- New backing plate for port davit
- New salon cushions
We still have a few more projects in process. I have the materials on order for new cockpit cushions and new sails are due to be delivered at the end of September. The engines were reinstalled this week so we can now take Delphinus out for some local sailing. Pete is still working on the generator and should be reinstalled sometime in the next couple of weeks.
We are looking forward to our trip to the Caribbean in November to cruise the Virgin Islands, Leeward Islands and Windward Islands.
Stay tuned …