Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Morehead City to Campbell Creek

Two days ago Richard Spurlock (of the Jill Kristy) called me. They were going to anchor beyond Oriental on Campbell Creek. As they headed up the creek they got messaged by some folks who are loopers. They live on that creek and have a dock, and invited the Jill Kristy to dock there. The location and the hosts were so wonderful, Richard thought we'd enjoy it, too.

We agreed that sounded pretty nifty. We decided to head there this morning.

It's a bit unnerving waking to 16 mph winds when it's a "go" day. We planned on pumping out before we got underway. But the winds made me uneasy. Various weather apps claimed the winds would calm as the day went on, and as you can see, we headed north, further inland, away from the windy ocean. We stuck to the plan, but one change -- we'd pump out in Oriental on the way.

To be fair, the winds did make it easy to get off the dock so getting underway was pretty quick and easy. So off we went.

This would also be our first open water crossing in a while. Any east winds (NE, E, SE) would make the trip rough. Our winds came from the south, and the first bit of open water into Oriental was mildly chopped, but very doable.

Crazy parking job for the pump out
Oriental has two things that loopers like; a free dock, and a tiki bar. We thought we'd take advantage of the free pump out. We'd have to find it first. We crept into the little marina, working our way back to where the shrimp boats were. Russ hailed them, hoping for some instruction since we didn't see a handy "Pump Out This Way" sign. Someone answered and told us where to go. However, the pump out dock had two boats tied to it, one on either side. Our options were to dock behind them (and we'd stick waaaay out into the fairway) or park on it t-head style. We did the latter. One of the sailboat owners came out to give us a hand, thankfully. He helped tremendously get the boat stable on such a small pier.

Then we attempted to pump out ourselves, but the mechanism didn't work. Russ went to look for help, I just called them on the radio. The manager was going to come down and give us a hand.

...why he just didn't do that to begin with...

He gets the pump working, which is finicky. It's woefully under-powered, and has to move your "stuff" nearly 200 feet to land and 12 feet up to reach the city sewers. It also shuts off after 10 minutes, so you need someone on the dock to press the button to start it again. It took us 30 minutes to get the deed done, but done it got.

Wide open waters
You see the craziest things on the ICW
Back onto open waters, and as predicted, the winds did calm. The crossing was wonderful. No twisting and turning, no worrying about depths and shoals. In fact, it was the first time in a long time we could eat lunch side-by-side while watching our progress. Usually, one of us has to "drive." After days of ICW craziness we can see why folks choose to go outside.

Crossing complete we got onto a cut that took us up to the Campbell Creek. Just as we got to the mouth of the creek Rip and Beth Tyler hailed us -- they'd been watching our progress on Nebo. They talked us to their place, and met us on the dock. After dogs got a break, we had them over for some cheese and crackers and sangria. 

Beth and Rip

Sunset on Campbell Creek

The only stat that's changed was the deer-fly count, which went up by 7. Total: 14

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