Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Broad Creek NC, Here Comes Zeta

We left Blackwater Creek this morning around nine a.m., later than I wanted to but we had to wait for the tide to rise to give us enough depth to cross the shoal at the creek's entrance. We continued south along the North Landing River under mostly cloudy skies, the sun sometimes peeking out to shine sparkles on the water. The river widened to a become two miles wide of shallow water with a narrow channel dredged through it, our path along the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).

The river ended at the North Carolina Cut, a narrow manmade channel where we crossed the Virginia border. The cut led us into the North River which began as a sinuous channel about a half-mile wide and then became a wide expanse of water, like a sound. The day had turned sunny and warm, with a consistent 10 knot wind out of the southwest.

We diverted from the ICW channel to the west bank of the river, navigating through consistent nine foot depths to the mouth of Broad Creek. We ventured a short way up the creek to a wide spot with a nice pool of 10-foot deep water and dropped anchor for the night.  This spot is similar to last night's anchorage, though with a few more trees and greater variety of marsh grasses and plants. We enjoyed some downtime on the lanai until we were chased inside by hungry mosquitos which appeared just after sunset. I had hoped it was late enough in the season to be too cold for mosquitos, but was out of luck. I feel a bit like Goldilocks, too hot, too cold, seldom just right.

And now here comes Hurricane Zeta, which is forecast to bring us high winds with gusts up to 30 knots tomorrow afternoon. This changes our planned route. Instead of turning left and sailing down on the inside of the Outer Banks, we'll cross the Albemarle Sound tomorrow morning and find a secure berth in Colombia, NC on the Scuppernong River. The hurricane's winds will be with us for several days, as they clock around from the south to the north. It looks like we'll have to stay put Thursday afternoon and Friday, be able to travel on Saturday and Sunday and then have to hole up again for Monday.

We are at ICW Mile Marker (MM) 60 (statute miles). Hilton Head is at MM 560. We have a long way to go and about three weeks to get there. This weather delay doesn't help and means we'll likely miss visiting Ocracoke, one of my favorite stops on the way north.

Sunset at anchor in Broad Creek
Approaching the North Carolina Cut

House along the North Carolina Cut

Intermezzo's anchorage in Broad Creek