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Day 1 - Maiden Voyage Coinjock, NC
By Gilbert Patton
Posted on 12/7/2016 3:31 PM

Began the maiden voyage for the three of us this morning from Chesapeake, Va. leaving around 8:15 am (without a hired captain on board).


The waterway we are starting out on is more of a canal with a narrow channel so it is critical to stay within it as outside is too shallow for our boat.


Traveled the three miles to the first bridge that required opening in order for us to pass under it.


A flotilla of power and sailboats were already lined up when we arrived.


I could not see all of the power boats in the front but it looked like there were 4-5 of them.


Lined up behind the power boats were 4 sailboats, then us, followed by yet another sailboat.


We arrived at the bridge right at opening time so we only had to slow to idle speed while the bridge swung open to allow this flotilla to pass.


Chrysalis stayed in its slot within the group and soon the power boats were out of site while we cruised along at sailboat speed (about 5 knts/hr.).


As a result of staying with the sailboats we missed the 9 am opening of the next bridge as it was 5 miles further down the waterway.


While waiting the 15 minutes for the bridge to open Chrysalis slowly passed three of the sailboats in front of them.


As the bridge drew itself up to allow the boats the pass through, Chrysalis and the lead sailboat, Rockhopper, exchanged hand signals to indicate that upon passing the bridge Rockhopper would move starboard (right) to allow Chrysalis to pass them on their port (left).


Upon passing Rockhopper, Chrysalis pushed the throttles to provide a speed of about 8.4 knts (about 10 mph).


Now we are moving but there are no boats to show us the path so watching the chart plotter and the paper charts becomes critical (but not difficult especially with the new chart plotter).


Once we turned south the sun came out and warmed us up as we were steering from the flybridge (forgot to mention it was about 39 degrees when we shoved off).


The southbound segment was mostly straight in wide waters with good buoy marking to provide channel location.


About 11:30 Deb made lunch down below and brought it up to the flybridge so we could eat while underway.


About that time the channel took a turn to the east that had Chrysalis taking the wind generated waves against the beam.


Prior to this turn Chrysalis had been following seas which helped our speed and made for a good ride.


With the turn east and the waves hitting the beam the ability to maintain our course required focus and effort.


Thirty minutes later we turned south again which once again provided smooth sailing.


Thank goodness as soon the sailing channel once again became narrow with land within 50 yards on both sides of the boat.


Alas this was the start of another long dredged canal that is part of the ICW (Inter Coastal Waterway) and the Coinjock Marina is located just a mile or two down this area.


The marina is contacted and they ask us to go to the south end of their long shore line docks and then pull in on Chrysalis’s starboard side.


With a couple of minor adjustments Chrysalis was alongside, lines were handed off to a dockhand and todays maiden journey was complete.


Originally we had hoped to travel some 70 miles to Alligator River Marina however, due to running with the sailboats we arrived at Coinjock (37.4 miles) at 1:30 pm.


Coinjock is the only Marina before Alligator River Marina so it is stop here, go all the way the Alligator or anchor out, which we are not ready to do yet.


Based on the time when approaching Coinjock we would have arrived at Alligator River around 4:30 pm.


Sunset is 4:48 pm today so arriving so close to that time would not be prudent unless one wants to end their first sail at an unknown marina in the dark.


Our fuel was also showing tanks at 50% so we wanted to top those off before proceeding.


So after adding 83.7 gallons to the tanks and topping off our water supply we are enjoying the 54 degrees, blue skies and sunshine in this little out of the way stop on the ICW.


Going to have to check fuel usage for the next few days at different speeds to see where the “sweet spot” is for the best MPG as today’s was disappointing.


That’s it for the maiden voyage of Chrysalis (first voyage with her new name)!


Tomorrow looks good for another travel day in order to get to warmer weather before returning late next week to Cincy for Xmas!


Captain is tired and needs to crash.


Crew must prepare and rest as 5:30 am will come early  for a 7 am departure…maybe we can travel all the way to Belhaven tomorrow or not.

Skipper Bob
Cruisers' Net