Yes! We made it to Beaufort Tuesday morning -- our jumping off place for the ocean voyage to Charleston SC. As we exited Adams Creek Canal to the outskirts of town we were welcomed by a dolphin! A good omen perhaps. We had trouble finding anchoring space in Taylor’s Creek opposite town, so we meandered down the channel and found good depth off the beach at Radio Island. The sun came out and dried up the rain so we splashed the kayak for the first time in a month. Our target was the Rachel Carson Reserve on Carrot Island. This place, only accessible by boat, is a bird rookery and wild ponies live there, so we thought we would try to see what we could see. And did we! Herons, egrets, white ibis, oystercatchers, sanderlings (or were they plovers?) and PONIES!! 25 of them grazing along the shore, some wading in to eat the marsh grasses. We kept going aground with the kayak on hard sea shells, so we weren’t able to get very close, but WOW!!! (Photo from cell phone - sorry about the quality) That was very gratifying and the exercise was great after being on the boat for over a week. We even went to town for a nice dinner.
Wednesday morning greeted us before dawn with monster winds. Our calm anchorage was all churned up and John did anchor watch while Patti tracked the weather to try to find an end to the aggravating winds. John also did some more nature photography with a real camera and got some great shots of the pelicans around the boat. The National Weather Service promised that the afternoon would be calmer, so having confidence in our Rocna, we left the boat for town to get a new shackle for our dinghy davits and to re-provision at the Piggly Wiggly. (Did you know they still smoke in grocery stores in North Carolina?) The dinghy ride back to Anhinga was a hoot. We decided to sit on the floor instead of on the tubes because, guess what? The National Weather Service was wrong and the winds hadn’t died down. Our course was into the wind -- very wet by dinghy -- hence the turtle routine. Back safe. Checking our SSB email, we had our first installment from the weather router we hired to go offshore. Confirming our analysis, tomorrow is go day. Charleston, here we come!
Beaufort NC: +34° 42' 47.28", -76° 40' 45.24"