Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Back in Southport Again

Laying in bed we knew it wasn't going to be a warm morning.  Forecast was for below freezing temperatures in Carolina Beach and Southport.  It is hard to get out of bed when it is cold.  Since we only had a short trip, there was little motivation to get an early start.  The only real motivation was to make some hot coffee and let the oven serve a dual purpose to help out the reverse cycle heat to warm the boat up.

We do finally rise, cook breakfast, and slowly make the boat ready for the last jump for this leg of our trip while waiting for it to warm up as much as it will this day.  We depart the Masonboro Yacht club around 11 am and there is still ice on our new hardtop.  This ice would remain pretty much frozen for the whole trip.

It should take just a little over 3 hours to get from Masonboro to Deep Point Marina in Southport. But it will be a cold 3 hours.  Forecast high was just a little above freezing and that isn't a good thing for an open cockpit boat.  This boat was designed to be in the warm Caribbean, not the cold east coast. I'm glad we have the makeshift dodger but wish we had a full enclosure...oh well.

Layers of sweatshirts, coats, foul weather gear, ski gloves and knit caps try to keep us a little warm as we motor away.  The trip itself was uneventful other than a few shallow spots along the ICW.  There is some known shoaling along this stretch and we saw water as shallow as 6 foot, good thing we only draw 3 foot 7 inches.  We make the turn into the narrow channel called Snows Cut that connects Carolina Beach to the Cape Fear river.  Between both engines and the headsail fighting some current, we were able to make between 6 and 7 knots.

We arrive at Deep Point marina just as the ferry from Bald Head island is approaching.  Knowing that he is on a schedule and his dock is near where we will be put, I call him on the radio and let him know we will wait for him.  After the ferry passes, we motor into the protected man-made lagoon and dock the boat.

That night was supposed to again dip into the 20's so we again use the dehumidifer/heater to keep the water storage area warm.  And it was.  This is the report on the temperature this morning:

High of 35 and low of 20...brrr. Like the "much warmer" statement for today.
We are going to spend a few days here as we have discovered a few things that need our attention (imagine that on a boat). The house battery bank doesn't seem to be holding much of a charge after the last 5 months plugged into shore power. There also seems to be a small coolant leak in the starboard side engine that is depositing coolant into the bilge. The intermittent preheat solenoid may also be looked at again if we have the time and desire (although it has behaved for all but one start attempt this trip). This is also where we had left a car so it is time to do the car shuffle and go retrieve the one from Virginia.  I think we could also use a few days to just defrost and recuperate.  This marina has a monthly rate that is pretty decent and anything over about 5 days makes the monthly cheaper so we opted to just pay the monthly rate and will leave when we are ready.

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