Up at 6:15 again but it is still too dark at 6:30 to leave due to our experience yesterday. We want better visibility and attention to our course from now on including both us on watch as much as possible so we are letting the sky lighten at little more before we head out. Laying here quietly at anchor it is so still and quiet that the water looks like old rippley glass and every boat points a different direction in the soft early morning light. Slowly the eastern reddening sky lent its color to the tranquil bay waters. Our bow was pointing west with the chain straight down though our anchor is hooked toward the east.
6:50, the anchor is up, and we headed out channel toward the main ICW. Now I know why we had trouble getting the anchor to set. Parts of the chain were caked in mud but most of it was clean as a whistle. There must be lots of grass down there and only pockets of mud for the anchor to grab.
Up ahead there were diving birds, no, a pod of dolphins surfacing and diving so we kept the RPM’s at minimal speed. We passed by the main pod and they reversed their direction to accompany us for a few minutes which we thought was delightful. Soon they tired of us and we both sped off in our selective directions but it was a nice start to the day plus Bob has now seen his first dolphin of our trip south. With many more dolphin sightings throughout the day I am naming this Dolphin Day!
We decided to stop at Zimmerman Marine Yard in Southport since our alternator belt is still whining. We cranked the engine up to 2000 rpms and sped upriver, passing Carolina Beach where most of the other boats in our pod were stopping for the night and we went against the current through Snows Cut. Next we entered Cape Fear River and were with the current so our SOG was 10 and 11 knots which helped to bring us in to Southport at 4pm, an hour earlier than predicted. Boy it’s awesome to have a fast boat!
As we neared the marina we went through the engine rpms again and…hardly any whine at all. Go Figure! The marina is very nice and a lot of people were on their boats. I had hopes of doing some sanding and varnish work but felt self-conscious running the sander here. The showers were the best of anyplace we’ve been and the wifi works, no problem, first time, all the time. 5 stars!