|Here's what things looked like before we left.|
Having gotten our recent boat issues resolved, we left the City Docks in Wilmington (thanks for all your help R.T.) and headed down the Cape Fear River. We just threw the fenders on the trampoline and left the dock lines on deck to dry because we were just going down the river. We even considered leaving some of the hatches open.
Holy smokes, did we get that wrong.
The wind started picking up and hit 40 knots at one point (they were forecasted to be 10 knots on the river). Matt's clipped-on hat blew off and we practiced our man overboard maneuvers while retrieving it. The outgoing current and opposing strong winds churned up choppy waves that were at least 4 feet high and very numerous.
The fenders were bouncing all over the trampoline so we decided we need to bring them back to the cockpit before they fell overboard and fouled our propellers. In the process, we both got soaked from the waves splashing over the bow. At some point during all this, we lost one of the horse collar life preservers that was mounted at side of the boat (and clipped in).
The anchorage was filled with white caps until the current settled down. Then the whole thing was repeated in the middle of the night. On the plus side, our anchor held tight, the thunderstorm that was forecasted mostly missed us, and there were no mosquitos. And there is internet!
We were going to leave to start up the coast today but there is a small craft advisory out until Sunday (or Tuesday depending on how small your craft is). So we will be here until it's safe to go back in the ocean.