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Saturday, October 3, 2020

Columbia, town dock

As boaters we do our best to travel when the weather allows us. Looking forward to the next few days, if we didn't leave Plymouth today we might have had to stay there for several days. The forecast told us winds of less than 10 mph would be NNE. Our route would be more easterly, which isn't great for us (the catamaran doesn't ride very comfortably with the waves on our nose), but a NNE wind should be dandy.

We would have left earlier but there was
some kind of fishing event going on.
But, sometimes the forecast is wrong. 

Winds were higher than 10 mph, especially past the bridge into the wider body of the Albemarle. More problematic, though, was they were also mostly from the east.

The Albemarle is longer east to west, and totally exposed from the east. If the winds are coming solidly from the east, the resulting waves could have started somewhere in the Atlantic. These days are not recommended for traveling.

Not great water
The ride to the bridge was fine. After, however, the wave continued to grow. We mostly took these on the quarter beam, so the ride was fine, but the waves were solidly growing to 2 - 3 feet. But once we made the turn to head toward Columbia, the waves were on our beam. We hate that!

We tried to ride it out for a while, dealing with the rocking from side to side, but we could hear items in cabinets in the galley slamming around. The ride, while not as bad, was reminiscent of our crossing. After a particularly bad roll (our data monitors told us we rocked around 12 degrees) which knocked over computers and other items we changed our course a bit to quarter the waves. That helped. Then we tried to tack back, but our angle was still too straight for the waves. We tacked out again for another few minutes, then turned back. That last ride, with the occasional 4 foot wave, was smooth. As soon as we got land between us and the wind the water simply laid down. 

At the town dock in Columbia, NC.
The river is called the Scuppernong.
I don't know why that makes me laugh.
The rest of the ride was without incident.

The winds will remain for a few days. We will be staying here. It's only another 3 hours of travel to get off the sound, but we're gonna try for a very dull day.

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