We had a fast and pretty agitated crossing with plenty of wind and sometimes big waves. Like always with the gulf stream we were stressed as to how the sea will behave once we crossed its way but this time the stream was very gentle with us and the big seas of just an hour ago became moderate even though the wind got much stronger – gusting to 28 knots apparent, so about 36 knots true. But early this
morning we entered Beaufort inlet. This was probably the most stressful part of all this passage – finding your way between dozens of flashing greens and reds and white lights, against almost 3 knots of current and the wind blowing at 15-20 knots from the other direction, waves breaking everywhere and Nomad makes barely 2 knots of speed and all this in complete darkness.
We caught this big mouton snapper as we were going through the Moraine Cay channel out to the ocean. Perfect timing because once outside in the ocean swell this happy fisherwoman had a different attitude for fishing
our two beautiful princesses
With the GPS and elecrtonic charts the channel bouys sometimes seem more of a danger to avoid than a help to navigation. But we made it through and once past the main channel we took a sharp turn to starboard to find an anchorage somewhere behind the long sandy island of Shackleford. Virginie on the bow with a big torch looking for the line of breakers on our starboard and for shoals and sticks and buoys ahead of us. We managed to motor against the current for one mile eastward relaying mainly on the depth sounder and the GPS. Already at the harbour entrance we noticed the NOAA’s charts we have on board (from 2015) did not completely match the reality as we had some of the channel buoys placed in wrong places. Here in the Shackleford banks the depth were not correct and just as we approached the point where we intended to drop the anchor the depth dropped quickly from 6 meters to 2 to 1.5 and then suddenly 0.9. We ran aground. A minute of hesitation, what is the the best thing to do?
Noa at school. For most of the passage the sea was too rough to do any sort of school.
More and more of these AIS targets showed up on the screen as we sailed north with pretty strong south-easterly wind. It was around 0100 and the first target, Dakota 10, had a very strong white light. We did not understand what sort of a vessel is this. We tried calling them on the VHF but no one answered. Apparently these are buoys (of a fishing net?) used by a fishing vessel named Dakota.
A push with the engine made Nomad turn on its place and now with the strong current with us and the engine at high revs we managed to get off the sand bank. We motored back on our track about 200 meters and dropped the anchor. As the chain rolled out of its locker we noticed the beautiful skies changing colors as we approached sunrise time. Time to go to sleep.
same cloud with a little more day light
Now after 4 hours of good sleep, a delicious breakfast with freshly baked bread and the boat cleaned up from the mess of life on board while crossing we are ready to head to Beaufort for the clearance procedure with customs and immigration.
The 5 nomads in the States!
Wild horses on Carrot Island with Shackleford bank in the background. The first morning we anchored behind the low sand dune on the western side of the bank next to where the breakers end.