2017-05 Morehead City, NC to Belfast, ME

May 9, 2017

This post will detail our trip from Morehead City, NC to Belfast Maine. It was written (mostly) en route by Bradley.

We departed from Morehead City Yacht Basin  at 15:00 on Saturday, April 29th. Our crew was our good friend Neil from New Zealand who will be spending the season with us as our engineer, and Bob, a great new friend who was introduced to us by a mutual acquaintance. Bob is the previous owner of “The Good Life”, a very familiar looking Nordhavn 72 which is now named Shear Madness! Needless to say, Bob required almost no training!

Bradley, Bob, and Neil

As we got underway, the wind was 15 to 20 knots, out of the Southwest, which was 50 degrees off our starboard bow for the first 4 hours of our trip.  The boat was freshly waxed, washed and chamoised.  Of course it was an ebbing tide, so we had wind over waves, creating short, steep and very wet waves.  Within 30 minutes Shear Madness was covered in Saltwater.

Once we turned north after clearing the Cape Lookout bar, the trip became wonderful. Over the next three days we had wind from 15 to 20 degrees off our port stern to dead on the stern blowing 15 to 50 knots.  Waves were 1 to 4+ feet, but the ride was just great.  For the first 36 hours we ran a generator and air conditioning, keeping the boat closed.  By Monday morning early we were able turn off a/c and generator, open the boat and use the flybridge.

Bob enjoys the pleasant conditions on passage

Tuesday morning was a foggy, rainy (pouring sheets) and cold day, with temps in the 10c/50F range.  No morning swim today ☺. It poured, giving us a good boat wash.  After anchoring just south of the Cape Cod Canal around 11:30am, it was a popcorn and movie afternoon.  We watched Lion, and if you have not seen it, highly recommend. Bob prepared an absolutely wonderful turkey curry for dinner, which we enjoyed while watching a second very good movie, and true story, Queen of Katwe.

Today (Wednesday, May 3) we are heading through the Cape Cod Canal and on to Belfast Maine, stopping each night along the way.  Some weather tonight we want to avoid.  Weather now is great with stunning blue skies, 13c/55f with temperature rising by noon. Sooo nice to wake up slightly cold, rather than hot and sweaty.

Entrance to Cape Cod Canal

It is now Wednesday at 16:00 and we have continued north. We had a perfect trip through the Cape Cod Canal. Based on projected weather patterns we elected to coastal hop up to Belfast, rather than a non-stop 200-mile trip.  This is because they were calling for 30 plus knots of wind on our nose and even worse if we took the direct route.  So, we hugged the coast and stopped at Cape Hedge/Milk Island bay.  Just as predicted the wind started kicking up in early afternoon and by the time we anchored at 19:00 it was blowing in high thirties.  The blistering rain on Tuesday had cleaned SM, but she was again covered in salt☹.

We had good wind protection and not too much rolling, all slept well.  It was a 05:30 start this morning (Thursday), but was a beautiful sunrise. We had planned almost a 100 mile run today and the weather came through as predicted, Dead clam all day, with winds building to 10-15 on stern late in day.  We have a great anchorage picked out north of Burnt & Allen islands.  That will leave us a 42 mile run on Friday.  Temp. this morning was 4.5c/40 this morning but made it all the way up to 15.5/60 this afternoon.

Beautiful sunrise at 5:35 AM

Our final day on the water began on Friday at 6:30am. It was a pleasant day, with many lobster pots to dodge, and we arrived in Belfast by noon. Ben from Front Street Shipyard came out to meet us for some sea trials in preparation for the maintenance work we will have done here. More on that in the next post.

All in all, it was a great trip. Good conditions, outstanding crew, dolphin and whale shows, great scenery, good food. Not much more we could hope for!

  1. #1 by Kerri Frischknecht on May 25, 2017 - 12:05 pm

    Hi Neil,
    Great to see where you are, and enjoying the posts. Take care
    Kerri & Jurg


  2. #2 by Michael Cook on May 15, 2017 - 6:10 pm

    Sounds a great trip. We are back in TCB for new batteries and repairs but will get under way again next week. Fair winds, Michael


  3. #3 by Tom Hewitt on May 10, 2017 - 2:29 pm

    Always look forward to you email on your current adventures. Life is great. Tom


  4. #4 by Rochelle Loeb on May 10, 2017 - 10:51 am

    My husband and I have enjoyed following all your adventures! We are 4 years away from our own plunge (hoping to find a 40ish N and get our sea legs on the Great Circle Loop). If you are thinking of venturing up the Penobscot by any chance, please let us know! We moved from MD to ME 18 yrs ago and Bangor is our current stomping ground. We had the happy opportunity a few years back to meet up with a very lovely couple (and their furry friend) on a gorgeous N68 and take them to our favorite restaurant. You may have shared some iceberg cocktails with them 😉
    Safe travels and thank you again for all the inspiration!


  5. #5 by Rob on May 10, 2017 - 8:16 am

    Awesome stuff. You are 45 minutes from my home. We are quickly getting our boat ready to launch hopefully Friday swing by Derecktor Robinhood in Georgetown this summer if it fits your plans. That entire area is great cruising.


  6. #6 by mikes motorcycle adventures on May 9, 2017 - 7:52 pm

    I enjoy your posts! Are the twin lights Thatcher’s Island, off of Rockport, MA? I’m curious where you anchored near there. It gets fairly shallow west of the island.


  7. #7 by Anonymous on May 9, 2017 - 7:13 pm

    Your passage looked beautiful! Dick and I will be traveling the Cape Cod canal in October… so fun to see a preview!


  8. #8 by Anonymous on May 9, 2017 - 6:31 pm

    Great pictures….But love the videos to….Safe motoring…


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