The new impeller worked well when I started up the engine in the morning so we motored a few hundred yards to the nearby fuel dock and filled up with 30 gallons of diesel. Then we took off motoring down the ICW. It was an easy day of me watching the autopilot do its thing while Anna and Louise stayed warm below, still trying to get over a cold too. I put the jib out a couple times to get a small speed boost but most of the time the wind conveniently shifted to always be on the nose.
We arrived in Oriental, NC about an hour before sunset and found a spot at the free dock there. It was nice to just hop off the boat and go for a little walk. Anna got ice cream that night and the next morning I tried to get a replacement shower handle at the marine store. They didn't have one but I got some fuel filters and oil. We had a late departure around 11:00am as it was only 24 miles to Beaufort, NC. This was a nice short trip, and even a little exciting when a very young deer swam across the channel just in front of the boat. We found a nice spot to anchor near the dinghy dock. There were some big winds coming the next day so it was nice to feel the anchor set really hard--a good yank. Hopefully it is not actually stuck on an obstruction!
We survived the windy afternoon and night and have been bumming around for a couple days. It has been cold! We figured out that the generator alone can run the climate control system (I was getting too fancy trying to run it through the inverter, sometimes you just have to try the simple things) so now we have some relief when the temperatures get extreme. One gallon of gas probably runs it for 4-5 hours so its pretty reasonable to run occasionally. One night it got down to 33 degrees, and then it was a high of 45 degrees yesterday. Now the weather appears to be stabilizing in the 50s which we have found to be pretty reasonable.
Today it really would have been good to sail "outside" (in the ocean versus in the ICW) to Wrightsville Beach as the weather was favorable, but I have a two-day cough and figured a long 12-hour day would not be good for my health. Plus it was really cold in the morning. So we stayed here and I went to town to get Louise's medication. I also found a laundry place so went back to the boat to get all the blankets and towels and got that done.
The next three days will be solid rain so we will be hunkered down. Good thing I got some good books at the book exchange in Belhaven! The rain is part of a crazy storm system that is brewing in north Florida and will move up the coast through the weekend. On Saturday the winds will build to 30 knots sustained and blow like that for about 24 hours where we are so that will be exciting. There is a lot of chatter on the cruising Facebook groups as the storm is hitting such a long segment of the coast and there are many people working their way south down the ICW like us at this time of year.
Maybe on Monday we will be on the move!