Leander made Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina at 3 p.m. this afternoon. We entered the harbor in sight of an oversized United States flag, snapping smartly in a stiff breeze. We had departed from this same inlet in December 2007, heading out into the Atlantic on our first significant open-ocean passage, four days to Bermuda.
We covered 160 miles in the 24-hour run that ended at 10:30 a.m., and then sailed another 31 miles into Beaufort Inlet. The trip total was 722 miles from Nassau in the Bahamas. We’re now 550 miles from Boston. Only.
It was a good final 24 hours, although much rougher and windier than the first several days. But the wind and seas were aft of the beam, and so the sailing continued to be effortless. The entrance to Beaufort was particularly boisterous, with big seas from the south following us in. As we watched families and their children playing on the beach, they watched us surfing and rolling on oversized rollers. We made the turn around the shoaling sands into the inlet, and it was a good feeling to be in flat water again.
We haven’t gotten off the boat yet, as we’re tackling clean up projects. The to-do list has had a couple of items added to it, including one of the oversized foresail winches that needs to be taken apart. Something has gone awry with the gearing inside.
The weather is expected to deteriorate rapidly along the entire SE US coast starting tonight, and be particularly bad where we came from, the Bahamas and Florida. We are thankful to be in.