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The seas are nice and calm today, winds are dying down so were motor sailing. We are maintaining about 7 knots. This is a heavy boat so I am told. Moonshadow is more stable not really a racer but a cruiser. A new report comes in, a weather front is moving in and we will have to duck in to Cape Fear for the day to wait out the storm. Otherwise, it would be to unstable to sail around Cape Hatteras. There are only a few spots in the world that act like Cape Hatteras making it once again the real deal to sail around it.
The weather conditions have to be just right so we chart our course to Cape Fear. We will be getting into the sound of Cape Fear river around 10:30 pm. The problem is that now it is pitch black. There are not many street lights out in the ocean. So to navigate you need to know how to read the buoy lights. However, mind you the lights are going up and down just like you are with the waves. The standard navigational process of going into port is green lights are on your port. That would be your left side facing forward and starboard would be your right. Now imagine this approaching the entrance of the bay from the ocean. We were following the lights, Captain Paul is at the helm. I am on port watching and Monica is on starboard. We are calling out the lights as we see them and Paul is making adjustments. All of a sudden we get a call on the VHF, "Moonshadow, Moonshadow, we are the freighter coming out of the harbor will need some room." We look up and see this massive freighter 800 ft long coming out of the harbor about 1/2 mile away. The seas are up and the wind is blowing. The ship is rocking, Paul steers to the starboard of the channel to give room to the freighter. As it passes about 1/4 mile from us in the middle of the night with rolling seas were stunned at the size and closeness.
For the next hour and half we travel at 4 to 6 knots through the channel looking for lighted buoys to guide us. Paul is yelling do you see the next one and Monica yells back but shes facing forward in to the wind and Paul cant hear her. He yells what, what, then she turns and yells back, this goes on for like 25 min. We are trying to keep the boat in the middle of the channel in the inter coastal waterways. There were no lights on the buoys and the depth is at 12 ft in the channel. Out side the channel it was 3 to 5 foot deep and we have a 6 ft keel. So, we were nervous that will run a ground. Well it all worked out. Paul and Monica are awesome sailors. We docked up at 12:30 am felt quite relieved that we were tied up for the night!!