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Graham goes fish'n

Alan Stewart

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Graham left the shop on his OB-20 Jeanie yesterday for a few days of much deserved vacation and fishing time. His plan is to visit Drum inlet. He has his spot tracker and you can see his location with this link. 



Yesterday evening he called in to report that he was dropping anchor just west of Thoroughfare canal. Tomorrow he will poke his way across Core Sound. 


Here is a quick clip of him leaving for the OBX130 a while back. This is what it looked like yesterday :)


On wednesday we took the boat over to Cedar island to recover a fellow watertribers kayak from his NCC adventures. (read about that here). On that trip we used about a half tank of gas for about 50nm with an average speed of about 18 knots. We worked that out to about 3nm per gallon at that speed. We are looking into getting a sensitive fuel flow meter so we can figure out her most economical cruise speed but the Evinrude has been running great. 




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I had been thinking, with the promise of mild weather for the next three days of going out to see if I could find a way through the maze of shifting sands to the new Drum Inlet that a hurricane had cut a few years ago. With the call for help to rescue the kayak, I shelved the idea. By the time we brought the kayak home I thought that maybe the weather would let me do both. 


I had been fiddling with the outboard/ transom height and found that out in open water that there was some cavitation. I needed to drop the motor back to the previous hole which was the reason for hauling the boat.


I got away much later than I wanted and I still had to fuel up. I left a few critical things behind, the loss of the depth sounder was just a minor annoyance. When I made it to where the channel ended , the wind was stronger than forecast with a good chop and  whitecaps. The sky was overcast with the light in my face, I just could not read the water and did not want to risk running aground and bounce the spinning prop and outboard leg on the bottom while pitching about 1 1/2 feet.  I had been out to the old Drum inlet in my BRS and if I had been in it, I would have set the board to about 18" below the bottom and used it as my depth sounder and pushed on.


Yes I have heard of a lead line and I own one, it was not with me. They are accurate and reliable. I still would have aborted because I find it hard to work a lead line single handed and get back to the helm every few feet with the bow blowing off when I stop. One of the compromises of a planing hull is that there is no lateral plane allowing the bow to quickly blow off.


I try not to make decisions in haste so I elected to run over to Atlantic and get some shelter in the lee of the breakwater and have breakfast and plan a course of action without pressure. I looked at several options and decided to leave the inlet for another day and go up to Hog Island where I could try my luck in shelter. Luck was not with me so I had lunch and headed home taking the time to revisit Vandemere Creek.


It is not a big deal that I did not make it to the inlet, I view the trip as a success. I had a wonderful time, travelled more than 100 nautical miles over three days with the boat performing flawlessly and the inlet will wait for me. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’m glad you went, Graham.  Sounds like a fun trip.  It is imperative to be open to change on any cruise.  Sticking to Plan A regardless of the situation rarely works out.  You know this better than any of us, though.  I figured you had a lead line along, but being solo would have made that look like a scene from the Keystone Cops.  I’m happy that you’re back home, safe and sound.

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