Hi Girls & Guys:
This leg was one of the strangest of the journey. The Tern motored out of Moorehead City NC at sunrise on our way to Wanchese NC to visit with my longtime fisherman friend Frog Tillet! The tough part of this leg would be to get through Ocracoke Inlet 60 nautical miles north, then into Pamilco Sound to Wanchese. They call it a sound but there is only 8 feet of water in most of the sound. This particular inlet was home to the famous pirate Edward Teach AKA Captain Black Beard. He had his fortress in Silver Lake just inside the inlet.

The trip from Moorehead City was uneventful but once inside the inlet things changed very fast! Once through the treacherous inlet I went below to get my camera to take pics of the sunset. I felt a soft bump and the Tern was no longer moving. It was dead low tide so I figured the Tern would float off in an hour or so. Well I was wrong, the wind came up from the southwest driving the water out of the sound. I kept her in gear thinking the incoming tide would lift her off, then I felt this presence on board my boat. When I went below I bumped into things that were not there and I realized I was being visited by Blackbeard himself. It was such an eerie feeling almost like I was in the grasp of this long dead pirate. After three long hours of standing at the helm willing the Tern to break free of his grasp I decided to call the coast guard. My radio would not work, when I looked aloft at the antennae it was gone! Fortunately I had a 5 watt handheld radio below and called the coast guard. They asked me if I was in immediate danger and since Blackbeard had not threatened me (he was laughing at me), I told them no! They told me they would call Tow Boat US. Towboat arrived from Cape Hatteras two hours later. Just after midnight he pulled the Tern off the sandbar. I let out a big “Arrgh” and anchored up in Teach’s hideout for the night. I had been initiated into the mysteries of the pirate world by one of the best.The tow bill was $1700 but my tow insurance paid it all.

Early the next morning we headed out to Wanchese to visit my friend Frog. When I told Frog of my encounter with Teach he told me I was not the first to report such a sighting at that inlet. Of course Frog is the one that told me to come in Ocracoke inlet. Do you think he knew all along? The next few weeks will bring Naggies and Picaroons into my path! More on that later.

The next two weeks we spent in Wanchese waiting for the weather up north to warm up and conduct long overdue maintenance. When the Tern left Wanchese she would be sporting new netting on her life lines thanks to Frog!

Only a few pics were taken on this trip due to the sensitive nature of pirates!
Mike