Several weeks ago around 16 June Nathan, Lisa's son, came down with his girlfriend Alyssa for a long weekend. They drove the 8 hours to our house and went to sleep. A few hours later we were all up and in the packed truck for another 3 hour drive to the boat.
Side note, I can't wait to move to our new apartment so it will only be a 2.5 hour drive.
We got Starjewel opened up and started the AC to cool the boat down from the stuffy 98 degrees to something reasonable. We let the AC run while we went to The Silos restaurant for some pizza and a huge calzone, that only Nathan could finish in one sitting. After all their driving we wanted to get some rest before the 8 hour motor/sail to Cape Lookout. Whenever we have guests that have a few days we always like doing the Cape Lookout trip. It's a nice combination of smooth ICW motoring, a little coastal sailing in the Atlantic ending in a nice calm anchorage with a beautiful sandy beach and lighthouse.
Like every trip it was smooth down the ICW. When we reached the mouth of the river the waves started picking up. Nothing too terrible, but for people unaccustomed to the way a sailboat rides it was a little uncomfortable. The winds were from almost directly east, meaning a little longer sail in the ocean. We took a port tack out into deeper water so we could make a starboard tack run us all the way to the bite. It took a little longer but it was nice to have the sails up heading to Cape Lookout. We furled the sails just before rounding the first red buoy and started to pick out our anchorage for the weekend. Cape Lookout fills up every morning and empties out every evening with people enjoying the sandy beaches before speeding home for the night. When we pulled in there was one 35' motorboat trying to find a good anchorage spot. He was dropping in one location so we moved on up ahead of him to take another. He apparently didn't like the holding so he sped in front of us to take the nice spot we were heading to. Undeterred we went and dropped further back and held the whole weekend. The motorboat still couldn't get set, and after four tries decided to call it a day and headed back home. That night Nathan and Alyssa took the kayaks over to the beach to get out and enjoy solid land for a little bit before dinner. Lisa had prepared several dishes at home so we didn't have a lot of cooking to do in the heat. We tidied up Starjewel and relaxed in the cockpit for awhile before bedding down for the night. With a steady 10-15kts of breeze we didn't even run the air conditioning the first night.
The next day Nathan and Alyssa were running around in the dingy and kayaks exploring the lighthouse and beaches. While they were off running around Lisa and I took some time to go for a kayak race around the coast guard mooring, then a swim to the beach. That evening we grilled out on the back of Starjewel and played a little 500 rummy. I think Nathan was about 20-1 in the win loss columns, but I finally won one hand before we finished. The sail back was much smoother, with a beam to broad reach back to the ICW. We ran the diesel hard on the way back to Pecan Grove to make some time. As soon as we tied up we all worked to unload Starjewel gave her a quick once over and fresh water wash, then we were in the car. Of course no vacation to Oriental would be complete without a stop by The Bean for a scoop of ice cream on the way home.
It was really nice having Nathan and Alyssa down. It's not often you get to see family while you're travelling in the military. It's even better when you can treat them to something as great as sailing in the Atlantic to a beautiful place like Cape Lookout.