Bright and early Friday morning, before the crack of dawn, we got the car all packed and headed for the coast. When we arrived to Oriental it was a quick unpacking and readying the boat to push away from the dock. The sun was peeking out from the clouds and the wind was around 10 knots. Near perfect weather for sailing. We crossed the Neuse River and were just starting down the ICW when the storm hit. We didn't have a sheet of sail out and were heeling 5 degrees to port as the winds blew from the West. Lisa was at the helm and taking the wind and waves in stride. Unfortunately this would be a preview of things to come.
After about an hour the storm subsided and the trip down the ICW was much smoother, until we hit the mouth of the ICW and Beaufort inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. The storm had whipped up the water and the tide was coming in forcing the seas up into our bow. Once in Onslow Bay and the open waters we attempted to put up some sail. As we were unfurling the main the furling line came off the wench. I immediately went up to secure the sail. I originally thought the line had snapped, but it just slipped off the wench. With the waves and our new sailors under toe we opted to just finish the last few miles under power.
We arrived at Cape Lookout to calmer water and pristine beaches. We set our anchor and settled in for the night. The next morning was beautiful. I love being at Cape Lookout early in the morning to enjoy it all for myself before the daily crowds of power boaters arrive to party the low tide away. We spent the day at the beach taking the new dingy to shore so we could relax in the sand. Abigail was swimming in the bay and searching for sea shells and sand dollars. After collecting a full bag of precious shells and working on our tans we headed back to grill out and relax before getting ready for bed.
Sunday we pulled anchor and moved closer to the lighthouse so we could more easily go to shore and explore the Eastern beach of Cape Lookout. After a few hours walking, swimming and exploring the lighthouse grounds we made our way back to Starjewel. When we went to raise anchor we realized the anchor rode had become wrapped around our keel due to conflicting current and winds. Luckily I had seen a video by the crew at Wicked Salty and knew immediately what was wrong. After a dive under the hull to free the boat our anchor was up and we were on our way home.
The trip to the ICW was fairly calm and we managed to raise the sail with no issues this time. Upon entering the Beaufort channel we had a few accidental jibes trying to keep the wind at our back quarter for a deep broad reach. Perhaps I should rig a preventer sometime soon.
That wasn't the end of course. It stormed for about 30 minutes after passing the I70 bridge Northbound and continued to rain until we reached the Oriental channel markers. The ICW hated us over the weekend, but we prevailed. Any sailing is good sailing, I say.
I don't know if Mom and Abigail had quite as much fun as Lisa and I with all the rain and winds but it was good having them on the boat. Hopefully we can talk them into sailing with us again sometime in the near future. Maybe in the Bahamas during the nice season for the next trip.