21 days on the boat.

On July 1st we departed Osprey Marina for a trip north. It was a beautiful day and we made it to Little River, SC. But with a hurricane coming we ducked into Cricket Creek Marina. The hurricane was a bust here but the weather was rotten so we stayed two nights. Top wind during “Aurthur” was 35mph.

Friday (the 4th of July) we took off for Southport, NC and had a nice trip, all electronics were working as advertised (rudder response is a little high but I’ll fix that when I get back). Got in to Southport about 4PM and we tied up at the north end of the Face dock, perfect for viewing the Fireworks over the bay.

Saturday we traveled unmolested to Wrightsville Beach. The trip up the Cape Fear River and trough Snows Cut was timed perfectly to take advantage of the tides. Had the famous “Fish & Chips” (Tuna & Taco chips) at Dockside Restaurant. Lots of people at the restaurant, which was also our dock for the night.

Anchored out in Mile Hammock on the 6th (Sunday) after a day of dodging all the weekend boaters on the ICW. Mile Hammock is a protected and dredged anchorage that is part of Camp lejenue, the Marine base. This spot is well known by ICW travelers but locals only use it for fishing. It was a very quiet night under an almost full moon. Four other boats anchored that night, it can fit about 15-20.

Monday we SAILED up to Morehead City. Morehead City Yacht Basin is a nice marina, we stayed two nights. Our original plan was to go outside here to get to the bay behind Cape Lookout. This was squashed but high winds and rough seas. So instead we went up the Adams Creek and across the Neuse River (again under sail) to Oriental, NC. A quaint little town that is a must stop on the ICW. Had dinner at M&M’s, also a must stop. And breakfast at Beans Coffee. Stayed two nights.

After Oriental we went back to Morehead City Yacht Basin getting ready to head home. But first, the next day was Saturday, Ro’s birthday.
My surprise for her was that I checked the weather and it was good, so we went outside and sailed to Lookout Bight.

Lookout Bight

Lookout Bight was as beautiful as we expected. The water was clear the sand on the beach was soft, the shelling was great. The first day we took the dinghy to shore and collected shells. That night was Ro’s birthday, and the moon helped, it was the brightest and largest moon in years. This was because it was also the closest it would come for a long time, it was called a “Super Moon”. Day two we took the dinghy to the cut in the dunes to get to the ocean. The water was warm, the surf was nil. But the sun was hot and we had a good time. Traveling back first we ran out of gas, then the oar broke. Climbing back on board the ladder standoff broke. This was the start of the troubles on this trip.

The next day (Monday) we started back to Morehead City. Right into the face of 25-30 knt winds and 7′ seas across our port bow. The 1 1/2 hours we were out in that it rocked and rolled like I have never experienced before. A boat that left the same time as we did tried to set his sails but we watched as they shook back and forth in the head wind the whole way. But we made it back to Morehead City with only one casualty, my computer fell and broke the screen, total loss.

Next day, the 14th, we set off for home only to be stuck in 30-35 knt winds. At first it wasn’t so bad, maybe 15-20, so I set my jib. It worked for a while, but the wind shifted and the sail luffed and the lines got tangled. I crawled out to the for-deck an tried to untangle them. I got beat bad by the ropes flaying in the wind. The sail suffered, too, most of the trailing edge lost it’s stitching and will have to go to the sail maker to be repaired. After I finally got the sail in I spotted Spooners Creek Marina about a 1/4 mile ahead. Called in but no response. Figured I could go in and at least regroup. Got in and the dockmaster was standing on the dock fueling a small fishing boat. He helped us tie up and we stayed for two days which rained all the time.

Finally took off from Spooners Creek on Wednesday. We got passed Swansboro and Sneeds Ferry but didn’t want to go all the way to Wrightsville Beach so we stopped at Harbour Village Marina a very nice marina with a good restaurant nearby that delivers. At least our bad weather troubles were over.

Next it was on to Southport. And then to Dock Holiday Marina and home at Osprey Marina without any more drama. It was a fun trip and lots of excitement, but we were glad to be home.

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