Since 1978 I have been fortunate to sail wooden boats. In 2006 I set out to find a Drascombe Longboat Cruiser for single-handed expedition sailing. This is the continuing story of how it came to be, our adventures, notes on the maritime world and other things I don't want to forget...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ROB Day 11

Wednesday, May 11.  Getting up and setting out pre-dawn is the best. It is very quiet and you slip away unnoticed. I cleared the entrance to Silver Lake on Ocracoke Island and started retracing my track from two days back. Within a half hour there was enough light to make markers with light winds out of the NE. With the tide running out, I motorsailed through the Nine Foot Shoal Channel, killed the engine and beat around Royal Shoals. The wind had picked up to around 12 with one foot chop, 5 second interval.

Click me

I continued west for several hours having shook out the reef wind increasing to 15 , full sail. We skirted the south edge of the prohibited area (large bombing sight) moving well at 5-6 knots with waves on the starboard stern quarter. Within 5 miles of of Bay River the wind picked up again gusting 20+ and I dropped the main and continued with 1/4 reefed headsail and mizzen.

Luckless trolling across the Pamlico Sound

Got a bit too close to Maw Point and had to face the now 4' waves (still 5 second interval!) and claw off to the SE. Very wet and exciting. Smoke from fires to the north had spread into my planned route to Bath up the Pamlico River so I decided to head south. The swells were quite big by our standards and as we clicked off miles we passed a number of yachts plying north along the Neuse/ICW. They were bashing into the waves and throwing nice bow spray.

Rolling with the punches

Northbound exodus along the ICW

I had decided not to chance Broad Creek and Paradise Marina where I had put in for there was no breakwater. Once Cedar Island started blocking the wind a couple of miles to the east the wind settled down. It became very overcast and rain looked eminent. It held dry and we turned north around the Oriental rock jetty at 4:30. I tied up to the Town Dock for the night and had a celebratory dinner at M&Ms...  chorizo black bean quesadillas and you guessed it... Red Stripe!     (46.5 miles today)

Whooped but happy

Safe harbor

At ease

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