Cape Lookout – When Bad Karma meets Good Fortune

Somebody did say skip going to Cape Lookout on Labor Day weekend, especially with the wind out of the northeast. Well of course I’m not going to listen. So anyway, winds out of the north means a very breezy and choppy Cape.

Got there Friday evening after dark (mistake #1) and found spot to anchor. I was pretty much tired from just returning from a conference on the other coast and was running on fumes and little rest (mistake #2). So dropped anchor and threw out about ~80ft of chain…in ~20ft of water (mistake #3). I was just tired and ready to go to bed. So the inevitable happened, Hemispheres drug in the middle of the night. I had this weird movement feeling that work me up and as I’m going up the companionway, the anchor alarm goes off (thanks a lot). I instinctively started the engine and threw her in forward but was too late. Hard aground. As it was about 2:30 in the morning, might as well go back to bed, ain’t going anywhere.

And then the tide started going out. You cannot imaging the sound a wave makes when it hills the underbelly of a grounded boat. Every wave slap shuddered the boat and I could not sleep. I ended up top in the cockpit where it was quieter. Low tide was a 7:15am and every bit of Hemispheres was out of the water, just resting perfectly on the keel. This is the one time that i’m praising a wing keel. Oh, at least I got to pull the paddle wheel for the speed  and clean it. It was pretty gunk’d up.

As the tide started rising, around 10am we were able to motor off and I re-anchored, this time “dumped it all” being every bit of chain, 100ft then 30ft of rode. The second night I was just paranoid and really didn’t sleep. But other than that little mishap, a great weekend, regardless of the downpour while heading back up Adams Creek. Fun time, learning lesson and a life experience. That old saying is true. A vessel will always withstand more than the captain can.