Rough going out, nice coming back. Almost dead on the nose in 20kts of wind and five foot seas. Being on the Pamlico Sound, the wave intervals are about one second apart as the energy builds up and there’s no where for it to dissipate as it does in the open ocean. Made for a bumpy and pounding ride. I should have just kept the sails up and reefed and fell off the wind, but the weather was already unpredictable and I didn’t want to struggle with taking down the sails if it got really bad. The challenges on single-handing.
The return trip was great. Off the port beam with about 10kts of wind. But that soon built up when I reached NR1 and it was consistent in the teens. That’s the second part of the video.
Hemispheres got me there safe and sound. A few snafu’s on the way. Getting the sails down and rolled, autopilot struggling, got soaked, and had brain farts due to being tired. Tried to follow last years track into Big Foot Slough, not a smart idea. Then cutting close to the mark while entering Silver Lake. Ran aground but was able to reverse and swivel the boat, then motor off. Good thing as the ferry was coming down the channel and there wouldn’t have been room for the both of us.
Single-handing can be challenging. This is the longest single-handed trip that I’ve done. Lots of anxiety when I left and returned, but a great confidence booster. Think I performed pretty well heading out to Ocracoke in those seas and lots of lessons learned. Never rush things, gets some rest prior to departure, life vest, tether, jacklines. and a pre-sail safety check. All done, but can’t believe I forgot to file a floatplan.
When you’re tired, you do silly things as seen in the photos below. While I can definitely single-hand back to Ocracoke, I think I’d prefer a second set of hands. Definitely need a cruising mate. Single-handing for short trips like up to New Bern or over to West Bay is fine, four or so hours. But when it’s 8+ hours and you hit rough weather most of the way, it can take it’s toll and a crew mate is definitely helpful. Not just a passenger that’s aboard that you have to care for and be concerned about, but a fellow sailor that you know you can trust on watch and knows the systems on the boat. Most importantly, knows what to do when something goes wrong and doesn’t initially panic. Anyone out there interested in being a cruising mate on the NC sounds, let me know.
Some shots around Ocracoke, and most importantly, the coffee shop. Gotta have good coffee at the Ocracoke Coffee shop.
The return was much nicer. Winds out of the south and southeast, started out light under ten knots but built up nicely as I passed NR1 and headed up the Neuse. Much, much nicer sail back….oh, did I mention that already? Overall, wonderful extended weekend. Learned a lot about single-handing over long distances (to me anyway). Looking forward to going again. Our club has a two-week long sailing trip coming up next month. Not sure if I’m doing it yet, mainly from the need of having a crewmate. I’ll see.