O2 Success!!!

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.

Sailing to Ocracoke

Wow, talk about a trip. Our annual Memorial weekend cruise is eventful in one form or another every year. This year is the story of a missed forecast, wind on the nose and five foot rollers at one second intervals. The last two+ hours was wearing me out. All my single handed skills were put to the test.

The bow was breaking waves, first seeing sky, then walls of water, then sky, then water. Even with the dodger, connector and bimini, I still got soaked, completely drenched. The inevitable “what the hell am I doing here?” question did pop into my mind from time to time, but was well past the point of no return. The thought of turning around was tempting but I would then have those waves on the starboard quarter and I’d be rolling like hell. No worse feeling. The last time I felt this bad on a crossing was when we brought the boat down from Noank, CT while crossing Delaware Bay. That didn’t work out to well, lost it all.

I kept my lunch down this time (because I didn’t eat much). But when we got to the top of the channel headed down to Ocracoke, the wind was coming from the northeast, we’re headed south and then we were rolling.

So here’s some photos including Seaglass, the boat I paired up with doing the crossing, starting off with the course, finishing with a fantastic omelet the next morning at Dajio’s.