Bruce and I sat down with the charts and calendars on a sunny San Diego afternoon. Found we were in agreement on the June trip. Below is the map (which I've shown before).
This works out pretty well for our goals. Some nice sailing, passage through a couple of interesting canals, revisiting a few nice towns - Oriental, Beaufort and New Bern - and also exploring some new water. I think those canals behind Cedar Island will be fun.
Bruce says he will be working on the menus. I'll be working on the exact starting point (need to visit Belhaven and the Rose Bay area to see what marina will work best).
There are still a few options and details to work out. For example do we get from Cape Lookout Bight to Beaufort by going outside on Onslow Bay or by going inside of Shackleford Banks? I think that is a matter of gathering tide and current information and having it on board with us for the trip. We might not make that decision until we are anchored in the bight. Anchorage for the first night of the trip is still uncertain and will probably make that decision on launch day based on wind and how long it takes to make the beef, vegetable and red wine stew.
Aiming for an expedition to the REI store Tuesday.