Plans are coming together for the spring weekend walkabout in late April or early May. A total of five days and four nights down in the sounds of North Carolina. Of those five days, it is really just three full days. The first days includes driving down, rigging the boat, launching and then an four or five hour sail starting late morning. And the final day should be just a three hour sail back to the dock, maybe even less, to give me plenty of time to haul the boat out, pull down the rig and trailer home.
I'll put in at Pate Boat Yard in the little fishing village of Hobucken on Goose Creek Island. My guess is I'll sail to somewhere around the mouth of the Bay River, either Bonner Bay or Maw Point, for the first night (similar to what I did last fall, but hopefully without the storm).
From there I would like to go explore West Bay (2) behind Cedar Island. I've sailed by it, but never into the bay itself. My timing in bad on this, Curt will be sailing through that area a week or two later and I won't get to cross paths with Annie and see that beautiful boat. He'll be on his way to either Ocracoke or Cape Lookout, or maybe both. I'll look forward to hearing about that trip.
From there I would like to head north, maybe a nice long sail north across Pamlico Sound to anywhere between Juniper Bay to the east and Spencer Bay to the west (3). Countless anchorages are in between. That is Spencer Bay, below, from the SkeeterBeater.
I don't expect to cover any great mileage on the weekends trips. I'll probably spend a good deal of time ghosting along the marshes (one of my favorite things to do) under mizzen and jib. There's no real schedule, just relax and enjoy being on the water. Here is the track from last year's spring walkabout, lots of sailing just off the edge of the marsh grasses.
Eventually I head down to anywhere between Mouse Harbor and Jones Bay (4). Again, lots of choices for anchorages, protection from just about any direction of wind. I wouldn't mind visiting Middle Bay, below, another nice place I've just sailed past but never really explored. We'll see. That will leave me with a short sail back to Pate Boat Yard.
I made up quick shopping list for the trip. Twelve cups of fruit (one for every meal), a box of breakfast bars, four tuna lunches, four packs of meat (spam, chicken, salmon) (but I'll try my luck at fishing too), peanut butter crackers, some anchovies and smoked oysters, and dried fruit. Plus a couple of potatoes and onions. For our cruises I typically buy the supplies over a few month's time, box by box. It is easer to do that when I'm on a budget that cuts close to the bone. But for this weekend trip I might buy it all at once just to see what the total cost is and come up with a per meal or per day cost on cruising food.
I'll get back from this trip and have just about three weeks until Bruce and I take off on the Chesapeake Bay trip. Can't wait.