I had once thought of bringing an alarm clock on sails, but soon found that nature has her own alarm clock. In the Sounds of North Carolina it is the marsh birds - the herons and egrets, marsh hens and ibises - that start chattering nearly an hour before sunrise. The noise will wake me, but I will know there is still time to enjoy the warmth of the sleeping bag. At a certain point, when the cackling and cawing reaches a peak, it is time to get up.
On the best of days, when air is comfortable, the decks not slickened by a heavy coat of dew and the bugs nowhere to be found, I can have the sleeping gear packed and be sailing off anchor before the sun breaches the horizon. That is how it was on the 2011 walkabout when I cast off from Maw Point under a reefed main, mizzen and jib, above.
This evening I downloaded the tides for both Beaufort Inlet and Cape Lookout Bight for a five day period late September and early October, which include the sunrise/sunset for each day. I will have roughly twelve hours of daylight during the trip, the sun rising around 7 a.m. and setting at 7 p.m. That will literally be my day - sailing with the sunrise, slipping into the bivy at sunset.
I've also updated my SPOT messages, adding emails and fine tuning the boat description with information about safety gear and my tow vehicle location.
The weather looks good for a sail this coming Sunday.