Thursday, May 19, 2022

the best of times, the worst of times

It was the best of times, and the worst of times.  Some really great sailing on the spring trip down in North Carolina, and some very challenging weather at times.

I believe that to be a shelf cloud, above.  It brought one of the three severe thunderstorms I experienced during the sail.  In fact if I had to make a list of my top 10 worst thunderstorms from the last 15 or so years of cruising, three of those top ten occurred on this trip.  One storm came on a night when no rain was forecast.  In fact I had a first with that storm, hail tapping the wooden decks and popping off the boom tent.

There was also some excellent wind and beautiful creeks.  A great filet mignon in Belhaven (a steakhouse in little Belhaven, who knew?).  And a great visit as always to Oriental.  I met a lot of good, kind and interesting people along the way.

 The good news is all my gear worked.  I stayed safe, dry and comfortable throughout the trip.  A few thoughts...

The two-tent system, the boom tent and sleeping in the one-man bivy tent proved ideal.  With horizontal rain, which happened more that I like to think, is hard to keep completely outside the boom tent.  Sleeping in the waterproof bivy did me warm and dry.

Also keeping me warm and dry while sailing were the dry suit and merino wool thermals, which I wore on multiple days early in the trip.

Hot chocolate, suggested by a hiker friend, was a good start to each day as I anchored in a creek to hide from four days of winds gusting to 35 miles an hour (that number is not an estimate, it came from the weather service, and the gusts even caused big boats were to seek shelter).

I do think I made some good decisions as to when and where to anchor.  SPARTINA stayed clean and well organized.  I woke each morning feeling refreshed, went to be each night after enjoying an excellent hot meal.

Was the trip fun?  Yes.  Was it challenging?  Definitely.  But it is the challenge that makes it interesting.  As Conway said when I came back to the ramp after 16 days, it would be boring if it was easy all the time.

Thursday, May 12, 2022


Gusty sail this morning to Belhaven. Too rough to head south, will spend the night here.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022


SPARTINA is the blue dot at the left, just on the edge of the stalled storm. The forecast this morning shows I may be able to leave the protected creek and sail Thursday. We'll see.

Monday, May 9, 2022

life on the creek

No rain today and skies a bit brighter. Feels good. Still windy, not going anywhere today.

Sunday, May 8, 2022


Thanks to my backpacking friend who suggested I add hot chocolate to my supply list.