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.


MaryLou said...

Sounds like a classic Steve trip. We were following and thinking about the places you were anchored and the weather you might be experiencing. I'll look forward to the photos and trip reports.

Shawn Stanley said...

Great news, Steve. I had no doubt you would persevere. The best part I like about boating and sailing is being the 'crazy' one that was perfectly comfortable with the conditions and comfortable with their equipment to make it thru the storm while the others were stuck on shore. If you have confidence in your equipment, and confidence in your decisions (which also means knowing when to stay anchored in a protected cove), you always have more fun than the whiners!
Cheers to a great trip. I look forward to the daily logs.
Solomons, MD

Steve said...

Thanks, Shawn. Interesting trip and I look forward to looking at my notes. Steve

Amos said...

I was thinking about you out in all that weather.