Monday, June 10, 2024

day nine - outside to Cape Lookout

Cast off from Beaufort docks 7:00.  Weather forecast shows a small craft advisory beginning at 10:00 a.m.  Wind is strong out of the southwest, suspect I can make it to Cape Lookout Bight before the wind builds.  

The channel heads southwest and we are working against both wind and tide,  just the mizzen raised and under power into the weather.  I have to throttle up my than I like to make way.  7:15 round up just east of Radio Island to top off the fuel tank. 

7:25 going through the inlet past Fort Macon, I look to the west and see larger waves than I had expected breaking on Atlantic Beach.  8:00 reach red maker "10", move out of the shipping channel to raise double-reefed main and the jib.  Sailing!  Making between 3.4 and 4.0.  

Surprised again by the size of the swells, I check the gps and we are going over a shoal where the depth is 20 feet.  Once past the shoal and into deeper water the swells are smaller.  8:30 shake out the second reef, sailing under mizzen, single-reefed main and jib.  Can see the lighthouse ahead and just beginning to pick out he shape of the dunes at Cape Lookout on the horizon.  

9:15 the wind is building.  Shape of the dunes is becoming more distinct.  Making 4.6 to 5.2 depending on the swell.  

9:25 can pick out a channel marker for the entrance channel to the bight in the distance.  

Breathe a sigh of relief as the wind continues to build but can see that I'll easily make it into the Bight.

9:35 slip past the channel marker into the bight.  Turn south inside the dunes, wind forward of beam and SPARTINA picks up speed on the calm water.

Sail south to the anchorage, three large sailboats and one catamaran anchored out away for the beach.  I explore a bit in the shallower water.  Finding the drop off close to the beach we round up.  Anchor down at 10:10.  Set up the boom tent, roll up the tent's starboard side to give me a nice view of the dunes.  Protected from the sun, I relax, read and take a nap.  A hot lunch is nice, as it relaxing all afternoon.

11.86 NM


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