December 10, 2017, 9am: We set off from Manteo, NC, for yet another adventure – this time heading for work in Florida and St. John. These are the plans Taylor and I have been looking forward to for two years now. Two years ago this time, we were setting off from Belhaven, NC for the first time on his newly purchased sailing vessel, the Wild Goose. Now, it’s extremely rewarding to be doing the same on the same boat that is nearly what we desire of it. She’s every bit of our home and I wake up amazed every day.
The weather is sharp, but refreshing. We missed the snow but received two, long, rainy days when I first arrived.
This morning we woke up on anchorage in the Pamlico Sound – no other boats in sight. It was cold, but warming up quickly with the rising sun and a forecast of 60º. In comparison to freezing rain the two days before, 60º degrees was a warm cup of coffee, especially after forgetting my coffee the day before; it cooled down to a luke warm. But, things always get better.
We had such a beautiful, pristine sail this morning, but as Zephyr will have it, our winds were (and most always are) coming from our heading. The waters were smooth, the winds between 8-12 knots, the sun beaming down, Goose gliding 6 knots. In the most humble way possible, it was perfect. But with the good comes the meh. We were sailing to far of course, so we rolled in the head sail and switched the engine on. The winds died off anyways, so it gave us the time to make a nice lunch, fish, workout, and catch up with people. I’m feeling more inspired lately to stay preoccupied with healthy habits while underway.
Although we don’t like to admit it, we’re very much on a schedule down to Florida. What I am excited about is meeting up with the Smith crew for a post Christmas Everglades trip. (10 days, 1 “Skunk Ape”)
We’ll be making a few stops on our way south.
The leg of our North Carolina trip is:
Manteo > Middleton (Gibbs Shoal) > Oriental > Morehead City > Wrightsville Beach
With an exception for Charleston, we hope to sail more offshore days than days at bay and B-line straight to the shores of Florida.
Our itinerary is influenced entirely by the weather. A gale warning is in effect from Cape Hatteras to Cape Fear late Tuesday night. We had originally set out to sail offshore to Wrightsville that night, but will be calling that off. We try to avoid being out in conditions that would make it less than pleasant: gale force winds, chilly rains, the two combined, or no wind at all (when we can afford the layover).
As of now, we’ll be arriving in Wrightsville late Wednesday night.
I’m signing off – I can’t feel my fingers anymore now that the sun has set. We’re still underway for a couple more miles and I’m lounging outside in the cockpit typing this up. Enjoy your fireplaces y’all!
In case anyone’s curious, the tools we’re using to plan our itinerary and check weather are: