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post #1 of Old 06-15-2007 Thread Starter
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Smile Our Coastal Navigation Class: part I

In an attemp to post some sailing related stuff to make Alex happy i give you Part I of our Coastal Navigation class from back in April. Alex... this should sastisfy your photoshopping needs for days! Now you don't have to go looking for photos anymore. Also... this blog kinda shows the newbie side of our sailing ability. Navigation is brand new to us because we have mainly done simple overnight trips. Now that we have our new boat we hope to go a lot further. Anyway.... here ya go:

So after several months of anticipation, Jayme and i finally took our Coastal Navigation class with Captain Chris Daniels who owns and runs the Oriental School of Sailing. We had our mind set on this class pretty much right after the Basic Keelboat class from last spring but Chris suggested that we take a year to practice everything that we learned in "basic." We spent the rest of the season sailing around in the Neuse River to places like Adams Creek, South River and Broad Creek.... Broad Creek was the longest sail and it's right at the edge of the Pamlico Sound. For us, that was a long trip... about 9 hours round trip. So anyway, back to nav class...

Day 1:

It's a 4 day class with 1 day in the classroom/on the boat and three days underway. We spent the first day learning some basics like: fix, plotting a course, measuring distance (which was easier for Jayme than me,) navigational aids and longitude/lattitude. We also spent a good part of the day on the boat and basically tore it apart learning all the different parts: electronics(GPS, radar), water pump, 12V & 110V power, diesel engine, head, shower, windlass anchor, electric winch and a TON more. We probably could have spent all night going over this stuff since it was such a huge boat but we had other things to consider like provisioning the boat for our trip. We decided on what to get for meals and headed to the grocery store to stock up. The menu included bagels, turkey sandwiches, chicken, tuna steaks, brocolli, rice, ceasar salads, gatorade, water, chips, fresh salsa and several other essentials like tequila!

Here's the boat: "Savvy"... pretty sweet ride huh? She's a 2007 Beneteau 423... a 42' sloop rigged keelboat.

Navigation Station... i was happy to find out that we could plug Jayme's Ipod into the radio! The radar and GPS was awesome... way nicer than the handheld GPS we have. We only used this as backup on our trip though as the focus of the class was using our charts and instruments.

For the first night on the boat it was just Jayme and i and we we're docked in Oriental harbor. We stocked the galley with food and started making some fresh salsa. I was chopping jalapenos, cilantro, tomatos and LOTS of garlic but by the time i got to the onions i had to let Jayme take over cause the onions were killing me! She was pretty excited about the galley so i proceeded to figure out the CD player while she took care of finishing up the salsa...

So finally, with everything stowed, prepped and stocked... we decided to get some sleep. We chose the v-berth... here's a cheesy pic of me in our cabin:

Day 2: Setting sail for Cape Lookout.
We left Oriental Harbor about 10:30am after picking up a few last minute items like sunscreen and the correct charts (minor detail!) We were headed across the Neuse River towards Adams Creek which is part of the Intra-Coastal Waterway. Here's our location in the Oriental harbor via GPS:

Chris put me on the helm first and i was trying out the binoculars... this picture is not posed i swear! That's the Oriental bridge in the background.

We were switching off every couple hours at the helm... Jayme was up next. We were motoring most of the way through the ICW (otherwise known as "the ditch") but we did manage to get the sails up for part of it...

Beneteau 423 Wing On Wing:

Jayme and Capt. Chris:

BIG BOAT! It was a little overwhelming at first but after a while we got used to it. The wheel was super sensitive.

Passing some other commercial boats like the trawler "Sassy Girl":

And this look-alike tug on a lift:

Core Creek Bridge... i've driven over this bridge a thousand times but never passed underneath it until this trip.

This channel marker denotes where two channels merge which is why it's green and red... exciting huh? The cool part was the osprey nest... i missed the picture of that though... maybe next time.

So after a few hours we had made it to Morehead and we were in a major port that was filled with huge ships and other commercial vessels. Jayme was still on the helm and we were headed toward the Atlantic... Say Cheese Jayme!

Dredging the channel...

I took the helm for a while and Jayme helped me navigate the channel with the flip charts and a close eye on everything around us. To our starboard side was Fort Macon and Atlantic Beach and to our port side was Shackleford Banks. This is where the channel opens into the Atlantic Ocean and the water is extremely choppy. The waves were close together and were about 4'... this may not seem like much but we were definately getting beat up by the chop... still, we were having fun and the idea of getting out into the Atlantic Ocean was exciting! Sailing on the ocean was a first for both of us and we were happy to be there. This is also Beaufort Inlet where the wreckage of Blackbeard's "Queen Anne's Revenge" has been located.

Fort Macon & U.S. Coast Guard Station:

Chris decided to break out the fishing rod while we were under sail...

Jayme keeping an eye on the horizon...

After sailing for another couple hours we were getting close to Cape Lookout... and this would be where we would anchor for the next two nights. Just over this dune is an inlet called "The Bight" which has been used as a safe haven since the early 1700's. Spanish privateers took full advantage of this area and we would soon find out why! Blackbeard would most certainly have moored the Queen Anne's Revenge here at some point as well.

The Bight:

Crazy hair in "The Bight"...

Cape Lookout Lighthouse... the first time we had ever seen it in person. This lighthouse was completed in 1859 and shines at 15 second intervals. It was a challange to get the picture while the light was towards us because it rotates faster than you might think!

OK... this is the end of Part I. More soon... like the lightning storm, 25 Knot winds, 8 foot breaking waves, sharks, dolphins and sea sickness! Sounds crazy huh? I hope to post some video of the waves in part 2... they never seem as big on video though.

"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth." - Albert Einstein

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