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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've made plenty of overnight trips but never offshore. This will be my first overnight offshore trip. I'll be single handing and I'm looking for any advice!

I plan to take the ICW down to Beaufort then continue inside to Wrightsville Beach. That should be 2 or 3 days. In Wrighstville I'll wait at anchor for a good forecast. I'll leave through the Masonboro Inlet and sail offshore to Cape Lookout. It's about 70 nm.

I plan to leave around noon, sail overnight, arrive at Cape Lookout in the afternoon the following day.

I'm familiar with Beaufort inlet and Cape Lookout, but I have never been through Masonboro Inlet. I've read up, and checked charts and google maps, and it seems pretty straightforward. (It seems the ICW near the inlet is more of a concern than the inlet itself.)

I plan to go out to the RW "A" buoy (about 1 mile out) and then turn ENE towards Cape Lookout. the coast drops away quickly here.

- Any concerns with Masonboro inlet?
- I plan to set my course for south of Cape lookout ( like R "8" or so) to account for the set towards shore.
- should I go further out before making my turn?

thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
great info all!

Mark: you are right about being too excited to sleep!
Tempest: whoops thanks for double checking my math. i had the timing all wrong.
Jon: Plan is to leave this weekend, make the offshore leg monday night.
Gary: I dont have radar or AIS, but that is why I wanted to transit Masonboro (a new to me inlet) in daylight. I'm familiar enough with Beaufort and Lookout, I'm ok doing those at night if I had to.

so a few more questions if I may:
- how can I find out about military maneuvers that might be scheduled in the area?
- change my departure to 5 or 6 in the evening, does that seem about right? to avoid the early morning hub-bub of the Beaufort/Lookout area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
BristolBob,
When are you going? Is your purpose to do it singlehanded? If not there may be people here in Oriental that would go along for the fun of it.

Ron
Capn, leaving this weekend; yes the purpose was to do this solo, just a personal growth kind of thing.

However I'd be happy to do this trip again with company. I assume you are in the oriental vicinity? PM me, I'd be glad to meet up and go sailing anytime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
thanks everyone, so much great advice.

I have to admit I'm a little intimidated by the reports about live fire exercises! I'll give Camp Lejune a call to verify (thanks pbeezer for the pointers to the number)

I am inclined to press on, and plan to move further off shore if need be. I looks like most of it will be during the day anyway. Please let me know if this is a stupid move on my part!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
How did it go? We have had some rough weather here.
I have internet for the first time on my trip and thought I'd take a moment to share my experience. I'll post pics when I get back home later this weekend.

The good news: It. Was. Awesome.
The bad news: I have discovered a new addiction and I'll need to feed it.

First I want to say thanks to everyone for their kind words and excellent, thoughtful advice. I know this was a short hop for most, trivial even, but it was a huge leap for me. Sailnet is a truly amazing community of amazing individuals. Thank you all!

My weather window was Sunday thru Tuesday, those days were predicted with S to SW winds 10-15, and small chance of thunderstorms. Things were predicted to get nasty after that so I wanted to arrive no later than Tuesday afternoon.

I pushed hard to make it to Wrightsville beach by Sunday. I decided on a Monday departure and wanted a good nights rest before leaving. The ICW was long and tedious, often beautiful but not a high point of the trip.

I arrived at Wrightsville beach on Sunday, anchored by 4:30pm.

On Monday I was rested and made my final preparation. I decided on a conservative sail plan, I went with the 100% jib. I stopped at Seapath marina to fill up the diesel tank and empty the holding tank. I got some ice and they even loaned me the car to get some sea sick meds! Great place, and great folks over there.

(I occasionally get seasick. I decided to get some Bonine, which has worked for me in the past)

It was 5:00pm and time to leave. Conditions were sunny, 74 degrees, S wind 15 gusting to 20. I put in a reef, and raised the main before entering masonboro inlet. I motor saIled through the inlet.

Everyone was right, masonboro inlet is as straight forward as can be.

Ok, I'll admit it, as I was approaching the inlet I was nervous! The Atlantic is big! And unpredictable! Deadly even! And me and my little boat were heading out into it. An hr ago I was sitting at anchor, comfy, why am I doing this?

As I cleared the jettys I turned off the engine, unfurled the jib, and the sea welcomed us with a slow powerful swell. My anxiety drained away and I knew at once this was where I was supposed to be.

By the time I reached the sea buoy winds were much lighter. I continued about 2 miles out and turned toward the north east. We were lumbering along on a beam reach at 4 knts, dominated a bit by the swell. I shook out the reef and we were moving better. The winds freshened and soon we were galloping along at over 6 knts. This pace continued for an exhilarating 9 hrs until winds mellowed a bit.

Now, on this trip I was trying out an ipad as a chart plotter. But I had discovered that the ipad charger was interfering with my VHF. When charging the ipad VHF range was drastically diminished. So I decided to use the gps only once an hr to check position.

This hourly GPS check had the additional benefit of giving structure to the trip. Every hr check position and update the log. Something to look forward to, and something to break up the time.

As FirstCandC mentioned, There was a lot of unsettled weather in the region. This included thunderstorm warnings and even a number of tornado warnings. Thankfully they were all passing well north of me. I could see a lot of electrical activity in the distance, it was a great show, but nothing threatening.

I had a thermos of hot coffee, sandwiches, and cookies. For dinner I had a hot meal, chili. It was cool at night so that coffee and hot meal was luxurious. It was tricky to heat up though. We had a fairly significant roll on this point of sail. I'm lucky that my stove is gimbaled, but the cook is not, so it was a challenge. In the end I didn't spill a drop.

I passed about 3 mi east of the charted "danger zone" near camp lejune. I saw no military activity at all, and heard no warnings or notices on VHF.

Speeding along at 6+ knts I was going too fast and would arrive at cape lookout before sunrise. But I just could not slow down, it felt too good! I'm familiar with cape lookout enough that I can arrive at night without worry so I decided to press on.

Winds mellowed a bit by Beaufort and here was the first commercial shipping that I encountered. I kept a sharp lookout, and monitored VHF through this section. No close encounters, and I enjoyed listening to the real pros on the VHF.

I arrived at cape lookout at 6:00 am, still dark but the sky was lightening.

I furled the jib, and sailed into cape lookout bight (seemed like the proper thing to do!). I set the anchor under sail as well. Then dropped the main and backed down on the hook with the engine. Then, SLEEP.

I arrived tired! But happy, well fed, and quite frankly, inclined to just keep going.

Since then I have been dodging the weather and pretty successful so far. Things are more settled for the rest of the week so I think I'm in the clear. I'm in familiar waters now, I'll head home this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
So tell me, you were tethered in at all times (even while using the head down below) right? :D

MedSailor
I was tethered all times I left the cabin.

Using the head I am always tethered even when docked. You can't be too careful :)

Btw in addition to two jack lines down each side of the boat I also installed a short tether at the mast. This gave me a lot of security while doing any work at the mast.

Learned that right here on sailnet and this was the first time I tried it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
BTW, did you sleep on the trip at all? How about the night before, were you up all night in anticipation?

Any fatigue related issues you noticed?

MedSailor
I expected to have trouble sleeping the night before but I was so tired after two days on the ICW I had no trouble

I didn't sleep at all during the trip. But I was quite drowsy towards the end. I'm not sure if that was the effect of the Bonine or not..

Fatigue related issues ... To be honest I was more drowsy than I was comfortable with.the last few hrs I was staying active (vs sitting and enjoying the night) to stay alert. As long as I was doing something I was ok.

But it's a long haul, and it's tough, no doubt.
 
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