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· Over Hill Sailing Club
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In reference to Gary's post above, there are a LOT of unlighted buoys both close to shore and 50-60 miles out. They do not always appear on all the scale layers of digital charts. I've been out around there and have seen the silhouette of something solid in the water ahead only to discover it is an unmarked buoy of some sort residing on the previous or next magnification layer of my plotter. Just something to be aware of. And yes, following a star cluster at night offshore is wonderful!
 

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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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I have to admit I'm a little intimidated by the reports about live fire exercises!
Don't be intimidated! :D if my experience is anything to go by the splatter VHF 16 with warnings and have vessels watching for boats straying into the area. So just listen to the vhf.

You'll be safe. Remember you have the worlds 2 biggest surrender flags flying! :laugher
 

· Closet Powerboater
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You'll be safe. Remember you have the worlds 2 biggest surrender flags flying! :laugher
Speak for yourself you lily-livered, barnacle bottomed, mermaid marrying, parrot-strangling coward! This is my mainsail!



MedSailor
 

· Wandering Aimlessly
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Please let me know if this is a stupid move on my part!
My first time making that passage, I had no idea I would encounter military vessels. Just as I had no idea I'd be coming in St Marys Inlet when a nuke sub would be going out. Neither put me in any danger, and there was sufficient and courteous communication in both instances. In other words, it's not so much to worry about what they are doing, as simply being aware of them, if they are in the area. And I would guess, if you top off fuel in Wrightsville, the marina will probably be aware of any restrictions that might be in place.

In sum, I don't think you need to worry about doing the trip unless the weather turns against you. We're just trying to make you aware of what you might encounter. Worst part of the trip will be Beaufort to your first stop, especially the Bogue Sound.
 
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Looks like Sunday's winds/seas are a bit of a mixed bag but Improving late in the day with a forecast shift to the SE. Then S . Monday into Tues looks ideal.

It looks like If you stay about 2 miles east of your rhumb line and avoid the charted danger zone ( 334.440) And keep your eyes and ears open and the radio on...you should be fine. Have a great Trip..
 

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Moonless night is the best. More Stars. You will be amaze by how good the nite vision of the human eyes will become.

I have nothing to add except that when scanning the horizons, try to stay on each direction for about 10 sec.
Seeing stars is nice, but being able to see floating debris, or fishing buoys, is even better. :D
 

· Over Hill Sailing Club
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Moonless night is the best. More Stars. You will be amaze by how good the nite vision of the human eyes will become.

I have nothing to add except that when scanning the horizons, try to stay on each direction for about 10 sec.
+1 on that. At night it takes more time to see things, especially unlit objects. Just scanning without pausing will miss things that your eyes would normally register in daylight. That dark shadow of the deadhead will not be sorted out as something different than its surroundings unless you take the time for it to register.
 

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Marine aircraft training over the water out of Cherry Point (near Cape Lookout) have a navigation checkpoint a few miles east of Cape Lookout. If you keep your eyes open you may see them coming by and turning toward the field, usually in pairs.
 

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Ships do normal shippy things. Fishing boats do strange things only fishermen understand.
I've seen them throwing blood overboard in some sort of pagan ritual I guess. I dunno, strange cats those fishermen.
 

· Ali Baba
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This will be my first overnight offshore trip. I'll be single handing and I'm looking for any advice!
I plan to leave around noon, sail overnight, arrive at Cape Lookout in the afternoon the following day.
!
:D:D
Make sure your awake and Alert especailly when the Sun start to rise in the morning.
Make sure to keep the sun to starboard or aft at all times until about 11AM.
:D:D
 

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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.
 

· Wandering Aimlessly
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Well done ... now ya probably wish you'd gone to Wrightsville outside :)
 
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· Closet Powerboater
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Most importantly you got back on the internet to write it all up on SailNet! Keep up too much of this offshore sailing stuff and we might not let you back into our club. ;)

Congrads on the big step, especially the solo part! I'm also especially glad to hear that you were able to relax enough and enjoy it! That's something I've struggled with from time to time, though rum does help...

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

MedSailor
 
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