October 17, 2012 by Last Star blog
Weekend trip with a guest
When my brother-in-law came to visit we were able to stop our trip south and take a short spin around the Albermarle Sound. We spent the first night in a small bay getting closer to our destination of Ocracoke. Blackbeard used Ocracoke as his passage to the Atlantic and was killed near here many years ago. We saw no pirates though Armin kept a keen eye on the horizon.
Patricia enjoyed a day of sunshine and someone else to help her with steering besides “Otto” our auto-pilot.
The sky was crystal clear and a deep blue, a cold front came through that morning with some stiff winds but by afternoon the winds had died down quite a bit. Here’s a shot taken from the hatch in the salon looking up into the rigging.
Ocracoke is protected by many shifting shoals and getting there requires a 45 minute trip through its long channel. Quite often you’ll see the ferry in the channel as the ferry is the only way to get to the island with a car. We got there just before sunset and here’s the viewpoint from the boat.
The ferries dock here, a bit noisy but it ends at 10:00 PM and the ample lighting provides some clear views of the harbor at night. Fortunately the ferry doesn’t start until 7:00 AM so at least you can sleep in a little bit.
We left early enough to see some dolphins looking for breakfast in the channel, the rising sun from the East provided the lighting for this photo. Taking pictures of dolphins is a real challenge, you don’t know where they will pop up so you have to guess and also the inherent delay in a digital camera is an additional challenge.
The trip from Ocracoke to Oriental was another sunny warm day, the wind was light and we took our time crossing the sound, Armin kept us going in the right direction and in the late afternoon we saw Oriental off the nose.
We put the dinghy in the water and took a short trip to the dinghy dock and walked around the city and had drinks and a snack at M&M’s bar and restaurant; a place we used to visit nearly 15 years ago when we sailed the area with the boys in our first boat.
When we returned to the Last Star we were greeted by our sentinel on deck; he was keeping an eye on things–and thinking about his dinner and when he could get off the boat again I bet.
The next day was a short trip to our old haunt Hancock Creek. We put in shortly after noon and had Armin back to his car by later afternoon. The folks at Hancock are quite nice, every evening they have a happy hour at the tiki bar and share stories and advice. A very nice group of people. We met a couple who have been cruising for 8 years. Another couple Jeff and Wendy are heading south like us though they may end up leaving a day or two before us. I’m sure we’ll see them again.
Overall the trip with Armin went well, the weather was awesome, the wind maybe a bit too light, food was good and we all enjoyed relaxing in the sun and the quiet evenings.