Friday, October 23, 2015

Return to Sea Level

The Cape Lookout Lighthouse from sea level.
     The onset of autumn marks our fourth year of living aboard and cruising full time aboard theSimple Life. Cool evenings requiring an extra blanket and crisp mornings signal the eventuality of winter. The time to sail south has arrived.

Simple Life at Portsmouth, VA
on her way south in 2015
Simple Life hauled for
Hurricane Joaquin

After the storm. Simple Life
launched for the southern
This season has been fraught with a series of events that hampered southern migration for nearly everyone. Hurricane Joaquin's sudden development and unpredictable path of destruction wreaked havoc upon Long Island, Bahamas prior to heading north toward the States. By good fortune, Joaquin's path eventually veered away from the U.S. mainland and out to sea. Although, not before lashing South Carolina with heavy rains resulting in severe flooding, higher than normal tides at bridges where sailboats with 62 foot masts needed to be cautious when transiting. The storm also deposited considerable debris into channels.

      Long Island, Bahamas was not so fortunate. The hurricane hit the southern end of the island with a vengeance wreaking massive destruction as it spun out of control while hovering over the island's inhabitants for several days. This is one of our favorite islands and we hope the locals are able to realize their hard won existence once again.

Joe has crabs...again!!
     While the storm threatened and meteorologists made up their minds in the States we all waited. Simple Life was hauled on the hard at Mobjack Bay since two days before Joaquin's forecast arrival landfall predictions were near or directly at the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. We visited friends who kindly offered shelter from the storm until the boat was launched after the hurricane's departure. We all made the best of a tough situation by busying ourselves with cooking and entertaining. Joe managed to catch a bucket of blue crabs off the docks with a promise of my delicious crab cakes as an incentive.
Blue crabs await their fate.


   Conditions have improved beyond measure since the storm. Boats are on the move heading south once again. Everyone seems to be settling in to the rhythm of life aboard. Weather has been dry and favorable with numerous opportunities for offshore passages.


Cape Lookout Lighthouse, Cape Lookout, NC
     Simple Life motored out of the Bight of Cape Lookout on the Outer Banks of North Carolina yesterday morning before sunrise at 4:00 AM en route to Masonboro Inlet at Wrightsville Beach, NC. The stopover at the Cape was our first and it seemed logical to spend a day exploring its pristine 54 mile beach, historic lighthouse and lagoon with hopes of spying the Shackelford Banks renowned wild horses.

Sunrise Cape Lookout

     At this time of year along with the unpredictability of east coast weather it seems most boaters have their goals and objectives written in...yogurt with a few blueberries in the mix. Vero Beach at Thanksgiving is one of the most popular. Joe and I still enjoy the ride whenever weather and conditions cooperate. Tomorrow morning we plan an offshore overnight passage from Southport, NC to Charleston, SC. After all the reason all of us are out here is joie de vivre. Lets hope for fair winds and following seas.
Cape Lookout Lighthouse at the national seashore

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