Friday, November 6, 2015

Offshore Passages Along the Eastern Seaboard

Sunrise on Charleston Harbor
Photo by Joe Boulay
     This season has been surprisingly favorable for offshore passages along the eastern seaboard. Lately it seems that northerly winds have predominated the autumn months which is not unusual, but they have also been relatively benign with only a few minor squalls and fewer strong weather fronts. This has enabled more cruising sailboats to venture offshore relying less on the Intracoastal Waterway route.

   




An early morning hike at Cape Lookout, NC
Photo by Joe Boulay

     Simple Life has taken advantage of this offshore travel season. We've been able to hop off from Beaufort at Cape Lookout, North Carolina to Wrightsville Beach, NC by leaving Cape Lookout at 3:00 AM with an arrival in Wrightsville before sunset. This passage enabled us to travel one day instead of two which would be the norm along the ICW. The following day we motored along the ICW from Wrightsville Beach to Southport, NC taking a dock for the evening in preparation for an offshore departure the next morning which would encompass an all day and overnight passage to Charleston, South Carolina.

     Charleston has always been such a great spot to layover, rest and enjoy the town. We booked a week in port this fall. When our stay had come to an end a couple of days ago the weather once again cooperated and we hopped offshore for a 29 hour passage from Charleston, SC to Fernandina Beach, Florida!

Joe passed out after a long haul offshore.
Photo by Michele Boulay
 Offshore travel can be exhausting and usually is when the passage lasts just over 24 hours. There isn't enough time for the crew (Joe & me) to settle down and get into a rhythm of watches. Night watches usually work well when the crew is out for a couple of days. Cat naps are one thing, but they don't allow enough time for much needed rest and recovery. For this reason arrivals in port are so welcomed and we often pass out after grabbing a quick coffee and hearty breakfast. Joe actually checked my breathing when I succumbed after this latest passage. Although, I think he caught on within a short time when a period of sonorous snoring began. All video of this particular event has and will forever be deleted from YouTube. Sorry for the inconvenience.


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