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09/09/2006: "Labor Day Weekend"

Labor Day Weekend, one of our few three day weekends and a chance to get away from the dock for an extended time. We almost lost the weekend to bad weather when Tropical Storm Ernesto came through but by Saturday morning it had cleared and we had a good forecast. Now the question was “where to go?” We had been planning on going back to Ocracoke but I was concerned about how crowded it may be over a holiday. Our other options were to just head out into the sound for a couple of days of sailing and tuck into an anchorage for the night then do it again the next day, or we could head out to Cape Lookout. The problems with Lookout is that it takes most of a day to get there having to motor down the ICW and out Beaufort Inlet then sail or motor about six miles to the anchorage. Cape Lookout also is out of our insurance zone. Talking with the others at the dock it was decided to go for Lookout since it wasn’t something we could do on a regular two day weekend. So, four of us headed out at different intervals as the preparations were completed.

The highlight of the ride down the ICW was when we came across a pod of dolphins. I had the video camera out so I got some footage of them. After getting out the inlet we had a nice but slow sail until the wind died and we motored into the bight. I was surprised there were not more boats there, having heard how popular of an overnight spot this is. We anchored by the others and took the dinghy over for drinks and dinner on Freebird.

Sunday morning we took the dinghy to shore and crossed the dunes to check out the Atlantic side. After a bit Steve from Freebird was ready to go ashore and check out the waves. We went ashore by the lighthouse and helped with the surfboards. The swells were running pretty good so there were quite a few surfers. Cori got a quick lesson and gave it a try with a couple of short rides but got beat up when trying to get outside of the surf line. I, on the other hand, made it out but couldn’t catch a wave for the ride back. This was only our second time at the beach since we moved here. All in all it was a good day. That evening we had a quiet dinner and joined the others on Sea Prompt for drinks and stories before settling in for the night.

Monday morning we had to pull anchor and head back. We had a nice wind from just off the beam so we had a great ride back to the inlet. We even caught two fish on the return trip but only landed one. We sailed in through the inlet, the harbor and turning basin until we got to the bridge that feeds us into the ICW and the long motor back to the Neuse River. We again came across a pod of dolphins; otherwise it was an uneventful trip. I did try to get some video of the return trip since I now had the battery charged, it died on the trip down. Once back in the Neuse we raised the sails and sailed home. After a bit of cleanup to get the salt off of everything we settled in and got ready for the rest of the week.