Sunday, June 06, 2010

Different Strokes (or Vacations)

Our friend Ken (and my recent sailing instructor) came over to dinner Friday evening with his friend Anthea who is visiting from Australia. They left Sat morning for a week long sailing trip at the coast. We spent the evening visiting, talking about sailboats (Ken has a Core Sound 17 similar to our 20), about each of our respective sailing vacation plans, and poured over charts and routing.

The differences in terms of planning and preparation of the 2 upcoming trips (theirs and ours) were quite interesting. Ken’s a real go with the flow kind of guy, he’s all geared up, but with not much in the way of plans, other than sailing, vacationing, and fun. He still wasn’t even sure where they were going to start their trip, waiting and wanting to base it on the weather predictions. He’d thought to spend time around Lookout and Core Sound, or possibly sail over to Oacracoke. But most important he wanted to try and start and finish at the same location where he leaves his car.

We discussed options such as Shell Point on Harkers Island, or Cedar Island. We even thought that the Cedar Island, Oacracoke, and/or Swan Quarter Ferry could provide some possible bailouts that could help get back to the car and trailer depending on where he was. We quickly read some of the reports of the recent OBX130 on the Duckworks Magazine website, and he noted some waypoints from some of their camp sites, particularly the Old Gun Club which is just north of the Swatch on the Southern Core Banks. The OBX130 had some really bad luck with weather during their trip. They seemed to have been much more effected by it in their sailboats than I was in my kayak on my paddling vacation just a bit north of them during that same week.

The weather for this coming week was primarily typical coastal 10-15, but a couple of fronts were expected to blow through with higher winds on a few of the days. One option we discussed was starting at Cedar Island. If weather was too big, they could ferry over to Oacracoke for a day trip, and spend the week sailing around the Neuse River, even taking the ICW down to Beaufort. It would afford more protection from big winds in the open, both Oriental and Beaufort would be very nice places to visit, and I knew of a couple of nice sandy beaches where they could camp out in those areas.

They were planning to camp on shore. Though he’d built a very nice cockpit tent a couple years ago (complete with no-seeum panels and even plastic window panels), it has issues in wind, and he thought they’d have more fun camping in a tent on shore, and he has an addiitonal screen shelter as well for mosquito protection. Anthea was not liking the joking we were all doing regards mosquitoes and no-seeums, and was quick to take me up on my lend of mesh pants.

He’s without a SPOT so we’ll have to wait till he’s back before knowing about his trip. I can hardly wait to hear all about it. Upon returning, he’s offered to help Paul get a temporary motor mount set up, so we could borrow his small 2.5 HP Honda motor for our trip. YES!

Clearly Ken’s approach is a bit more laid back than the trip Steve, Bruce, Paul and I have been discussing for many months. We have a definite route planned, but with many alternate and backups. We all include the trip planning and preparation as part of the fun of the event. I think our approach would be considered overly obsessive about all the details by Ken. His attitude was to wait and see what the wind direction is that day, and then figure out which way to go. His sailing will likely be optimized, while ours may offer some navigational challenges dealing with what we encounter while trying to maintain a plan.

In the end, it’s all good, just some fun days on the water.

I"m over worrying about our trip.  Every time I look for some sailing pictures to post, all I find are ones where I've got a big smile on my face, and am having lots of fun.   Today's winds will be 10-15 mph, we'll be sailing :)

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