Bob and Cathy, I meant to respond to this earlier. This sounds like a really good way to build some confidence as a team with your IP. Consider heading for Charleston or beyond on your own. In lieu of heading straight for Frying Pan from Beaufort/Cape Lookout, head for Masonboro Inlet and catch the falling tide down the Cape Fear bound for Charleston or points south.
There are some advantages to this approach, besides being on the rhumb line anyway. You get a 70 nm offshore
hop, with a chance to shake things down and get comfortable handling the boat. Any issues that need addressing can be handled in Wrightsville, etc, or tankage, or you can stop and sleep after the short passage. It is a great way to build confidence, knowing you'll be heading in after 12 hours of good sailing.
This time of year, there is insufficient light to make the trip in daylight. I like to anchor
out at Cape Lookout, and put out to sea there, often in the dark. It is very easy to slip out of there in the dark singlehanding
, not so much Beaufort
although easier than coming in
Beaufort at night, of course.
I try to time my arrival at Masonboro inlet for slack high - and daylight - and then ride the Cape Fear down, making 7.5 to 8 knots, and put right back out to sea. If the wind
were contrary to current
in the Cape Fear, I'd pull off into Bald Head Island Marina and wait for slack water
. The Cape Fear is mighty, and the falling tide against a 20 knot
SSW breeze will make for some big standing waves. I would not recommend that, it will make your boat feel tiny, toss everything that isn't secured, and maybe make you seasick.. You would be sailing SW on a different forecast
, but FYI. I usually start my trips this way, it is a good way to get back in the zone after being off the water for a while.
Good luck with your adventure, I hope you get to do some of it on your own.