Passage Musings (Carolina Beach, NC to Cape May, NJ)

We thought we’d do a few days “on the inside” (in the ICW), anchoring each evening and mostly motoring along the coast…

But the very first bridge we came to gave us some serious attitude about “sailing over the horizon” (aka: doing loops to try to not smash into the dang bridge when the current is rushing you towards it) and refused to open for us.

We hemmed and hawed for about 25 seconds, and then said, “screw it!” and took a hard right out the Masonboro Inlet.

3 nights and 420 miles later, we’re in Cape May, New Jersey. Or as Zephyr calls it, “Cake May”. Bring on the cake.

We had light spinnaker winds around Cape Hatteras – something I never expected to experience! – and a good hard rolly bit for our last night.

Otherwise it was an extremely pleasant 10ish knots from the SW, giving us a comfortable 5.2 knot average.

People often describe sailing as “extended periods of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror”, and while I would tend to agree I have to say that not a minute of this passage was boring.

Kevin got a lifejacket too

There was a new moon, so the stars were bright enough to read by — the Milky Way painting a brush across the sky and Jupiter reflecting on the ocean.

There were infinite numbers of squeaks and groans to investigate (and fret over) — the dinghy on the davits (we hadn’t planned on going offshore!), the mast reminding us to do one more tune, the Centerboard and its annoying thwunk, the toddler waking up looking for snacks, dolphins ee-ee-eeeing underwater, waves changing sounds as the autopilot steers a wind course towards Africa (wind shift!)… and on and on and on 🙂

But the weather just kept being wonderful and the blue skies kept sparkling, so we kept on going… and could have honestly done one more night, if the lure of a soft bed and a night in an anchorage wasn’t so appealingly close.

We’ll stay a few nights — look for a beach and that alluded “cake” — and then continue the journey north!

Two “hops” down!


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