03: The Refit
Small Craft Advisory

Small Craft Advisory

Cape Lookout is amazing! But it’s time to get back to Sailcraft and get back to work on Free Range. The weather window for the next few days does not look great. Saturday shows a Small Craft Advisory with winds 20+ knots and seas 5-7 feet. We think – this could be good weather to practice sailing in bad weather!

We know we have the safety of Cape Lookout so we think we’ll just go out into the ocean and practice in the big wind/waves for a bit and then come back to shelter.

We head out into the ocean and it is most definitely big wind and big water (for us). Our very experienced Cape Lookout neighbor, Phillip, follows us out in his Hunter Cherubini 33 and then keeps going. Instead of heading back to Cape Lookout, we think we’ll follow Phillip back to Beaufort Inlet – that way we have a “buddy” out on the water with us.

We are out there pounding in the waves for hours. Both Stephane and I are seasick, on the brink of puking almost the entire time. On the bright side, Free Range is AMAZING in the big water – she is solid and steady and holds her line easily. I think she was built for this (and probably bigger) kind of weather. She was cruising (8+ knots! That’s a lot for a Four-Knot-Sh*t-Box!).

Hours later, we get to the safety of Beaufort Inlet, and then on to Morehead City where we are able to get Free Range anchored (after many attempts). We are tired, seasick, and stressed out. But we did it: we pushed ourselves a little, learned a lot, and now have a much bigger “to do” list to make sure Free Range (and we) are ready for the journey.

Image 18
Safe at Morehead City anchorage.


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