SOUTHPORT, NC TO . . .
We spent the morning preparing to go offshore. We winched the dinghy onto the deck and secured the motor in its mount. I filled up with water and diesel while Karen went to the Walmart and stocked up.
I packed the ditch bag with all the items needed if we had to abandon ship and get in the dinghy. The ‘epirb’ is one of the things you have to buy, but hope to never use. It stands for Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon and is used to alert search and rescue services in the event of an emergency. For more information, see http://www.epirb.com. I also strung jack lines on the side deck of the boat. These are to attach our safety harness if we have to leave the cockpit and tend to sails.
We pulled out at 1500 and rode the outgoing tide down the Cape Fear into the Atlantic Ocean. We turned slightly to starboard at 1700 set our heading to St. Augustine, Florida. We had a fair weather window for the next few days with winds from the North or Northeast blowing 10-20 knots, and seas 3-5 feet, but there could be periods of rain or possible thunderstorms also. The first night was good. We had a few showers but then it cleared and you could see all the stars. We were averaging 7.5 knots with a double reefed main and the jib. As the winds increased I had to reef the jib some also. Karen took the first of the 3 hour watches at 2100. I came on midnight and again at 0600. The first 24 hours we went 180 miles. From all I have read about sailing that’s a pretty good day.