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s/v Skylark
It's Always An Adventure
If it's not one thing...
07/12/2011, On our way to Beaufort

Outboard engine on our dinghy quit on us today....on our way to Beaufort to repair. Winds too strong to row ashore and Luna is insisting we resolve this problem promptly. More later....

07/12/2011, Lookout Bight in Cape Lookout, NC

We lifted our anchor at 6am yesterday and dropped it just about 12 hrs later in a serene, lovely, isolated state park. Along the way we were joined briefly by two leopard dolphins who swam at our bow and looked up at us while they swam. Always a thrill and first time seeing the leopards who are lighter, spotted and more gray than black. We also saw a huge sea turtle and lots of fish, none of whom were caught by us, but some who chewed on our bait.

When we arrived here, the first thing we saw were the wild horses grazing along a bank. That was an incredible sight. This place is only accessible by boat, and as soon as we have Internet on our computer, I'll download photos. This iPad was a worthwhile investment because we would be unable to keep the blog up to date otherwise, but as I've mentioned, I can't add photos here.

Today I am forcing Ed to play and explore all day. This is not easy for Ed who has already suggested working on the water maker (not), doing some chart plotting for our next leg (is he serious?) and climbing the mast to fix our burgee which is tangled (ok, maybe). Last night after dinner, we lay in the cockpit watching the moon rise, brighter by the minute. Ed couldn't stop talking, which is one of his charming qualities because he always has something interesting to impart. However, I just needed to listen to the night, which I told him. He was silent for approximately 15 seconds before saying matter of factly, "I'm getting a moon tan, can you pass me the moon screen?" God love him!

07/12/2011 | Jan Keny
I think you may be able to do a lot with that 'moon tan' comment.

Seeing the wild horses...feels like another miracle moment. It makes my heart swell for you.
On our way again
07/11/2011, Outside of Wrightsville

We pulled the anchor up at 6am and are back on open waters heading north to Lookout Shoals. The day is sunny, winds lights 4 knots from the east. Not so good for sailing, but better than what we had last Thursday night and all day Friday. Luna swam yesterday in the inlet and played ball with another dog, Sidney. Sidney's person knew Michael from F dock because he's a competitive paddler. We think his name was Frank. We hope everyone from home is well, and from F dock. We won't have Internet for long but after about 30 minutes out, we finally remembered to turn the SPOT tracker on this morning so you should be able to follow our progress. the gps on the blog page may not be as accurate.

07/11/2011 | Betty Boop
Hey you three!
Remembered to ck the blog. It's on my radar now. As I was saying goodnight to Locke, I showed him the two adorable pics of Luna, hat and all! He said,"I miss Luna more than ever!". All is well here. Going camping this weekend near Asheville ( dare I escape the woods for a bit of shopping..) with some neighbors. There will be 7 or more kids so Locke will be happy as can be. We've rented a popup camper so maybe that'll be our "sailboat". It's fantastic to follow you along the East coast. I love getting the Spot alerts. Here's better weather and no more washing machine kind of nights! Give each other big hugs from the Hutchesons. Like Locke, I've missed you more than ever today. I love you and wish you smooth sailing!

Too long in the sun
Elizabeth & Ed
07/09/2011, On Skylark

Too long in the sun.

07/10/2011 | Barry and Lyndall
It was great speaking with both of you yesterday. Sending you our love and high-seas well wishes! We miss you very much already!!

B & L
Ready for the sun.
Elizabeth & Ed
07/09/2011, On Skylark

We're staying in Wrightsville until early Monday morning, although the weather looks to be improving as of tonight. We will rest tomorrow, then sail for approximately 12 hours offshore toward Cape Lookout and Lookout Shoals, leaving around 4am Monday.

Thanks for all the comments--it's always good to know you are reading this and following our progress. We discovered today, thanks to Barry on F dock that the Google Earth location for us may or may not be correct, depending on whether we update it every time we submit a new post. Since that's probably not something I'm going to always remember, anyone interested can follow our location through our SPOT messenger. Let me know if you want the link and I'll forward it.

Detour on the high seas
Elizabeth/stormy conditions
07/08/2011, Wrightsville, NC, Masonboro Inlet

If there's one thing a sailor will tell you, it's be prepared for anything, plan carefully and be willing to scrap all preparations, plans and goals at a moments notice. Although we had our hearts set on arriving at Lookout Shoals, NC by tonight, we heeded cautionary advice from the coast guard about a small craft warning and found shelter at Wrightsville Beach, NC this afternoon around 2:00. We endured a night of washing machine conditions (which means you feel like you must be inside one, rolling around, water drenching you from waves, rain or both, knocking you down, and generally making you unhappy), little sleep and a terrified dog, so our detour was actually something of a relief. We anchored quickly in about 15 feet, then got the dinghy ready for previously terrified dog, who had cleverly transformed herself into a dog dinghy maniac before we could
even buckle up her life vest. She forgave us for the torture and we're glad to
be in a safe and quiet anchorage.

We will monitor the weather conditions and continue to Lookout Cape when things look favorable.

I hope to post photos soon.

07/09/2011 | Andrew Beck
It's an ill wind that blows no good. The folks on F Dock were watching the radar and betting on how bad a whoppin' y'all were taking. Look forward to the next post.
07/09/2011 | Rick and Barbara
Retrned home today from HH, sorry to see the empty slip, but glad to hear all is well after your first adventure. Anxiously awaiting the next update. Be safe
07/09/2011 | Barry
Funny, we spent the night at that same spot on our way down to duck a storm. Nice anchorage as I recall, and a welcome respite from the conditions outside. I see you're now back out and heading towards the cape... that locator map is so cool! Keep safe.
We're off!
07/07/2011, Outside of Charleston Harbor

We are finally underway! We pushed off at 6:15 this morning after spending most of yesterday working on our electronics. Our compass turned out to be fine, but the smart pilot, which is basically the ship's brain needs to be replaced, or maybe just fixed. It's similar to having the mother board on a computer go bad. Not good for the unemployed, but we are able to sail and navigate without it. We decided not to wait any longer in Charleston. Many a sailor survived and thrived without the ability to use a magnetic compass (our's cant can't hold a bearing or compute where the boat is pointing).

I am excited, apprehensive, sad to leave the marina but ready for this next chapter. Ed is hyped, not nervous but totally focused. Luna got up with us at 4:30 and she said "let's go!" And so we did.

I can't add photos with our IPad and can't use my computer without wireless. Ed's will allow photos but we will do that another time.

07/07/2011 | Kathryn Sain
YEA!!!!!! You're off! Woke up thinking about you and so glad to know the sails are up and you are on your way!!!! Love you much, K
07/07/2011 | Betty Boop
You did it! Just saw where you are and you're definitely in the ocean. Since you equipment isn't working well, just call me...I'll tell you where you are!!! Love to you three on the boat.
07/07/2011 | Jan Keny
What a joy to read you are sailing today!!!! Prayers being said a bit regularly now for youall, and today's was answered...

Much love from your landlocked friends.
07/07/2011 | j
And Betty, how can you tell where they are? Why can't I tell where they are? How do you know these things? Aren't you supposed to be paying attention to things that rising 1st graders do, or do they follow people in the ocean in 1st grade these days?
07/08/2011 | Barbara B
Great news! Looking forward to your continued posts. Lovely chance to live vicariously.
07/08/2011 | Jim
Great news! As I know well myself, there is always something that will keep you on the dock. Glad to see you started, that's always the hardest step. Good luck and fair winds!
New Development
07/06/2011, Charleston Harbor

During a test sail on Tuesday, we discovered our electronic (magnetic heading sensor) compass needs replacing. In the sailing world, all things need replacing at precisely the wrong times. In the world of the marina, it means risking the label as "Those cruisers who never actually left the dock". BUT, our plan is to leave first thing tomorrow morning. The Raymarine expert, Jeff is due any minute to replace our compass and that should be all we need....for now. The tides will be in our favor, the weather is holding steady and we are more than ready to start our adventure. But then again, living on a sailboat is an adventure no matter where you are. Sometimes a difficult one, but I can't imagine living anywhere else.

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