Summer Fun in the Sun- introducing........
08 August 2017 | Bogue Inlet to Shackleford Banks, North Carolina's Crystal Coast
summer sun and light breezes
The Ivory Belle's story begins in late spring with a weekend trip to the Chesapeake Bay. She had been sitting in a garage there for a decade, waiting for someone to come love her and put her to sea.....that was me~
Her lines just grabbed my attention, having seen two smaller 14' versions of the Penobscot design at the Wooden Boat Show in Beaufort the last couple years. But this beautiful swimmer was all of 17 feet with a mahogany and ash deck and traditional sails hung on a gunter rig. I was in love~
Upon her maiden voyage, I soon surmised why she may have been sitting in that garage so long. The centerboard would neither go up or down...so we rowed around and sailed her back downwind. First project, bang the hell out of the centerboard until it was free of the trunk. I set out to manufacture a new centerboard, much thinner and fix the leaking pivot pin with a floating configuration...works great!
To try out her new centerboard, I accepted an invitation to sail with the Women Sailing Club up on the Neuse River with an assortment of other small boats. Not much wind, but a day to really stretch the Ivory Belle's legs and see how she handled....jibless. Happy to report she sails very well under main only-
The next sail was long & coming. I had been waiting for a very long time to take my son and daughter-in-law out for their first summertime visit from LA. We sailed for two days and exhausted me! The first day was a perfect light wind to sail with the NC Maritime Museum sprits'l fleet. The second day we sailed with quite a bit more wind into the Bogue Inlet near Swansboro. Ended up breaking the tiller off from the rudder. Quick thinking and sailed back to shore by balancing her rig. My son set about finding an abandoned tent pole on the beach so we could jury rig a tiller for the sail home, worked great.
The next sail was for the Fourth of July rally out to Shackleford Banks with the sprits'l fleet. This distance sail is always a great time, this time we had to rely on the safety boats because there wasn't much wind down the creek. The rest of the day was good wind and sand bar jumping back into the Beaufort Inlet. I had some wonderful crew I had been mentoring that took to the day's adventure with ease and soaked up every minute.
The Ivory Belle has had a wonderful introduction to the Souther Outer Banks and will soon be sailing out of Cape Carteret's day dock this late summer into fall. Tucking in between sand spit islands, bridges and salt marsh grass is all in a day's good sail for a sweet sailor & I.