Sea Otter

Who: Jim Lowe
Port: Elizabeth City, NC
24 May 2016 | Oriental, NC
06 November 2013 | Lambs Marina, Camden, NC
22 June 2013 | Camden, NC
13 June 2013 | Cape Lookout Bight
13 June 2013 | Cape Lookout Bight
13 June 2013
12 June 2013 | Beaufort Inlet
11 June 2013 | Greens Creek
10 June 2013 | Oriental, NC
09 June 2013 | Oriental
08 June 2013 | Neuse River
07 June 2013 | Spring Creek
06 June 2013 | Spring Creek
05 June 2013 | Spring Creek
04 June 2013 | Campbell Creek
02 June 2013 | Slade Creek
01 June 2013 | Belhaven
31 May 2013 | Alligator / Pungo River Canal
29 May 2013 | South Lake
28 May 2013 | underway

Local sailing.

24 May 2016 | Oriental, NC
J. Lowe
This blog chronicles my travels with Sea Otter. She's a Cape Dory 28 that I became steward of in May, 2008. It's been quite a while since I've written anything and I was just reviewing some of my old posts.
Ive used this blog as both a visual and written logbook. It includes some of the challenges that I've had to cope with as I've learned the art of sailing and maintaining a cruising sailboat.
In my previous life I maintained aircraft electrical systems. I also operated a small shop building sailing dinghy's. This background gave me a good start on the maintenance side of cruising. However, actual sailing experience has been slow in coming. Most of my sailing has been as a solo sailor. You might think that learning to sail as a single handed sailor puts me at a disadvantage. But I think there are certain benefits. Having no one but yourself to hand a line, raise an anchor or raise the mainsail forces you to slow down and to think through each step.
I've found that a tiller pilot manages the steering well enough for most of the steering chores. A second person really isn't necessary to handle a boat. The experience of sailing is filled with the beauty and power of nature and what the single handed sailor lacks most is someone to share it with. Someone who values a sunset or a dolphin sighting. Who enjoys the sound of rain on the cabin top. Someone to walk to the grocers with and to pass the time while the laundry finishes. Someone to meet new friends with. Someone to have morning tea with. Life is meant to be shared.

Winter of 13

06 November 2013 | Lambs Marina, Camden, NC
Jim Lowe
Holed up at Lambs marina for the winter. Will tend to an oil leak in the gearbox, I suspect the rear seal needs replacing. I also want to relocate the water tank forward under the v-berth. This will improve Otters trim, off setting the weight that tends to accumulate aft.
Shawn, to my knowledge Otter has never left the Atlantic. Also she was named by me when I purchased her. Her previous name was Thistle and was home ported in Charleston, SC.

Home again

22 June 2013 | Camden, NC
Jim Lowe
Only a few days at Cape Lookout but they are full of memory. A weather window for my return opened all too soon and it was time to return to Elizabeth City. Sea Otter will remain at Lambs Marina for the rest of the summer, While I journey across country to visit my family in the Northwest. Looking forward to being able to share in their lives first hand. I plan to return to Otter in the Fall and then .... perhaps a South trip. We shall see. Otter will need some attention when I return. New cushions and a new water tank. For a Winter trip Otter will need heat. Not sure if the wood stove will be enough. I may need to install the diesel heater. There's always something but that's all part of cruising.

A Short Stay

13 June 2013 | Cape Lookout Bight
Jim Lowe
The weather tomorrow is perfect. However, it's expected to turn against me for several days after that. That means my stay on the Cape is already over. I certainly was tempted to stay longer and do some diving but that will have to wait till another visit. I was able to catch a nice night shot of the light house though. Tomorrow I'll get an early start to catch the flood tide for the run back through the inlet and back to Oriental.

The Bahamas of NC

13 June 2013 | Cape Lookout Bight
Jim Lowe
It's said that going to Cape Lookout is like going to the Bahamas without actually leaving North Carolina. It certainly does have the feel of an unspoiled natural environment. The list of creatures that I saw on this trip grew quite a bit here. Sting rays, shark, dolphin (the fish), sea lions (I think), lots of birds such as herons, frigates, ospry, spoonbills, white ibis and pelicans (my favorites) as well as horseshoe and hermit crabs. The weather window that allowed me safe passage out to the Cape quickly closed behind me with the arrival of several strong cold fronts. The first rolled in around 10pm with another just after midnight and another around 2am. SW winds around 35kts swung around to the North by 5am, though they had lost much of their bluster dropping to 15kts. It made for a long sleepless night but Otter showed her quality and weathered it easily. The morning after the storm passed, the sky busted into blue and I took the opportunity to take the dinghy to shore. This is a wonderful place to look for sea shells. I just pointed my camera at my feet to get the picture of the shells. It all looks like that. I've never seen so many whelks. They were strewn across beaches and docks as if some giants were using them to play marbles.

13 June 2013
The dink did good service here since Otter was anchored at least half a mile from shore. The natural harbor that the bight forms was still stirred up quite a bit from the storms of the night before. There was at least 10kts of wind. That may not sound like much until your rowing a small dinghy into it. Here's the dinghy catching her breath on shore.
Vessel Name: Sea Otter
Vessel Make/Model: Cape Dory 28
Hailing Port: Elizabeth City, NC
Crew: Jim Lowe
About: Single handed sailor. Has been with Sea Otter since Jun 2008 following retirement from Coast Guard aviation in 06'.
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Sea Otter's Photos -

Who: Jim Lowe
Port: Elizabeth City, NC