Sailing school at the coast


Sea Scout Ship 244 and Boy Scout Troop 244 traveled from Cary, NC to Oriental, NC towing two sailboats – our Catalina 22 Phoenix and the American 14.5 Falcon. Destination: Bow to Stern Sailing School, Smith Creek on Neuse River.

Weather: Tropical storm Beryl off of South Carolina coast gave us gusty SE winds at 15-17 knots. Temp mid 80’s, Skies overcast, chance of rain

We launched the Phoenix from the public dock and sailed up river while the troop drove to the campsite. We docked at the sailing school and set up camp with the troop and then walked into town for ice cream.

May 26, 2012
Departure from: Bow to Stern Sailing School campgrounds
Destination: Anchorage somewhere in a creek off of Neuse River
Weather: Winds SE at 15-17 knots, Waves 3’ with white caps.    Skies partly cloudy, 14% chance of rain

Notes: After breakfast at camp the Sea Scouts had fun watching the Boy Scouts launch the school’s FJ sailboats. The sailing instructors were great, zipping about in their little motorized inflatable chase boats to give advice and lend a hand as almost every boat capsized at least twice.  No injuries other than jellyfish stings.

Then we motored the Phoenix out into the very choppy bay. We all agreed it was too windy to raise sails so we just enjoyed the riding the waves under motor. Returned to camp for lunch with the troop and saw that the Boy Scouts’ sailing skills had improved.  Riley and Billy now both qualified as competent sailors on the American 14.6 sailboat Falcon.

After lunch we sailed the Neuse River and explored the creeks. We decided to anchor in a creek for the night. Cooked MRE’s for supper, enjoyed the sunset followed by glowing cloud banks with clear sky and stars above. Bos’n Mary S. assigned 90 minute night watch duty to each person beginning at 2300. Three slept in the cabin and two in the cockpit, until it started to rain. Then it was five in the cabin, not sleeping well. Rain stopped, Mike and Will moved to the cockpit, rained started, they moved in to the cabin Repeat X3. (Note for future trips: Don’t leave the boom tarp in camp when planning to sleep on board.) During Will’s watch the mast light went out. He and Mary went out into the downpour to hang a LED lantern on the mast.  At least 4 boats motored past us during the night. Eventually we all got some sleep.

May 27, 2012
Weather: Winds SE at 12-15 knots, Waves 3’, Temp hi 84 Lo 70, Skies partly cloudy, chance of rain
Notes: We motored under the bridge out into the bay and raised just the mainsail, no jib needed. Main halyard jammed with sail just below the head of the mast. Mary, Jane and Tommy all pulled on the line while clinging to the mast as William at the tiller and Mike on the motor tried to keep us heading into the wind and the Phoenix plunged with the waves.  Plenty of wind, great sailing, salt spray breaking over the bow and into the cockpit. Tommy’s Sea Scout cap went overboard and sank before we could reach it. (Note for future trips: All caps should be secured with line) Mary fed her lunch to the fishes (Note for future trips: No Reuben sandwiched for Mary just prior to boarding for rough seas.)

May 28, 2012
After Dutch Oven breakfast that we shared with Captain Jim and his family, we broke camp and packed.  The troop departed by vehicles while Sea Scouts sailed to the public dock to trailer the Phoenix. All returned safely home with a few minor injuries and a lot of great memories.

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