We took our annual end-of-summer, pre-school trip to Emerald Isle in the South Outer Banks. The weather was fabulous – much better than the swamp of August that we’ve been living in since we got back. This year we took the Terror of the Sea down instead of the Day Sailer. I was a little nervous about tides and currents without an engine backup since it was all unfamiliar water. I went out solo from the NC Wildlife launch in Beaufort on Taylor Creek. There was a bit of a current pushing out of the creek. Once I got the sail up and was heading down creek toward the sound I turned around to make sure I could sail against the current. It worked, but was slow going. I continued on into the sound and started long tacks against the wind toward Shackleford Banks. I was happy to be heading into the wind as that meant I would be heading down wind on the way home. The sailing was good and it was easy to see the shallow water. The winds were probably blowing mostly 5+ mph with gusts to 10 or so. I had expected stronger winds and was prepared to reef, but that was never needed and I would have been happier with some stronger wind.

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I landed on the beach near the boat dock. I pulled way up onto the beach and walked around. I found 3 horses in the interior and then headed back to the beach. Given a little more time I would have hiked all the way over to the far side to see the Atlantic.

At Shackleford

At Shackleford

I was worried about leaving the family too long, so I jumped back in the boat and headed back. It was a great ride and I was pleasantly surprised to be catching the tide going into Taylor Creek. I couldn’t really figure out how the current in Taylor Creek correlated with the nearby High and Low tides. At Beaufort Inlet the high tide was 9:24 am and low tide was 3:36 pm. I left the ramp in the morning at 10:30 am and the creek was flowing out to the East. When I returned at 2:30 pm (an hour before low tide at the inlet) the creek was flowing West. It would be interesting to know when the current switches in the creek relative to the inlet.


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It was good sailing and I was pleased to see how much sand was visible in various places. It would be easy to camp or go ashore for a rest. I was worried it would all be stinky mud and oysters, but that wasn’t the case. I’m looking forward to trying a multi-day camping trip down in this area and maybe up into Core Sound. It would be fun to rig a boom tent for sleeping on the water too. Hopefully I get Molly to come sailing with me on the next adventure.



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