Our first stop after leaving the Palm Beach area was at Cape Lookout in North Carolina, just south of Cape Hatteras. We’d stopped there en route to Boston mainly to wait out a storm that would be passing through the Boston area, but it turned out to be an excellent anchorage. We toured the Cape Lookout National Seashore, climbed the light house there, and generally enjoyed being out on anchor again. Amazingly, our anchor hadn’t been down for over six months—not since Plettenberg Bay on the east coast of South Africa. That’s double the longest time we’ve not been at anchor in the last sixteen years.
Trip highlights from June 10th through 13th follow. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps
It’s great to be back out on the hook again. We’re in North Carolina now, having skipped Georgia and South Carolina—we’ll visit them on our return trip south later this year. The last time we spent a night in North Carolina was way back in 1991 for “Racing at the Rock” at the now-closed Rockingham Motor Speedway, our then-favourite NASCAR track.
We saw the Coast Guard patrol boat Cochito standing off Beaufort Inlet as we approached Cape Lookout. Not long after we arrived, the 87-ft Marine Protector class vessel slowly came through the channel into the bay and anchored to our south.
We opened the cockpit door this morning to a strange thumping sound. The cockpit door latch had broken off. It looks like this angled latch was fabricated by taking a straight latch and welding it an an angle, and it appears the weld has failed.
The Cape Lookout Light Station is part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The light house still is operational, and the tower is open to the public for tours. You can see the light turning and an incredible 365° views from 163ft in the sky.
The Cape Lookout Lighthouse was built in 1857 and stands 163ft high. The diamond pattern painted daymark distinguishes it visually from other lighthouses in the area, and also indicates direction—the black diamonds point north-south and the white diamonds east-west.
Hard to beat the view from the top of the lighthouse. This is looking south to Cape Lookout on the left, our anchorage in Cape Lookout Bight is left of center, Shackleford Banks are in the center, Barden Inlet is to the right of center, and the South Core Banks extend to the right. Shackleford Banks were originally connected to the South Core Banks, but a 1933 hurricane opened up Barden Inlet to Cape Lookout Bight.
We rely heavily on ARPA (Automatic Radar Plotting Aid), particularly on the MaxSea chartplotter display. ARPA is a RADAR feature that allows us to flag multiple targets, track them and know closest point of approach (CPA). With MaxSea, we can track an ARPA target via a continuously updated always-visible sidebar that we find convenient. When we upgraded the nav computer to 64-bit and reinstalled MaxSea, we configured NavNet and NavNet Fast Heading, but neglected to setup NavNet ARPA, so ARPA targets weren’t displaying on MaxSea. We figured that out today and got it working again. It’s sooo nice to have it back.
The failure mode we’re used to with tired impellers is that they break apart and throw blades into the cooling system that must be retrieved. These Globe impellers seem to have a much nicer failure mode of just weakening without actually coming apart. This one lasted 18 months with 734 hours of use. What particularly impresses us is this impeller is actually in very rough condition, with all the blades broken and the hub turning and yet the generator still didn’t overheat and there’s no rubber parts to go chase in the cooling system.
Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.
On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at http://mvdirona.com/maps.