Monday, September 17, 2007

Masonboro Island

This weekend, the NC State Sailing Club went down to Masonboro island for a fun time of sailing, camping, and being merry. This is an annual trip for the club and always promises to be a good time. I took my Hobie 18 along with 2 club Flying Scott's, 1 JY-15, one McGreggor 15 Cat, Trey's Nacra 20, and two Carolina Skiffs as chase boats. We had a group of just under 40 people!!! this year but despite the large numbers, everything went smoothly.

We put in just after noon on Saturday after a somewhat early 8:30am rendezvous in the school gym parking lot (earlier for some who partied the Friday night before like normal college kids). Arriving in Wilmington, we set up just across the street from the Blockade Runner Hotel at a small mast up storage lot on the sound. We were joined by sailing friend Thomas who we met at the Hatteras Regatta a few weeks earlier and who also came down and floated around with the more inland catamaran group at Catfest last weekend. He keeps his cat there and offered up some local knowledge for parking and also set us up with the launch location (no cost to us). He also sailed around with us on Saturday on his own Hobie 18.

We sailed south west down the inlet about 1 and three quarters miles to the sound side of Masonboro island where we set up camp and shoved off for some ocean side sailing. The wind was very light but it was not too hot so it was a relaxing sail in the calm rolling sea swells. Later the wind picked up slightly and I got some solo sailing in on the ocean side and did a little Drag racing with Thomas on his 18 down the beach.

Dinner was served around 7:00pm after we found the lighter fluid and got a fire going. Sandy hot dogs...YUM. The wind blew a fine blanket of sand over everything which was ok because just about then the storm that we had been watching turned south east and it started raining...then pouring. Time of death of the fire was 8:30pm. I know because I was standing in the downpour trying to cook the hot dogs and wait out the shower which was surely passing. Don and I gave up when the hot dogs core temperature took a sad turn for the worst and I retired to my tent to dry off. The shower let up around 9:15pm and the party continued into the night. With most passed out around midnight, the last of us killed the fire and hit the sack. I had one of about 3 tents that was still dry. Some tents should come with warnings like..."Warning, don't use this tent if its going to be windy or raining", I was glad to have a decent tent.

The night brought increasing wind and we awoke around 7:45am to about 15knots steady from the north and lovely sand dunes under the rainflys that were just waiting to blanket everything in the tent when you opened the outside zipper. It was around 65degrees +wind and everyone was bundled up. having survived the night (thought some were a little worse for wear) we began cleaning up the campsite. Bagels and pop tarts... and sand for breakfast and we shoved off the beach around 10:00am. We decided to sail straight back to the launch point since the wind had steadily increased to about 18knots steady in some spots and everyone was a little cold and sluggish. It took us a good while to fight the current upwind back up the inlet but it was the best sailing we had since the light air the day before.

We got back to the launch point and broke down the boats. A quick stop at Wendy's for lunch and we were on the road by 1:30pm arriving back in Raleigh to drop the club boats back off at Lake Wheeler by about 4:30pm. All in all a very successful club trip and one that introduced a lot of new guys to the club and to sailing. Hopefully we did our job hooking the new members and keeping the club alive for the next generation of sailing club members. Pictures coming soon.

1 comment:

Talloaf said...

Hello Alan, I was doing some research on Masonboro Island and google gave me a link to this post. I'm hoping to go camping on the island itself and I was wondering if you remembered where the local told you to go for free parking and boat access?

I'll be paddling, but your trip sounded like a lot of fun. Your help is greatly appreciated.