Southport

Most of you know that we had planned this weeks schedule to coincide with my family’s yearly trip to Sunset Beach. My sister Kelly and her family, My brother Tim and his family, and my mom and her husband have been coming to this area every year for 25, 15 and a few years respectively. The additional bonus is that we are cruising with April and Paul aboard the April K, a 55 Nordhavn for the whole summer. The funny thing is for those of you who haven’t heard this serendipitous story, is that we only met April and Paul a couple of months ago and, here’s the punch line, she is my step sister. Her father Craig is married to my mother. Without getting too deeply into the various ways in which our paths have nearly crossed over the past several years, this truly is a God introduction as we only finally met while sharing a dock in Old Port Cove merely 3 feet away from each other. While discussing our plans for the summer we decided that we would love to surprise her father for a celebration of his 80th B-Day which was occurring the week prior on June 7. With that – the plan was made to be here for this week. On Saturday, June 16th (I have to start dating things if Im to be 2 weeks late with updates:) we arrived in South Harbor Village Marina where we remained all week. Unfortunately, this was a 50 minute drive from where the family was but we rented a car for the daily commute. This is really one of the challenges of having a boat that draws nearly 7 feet but Im not complaining – it just limits the marinas that can serve us. Southport was as close as we could get to Sunset Beach for the week. Brief Highlights for the week included a Fathers day/B-Day celebration aboard Gratitude on Sunday hosted by April and I for my mom and her dad and Alec and Paul for fathers day. On Monday we joined the entire family at the Boundary House for dinner where there were 18 of us in attendance for a belated celebration of Craig’s 80th. Also on Monday, Jack enjoyed his first ever jet ski ride with his Uncle Jim and his cousin Colin. Words can’t describe how much fun he had doing this! Jack really has a love of speeeeeeed. (YIKES- Thankfully this also accompanies a healthy fear of death which Jack also has). On Tuesday Jack had his very first sleep over with his cousins at Aunt Kelly and Uncle Jim’s rental home. Again – heaven for him and so much fun for Alec and I as we had our first date night in a month. The rest of the week included daily trips to the beach to enjoy spending time with cousins. On Friday we all parted with hopes to do this again another time. We left our slip at the South Harbor Marina on Saturday afternoon after a brief calculation indicated that an arrival in daylight (always a good idea coming into an unfamiliar anchorage or marina) would require an overnight run. A quick check of the weather and battening of the hatches and we were off. It was to be my watch to begin with and we left with no complications – the inlet was pretty rollie and choppy but nothing worse than what most inlets are. While patiently waiting for the chop to subside after departing the inlet, the waves instead continued to build on our Easterly course. Unfortunately, this continued for the next 1.5 – 2.0 hours with wave heights reaching 10 feet in my estimation with roughly 4-5 seconds between them. Our 300# anchor measured 8 feet from the water line was at many points buried in the trough of a wave and bouncing in it’s cradle like a little ping pong ball. Despite this motion, our little ship motored through the waves like she was made to – safely and confidently. I have never had more faith a vessel to carry us to smoother waters. At no point in the process did she ever moan or creek and the only sounds we heard (besides our own breathing as we were all kinda holding our breath) was the clinking of glasses. I went down to the galley to attempt to remedy the clanking and unfortunately ended up getting clonked with a falling glass as I opened a locker door. Note to self: wait until the dust settles to try to fix something completely and utterly non-essential. After 20 miles we were finally able to make our turn to the North after passing Frying Pan Shoal and the waves following us made for an infinitely more comfortable ride. Nearly immediately we all were feeling better. The next stop: Cape Lookout in North Carolina

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