North Carolina Beach Vacation, Part 2

May 13, 2009 at 8:12 pm

The big adventure of our trip to North Carolina came on Wednesday, when we all booked spots on a 50ft catamaran sail-cruise to Cape Lookout. The trip took about 6 hours, included lunch, drinks and snacks, involved spotting horses and dolphins from the sailboat as well as mooring at the lighthouse and the cape to give us time to explore and look for shells. All for the bargain price of $60 a person. Really. Great. Deal. I totally recommend Lookout Cruises if you’re in the area.

Laying on the nets, looking up

And, I may have decided that my next career will involve chartered sailing while I was on this boat. Those guys did a great job, and looked like they really loved their jobs. There’s pictures from the day up in the gallery.

Cape Lookout Sail Map (Google Earth)

The cruise was great. We had a strong wind out of the east, so we “motor-sailed” out to the lighthouse (the direct line on the map above), which took about an hour and a half. We had lunch at the dock and then took an hour to explore the museum, lighthouse, and pristine seashore of the cape. We then loaded back into the boat, and sailed back a little ways, where the crew ran the big boat up on the beach, and we all hopped out to find some of the biggest, prettiest shells I’ve ever seen. All in an area with no roads, no crowds, in fact, nobody but us for the whole day.

A North Carolina Landscape

Mark and I both have a good bit of experience with sailing, and have often talked about buying a little boat and taking sailing vacations. On this trip, I thought it was great to see so much of the love of sailing and passion for the outdoors in the people living along the coast. They may not be climbing, but these people have just as much dedication and obsession with their chosen sport and lifestyle as any dirtbag rock climber that I’ve met.

Looking across the bow on a cloudy evening

I’ve often heard from the climbers and adventurers in my life that there are two types of people in this world. Some people are happy just to see the mountains, and enjoy the views from below. Others are driven to climb and explore each peak and lofty perch. I think the same easily applies to the ocean. Some people are perfectly content to sit on the beach and watch the waves crash, the storms’ fury, and the dolphins playing, from a distance. Others have to head out into the blue expanse, and experience it all first hand.