With wind dead on the nose in the Beaufort channel, we hoist the main then unfurl the jib in 10-ish knots of breeze. As we turn north toward the waypoint, sails fill in. Izula reaches 7 knots — even with a furry bottom, some resident crabs and a few barnacles. It’s exciting to be on the move after our unexpected stay at the dock in Knasty Harbor.


We’re headed up to the undeveloped barrier islands of Cape Lookout National Seashore for a little shakedown cruise. Conditions are mild. Izula sails comfortably flat in 2-3 foot seas.

It’s an easy entrance to Cape Lookout today though friends say the markers can get blown around. Several boats are already anchored in this sweet spot. We tuck up into the bight, throw the hook and drop the dinghy to go ashore. A sandy path through the sea oats takes us over the dunes. Our salty old dog Jock can’t make it so we take turns carrying him. It’s like quicksand for his tired, arthritic old legs.


Sunset is bright orange with flashes of electric yellow peeking through dark night clouds. Across the water we see the twinkling lights of Beaufort and Atlantic Beach. There’s nobody on this beach but us.


Tristan and Bodin build a sandcastle and call it the elfin kingdom. It’s a fortress with 3 moats, a protective surrounding wall, a guardian watchtower and a big hole that feeds the 3 moats. This all happens while we talk with our new friends aboard Jasmine who came up for a few days from Beaufort. Brad is a NOAA diver and Walter and Kelsey are in grad school with the marine science and conservation drone program at Duke. Awesome to hear about this area from our new scientist friends!

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