Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Good Fortune on the ways

Good Fortune has been hauled out of the water on my railway for the last two weeks getting a new paint job. Here are a few pics of the process. Her launch date is March 26th. I will start chartering full time on or near April 1st.

The first pic is the masking job, the second pic is the finished product.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

February at the Cape

The last week of February sported a few warm days so I dropped the dock lines and headed for Cape lookout. The wind was north east so the sail was calm and one tack all the way to the bight.

I launched the skiff as soon as the anchor was set. Tiller was off the deck and into the skiff and ready for dog activities on the beach. Our first discovery were two Kemp Ridly turtles freeze dried on the beach. One hundred feet down the beach we found the decayed remains of a young Minke whale. We salvaged a few vertebra and moved on. Just a stones throw from the whale, tiller stopped to investigate an adult Loggerhead turtle. We were located on a cul-de-sac beach facing north. The prevailing winter winds pile, all the sea life that dies in the bight, onto this little beach on the sound side. The cold winter temperatures keep everything dry and cool. I call this the winter grave yard. When the spring warmth arrives, the winter die off will succumb to insects and bacteria.

In the rush to get to sea, I left the camera on the bed at home. That means no good pictures of all the great finds. I took cell phone pics of all the critters but the quality is so poor I feel bad showing them. Its all I have so I will post them.

A short hike across beach brought both us to the jetty. This structure was built in the early 1900's to create a harbor for the N.C. Port. It was decided to locate the Port in Morehead City so the jetty was left to the wind and waves. After 100 years it is still there, with some of the best fish and invertebrate habitat in the state. The speckled trout were so thick that a cast into the school would immediately hook a 27" trout. Every time I pulled a fish on to the beach the dog would run in circles and bark. It was mayhem casting and snagging fish until I put a hook completely through my finger. This ended the fishing. This is why fisherman carry wire cutting tools with them. I had to push the hook through my finger and cut the barb end off. The dog continued to circle and bark during this process. The hook was removed and the fish gathered up in a discarded onion sack ,and we headed back to the skiff.
We were treated to a dolphin show just at sunset. That sure went well with an evening cocktail.