Special Report: The OBX130

by Chuck Leinweber

I am flying out to the Outer Banks to crew with Bill Moffitt in his Mikesboat for the first real OBX130. You may remember Paul Moffitt's story about the wet "Dry Run" last year and Sean Moffitt's report after the fact. Anyway, this is the real thing. I have a brand new Blackberry and I will be taking pictures and sending short reports (those keys are a lot smaller than my thumbs!) during the event. You will also want to section of the OBX130 forum where reports are made by folks getting reports by cell phone - it is called "Updates". I hope you enjoy the reports - Chuck

May 21 - Gettin' on that Midday Plane to Georgia

Made it to the airport in San Antonio without undue anxiety. I immediately saw this mural.

Two hours until I catch that mid-day plane to georgia... Yawn


My flight got diverted to columbus, Georgia where we sat on the tarmac for a couple of hours. Finally, we took of for the 15 minute flight to Atlanta. The airport here is huge, but has a lot of art.

Next stop: Bill Moffitt's boatshop.


Bill's son, Sean, picked me up at the airport but we got so engaged in conversation that we got lost and drove about an hour out of the way. By the time we made it to Bill's house, it was almost dark. I still have to get some supplies before we sleep and then we have a 9-1/2 hour drive tomorrow.

Map of today's travels



May 22 - Day Two of Journey

Bill and Sean's boats are packed and waiting for a new trailer ball, the old one having somehow gone missing. I'm glad that never happens to me.


Stopped at a roadside rest area to check tires and tie-downs. So far we don't seem to be missing anything - on the other hand, we have not done a full inventory. Bill keeps saying: "what could possibly go wrong?"

It's a long drive from Atlanta to the outer banks so we tell war stories and jokes. Sean knows the best ones, or at least ones that Bill and I haven't heard before. I wish I could repeat them here. Bill had the best war story - about the time he broke out of prison... A Mexican prison. I would repeat the story here if it weren't for these tiny keys.

This is where we are headed:

At any rate, we probably won't get to our launch site before dark so there probably won't be any more pictures today. Tomorrow we sail!


May 23 - Soon to Set Sail

I'm in the same spot all day while other people arrive and they get things ready for launch. This is where I'm at. If you copy and paste this number in Google Maps you will get my location at the start:


You can also put these numbers in the 'fly to' in Google Earth. (You can download Google Earth here.)

A marks the point.
Satellite image of the start point 35.01585,-76.31608
3d of the area

We will get out on the water and head south soon.



May 24 - We're underway

Some time Monday night it began raining and it kept up until after daylight. That and the small craft warnings discouraged some folks. But we bought a last bag of ice and took off.

After a day with no phone connection, I was pretty happy to arrive at camp one and find five bars! Of the ten or so boats that had planned to come here, so far only four have arrived. To begin with there were small craft warnings and Sean had trouble keeping the water on the outside of his boat. So the decision was made to tow Sean back to the car, leave his boat there and take him with us in the Mikesboat. Halfway back Bill's outboard conked out so we sailed the rest of the way. Of course, after we got a few miles out, the sun came out and the sailing was great down to the Gun Club - our first camp.


Mac arrived in his waverider around 4:30.

We walked over to the Atlantic side and met this ranger who told us we could not have a fire at our camp - only on the beach.

This sequence of maps (below) show our progress.


Google Earth views of the trip so far below:


GPS location Date/Time:05/24/2010 13:07:29
GPS location Date/Time:05/24/2010 14:29:12
GPS location Date/Time:05/24/2010 15:50:30

Abandoned Gun Club



Jackie Monies Report

For those following Chuck Leinweber, the Moffits and others on the OBX130, I will post a note on the progress of Laguna Dos, Mike Monies and Andrew Linn, who are along on the trip. I looked at their SPOT before lunch as I left the house and I thought they were going on to Point Lookout tonight for some reason! I noted they were at the National Wildlife Refuge and said to myself, "Man, they are really flying! They will be at camp in an hour or so!"

Well, they WERE at camp, having reached the first night's camp before lunch! Mike said the Laguna was absolutely flying at sea level, at speeds of 10 knots/miles per hour! They went thru one rain storm and got out slickers but other than that, she loved the winds.

He and Andrew walked over to Atlantic side where he said the breakers were really rolling in and there were surfers out on water but flys/bugs drove them away. Mike and Andy, not the surfers. He said it was 3 1/2 hours before anyone else showed up at camp. They are at an abandoned gun club site that now is part of refuge.

I asked Mike who had made it to camp so far and he said the two Mike'sboats and a B and B Princess, at least one cat made it there and them. I will find out if any other boats made it when I talk to him next. He said they were going on to Point Lookout tomorrow and then head back north because of the possible tropical depression.

He and Andy went out yesterday and sailed around some near the launch camp, went out some more today and sailed a bit more this afternoon. I think they are having fun. I suggested they might want to go back in the fall and sail in the NC Challenge, which is in same area and put on by Watertribe if the Laguna performed well in the wind and water conditions.

Jackie Monies


May 25 - Sailing Day Two

Here is Andrew in Laguna Dos just after a wild ride down to Harkers Island. We did not plan to stop here but when Dave capsized his Mikesboat in front of Mike, Andrew and Sean, Sean decided to help dave recover his boat and motor to Harkers. We are waiting for them here.

Mike, Andrew and Sean will sail Laguna Dos today. They are no doubt discussing how to navigate the shallows between us and the channel.

Dave and Sean finally made it in. Dave was in remarkably good spirits considering what he had been through. He was so grateful to Sean for his help that he gave him the rigging knife that he had carried for 30 years. He says he is going to buy us all lunch before he hitches a ride back to Cedar Island to get his car and trailer. It was great sailing with you dave!



Jackie Monies Report - 2

Winds are blowing like "stink" according to Mike at 20-30 mph, with winds out of NE and a long fetch across the waters. Seas have had tall waves, close together, with whitecaps at about two feet. He said the waves have reached the top of Laguna's sides all morning.

The group has reached Harker's Island safely but some drama occurred as Dave Chase who was sailing the second Mikesboat capsized in the rough conditions. Sean Moffitt was sailing in the Laguna with Mike and Andy Linn, as his Piccup had taken on too much water the first day to sail safely in the conditions. The Mikesboat went over immediately in front of the Laguna and Sean dived into the water to help right the Mikesboat. The Mikesboat floated high on its side and did not "turtle" so they were able to right it rapidly without it taking on a lot of water. They were able to get the engine started and motored on into Harker Island.

Dave is planning to drop out at Harker Island and needs someone from the Cedar Island group to come pick him up, Part of the group did not leave Cedar Island yesterday with the conditions and stayed there to daysail the area. I believe the group that went south plans to join back up with the northern group tonight?

Mike said they left campground one about 8 a. m. and reached Harker Island at about 10:30 a. m. and would have been there faster but hung around to help with the rescue. I forgot to ask what gps showed their speed at today or how far down they were reefed!

The group was all headed for one of the two restaurants on Harker Island to eat lunch. They were supposed to be heading for the famous Point Lookout lighthouse and Shackleford Island, with the wild ponies. Mike said wind conditions were really strong and they would decide what to do about direction they would take. One of the members did not have a VHF with him and was headed off to the lighthouse and they had no way to reach him.

I asked Mike who had made it that far and I believe he said the B and B Princess had turned back to Cedar Island this morning, the two Mikesboats were at Harker Island, the Laguna and one Windrider, and a double ended Nordica 16, sailed by Peter Lamarche, was the one heading off to lighthouse.

The wind conditons were so strong I was having trouble hearing Mike on cell phone, so if this is wrong, please forgive mistakes.

One note, Mike never got his rebuilt antique long shaft Johnson motor to restart before the trip. He and Andrew are doing this trip without a motor and with some donated 9 1/2 foot oars and Andrew to row if they can't sail up to whereever they need to get. Since they did the entire EC without a motor and will have to do the NC Challenge under sail only (if they do it) this is good practice probably.


Just spoke to Mike who gave me a few additional notes on trip so far. They are all at the second nights campground except for Dave Chase in Mikesboat, who got a motel room back at Harken Island and is trying to get ride back to Cedar Island to connect up with rest of group and Lamarche in the Nordica 16, who they saw but cannot contact, as he did not have a VHF radio along. He was heading away from them in opposite direction, so they think he went to Morehead City to get out of weather, which I will explain.

The much smaller group is now Mike and Andrew Linn in the Laguna Dos, Bill Moffitt and Chuck Leinweber in Bill's Mikesboat, the Windrider, and the Princess, which did not drop out afterall but made it to the second camp. Sean and Paul Moffitt are also there, along with their friend, an English sailor whose name I have temporarily forgotten! Forgive me, lost my notes on messy desk!

The stalwart explorers, above, are all camped out down South of Harker Island, on Cape Lookout, which I believe is where the lighthouse is located? It is pouring rain and has been for two hours now. They said no lighting or wind, just steady rain. I know Mike has a small one man tent or a one man "cot" tent for boat boards, Andrew has a bivy sack for the boat boards. They are on land, however, so hope they don't wash away! Mike said only the B and B Princess was sleeping on board and he was anchored way out, then tide went out and no one seems to have a dinghy along on trip, so he is stranded out there alone.

I asked about speed, winds today, reefing. Mike said it was slower today, as the high waves slowed them down to around 8 on the gps, as opposed to yesterday's 10. He said waves were to tops of gunnels on Laguna all day. He said they used both sails today but were double reefed all day. He had no wind speed indicators along but said weather forecast was 20-30 all day.

Mike says everyone is doing fine. They seem to be down to four boats and eight people now.

Jackie Monies


GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 09:36:42
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 10:09:59
Closeup of the area
GPS location Date/Time:05/25/2010 15:26:28
Closeup of the above position
Closeup of cape lookout


May 26 - Day Three and it's a bit damp

I have been tent bound by heavy rain all last night and this morning. Around noon it finally started clearing up and we are going to head back up north.


GPS location Date/Time:05/26/2010 14:39:36

Jackie Monies Report - 3

At 9:30 this morning when I spoke to Mike and Andrew Linn they were at the Pt. Lookout Lighthouse Museum seeking shelter from the nonstop rain and wind. It had poured and blown all night and this is unimproved camping, with no shelters to use. They had put their camp on a tarp between two sand dunes and Mike said he stayed fairly dry in his little one man tent. Apparently Andrew's bivy sack did not work as well and he had everything "stealth drying" under a roof attached to museum facility.

I asked why they didn't sleep on Laguna on raised floor boards under the tarp and Mike said the boat was so exposed and wind whipped that was worse, so they got between dunes. The winds are still at 20-30 steady and high tides, steady rain. There is nothing on the point/island except the lighthouse and it is not open to go into, as it is under renovation. The museum and visitor center was open, along with a bathroom apparently, but Mike said there was no one there, either visitors or park rangers it seems. He said he and Andrew were hanging out there to get out of rain.

Conditions are too bad, of course, to sail today but tomorrow is supposed to be better and they are heading back toward Cedar Island and the finish of trip. I asked if the Nordica 16 had ever shown up and Mike said, no, but they thought he'd gone on to Morehead City to escape weather.

I finally got boats identified, thanks to Andrew, who made notes. The Windrider 17 is sailed by Mac MacDeriett. The second WR17 stayed at Cedar Island. The Princess belongs to Tony Day and the Nordica 16 to Peter Lamarche. The Embers Watch is Bill Moffitt's Mikesboat and the Laguna Dos is Mike Monies. Chuck Leinweber and Andrew Linn are along as crew, as is Paul and Sean Moffitt and Paul's friend, Stuart Bartlett. They are trading off boats to crew, it seems, as the Windrider is a one-man boat and the Nordica as well.

Got a report on the restaurant at Harkers Island. There are two, located at least two miles from where the group landed. They walked, working up a big appetitie and thanks to Sean's rescue of Dave Chase, they all got treated to a good meal. Andrew had a fried soft shell crab sandwich (one of my favorites) and Mike had a prime rib sandwich. Didn't get report of rest of group. I asked Mike what they were eating on Point Lookout camp in rain as there are no restaurants there. They have lots of food along, including some that doesn't require cooking, if it isn't in a sealed locker to stay dry!

Mike said Chuck was sitting inside his tent this morning, probably trying to hit the keys on his Blackberry with his too-large fingers I'd guess, typing a report for Duckworks!

Jackie Monies


Spoke to Mike about 6:30 this evening and could hear voices in background over the wind, so there are survivors on the island. The rain has stopped this afternoon, but not the wind, which was still at 25-
30 according to my weather report. Mike said winds were to die down in night and for morning, so plans were to leave Point Lookout in morning to head north back toward the launch area at Cedar Island. Forecast I got was for better weather Thursday and Friday, with winds dying down to no more than 15 mph. (I will check later tonight)

Asked Mike what they had done all day after rain stopped. They had walked around island and sat on beach exchanging boat stories and opinions all afternoon, then shared a communal meal. With all the food I sent, Mike and Andrew cooked several dehydrated meals and had a tasting, decided the beef stroganoff was not too good but the terayki and lasagna was ok, if anyone is thinking packing dehydrated. Mike had taken his two burner propane stove along and they heated water and everyone cooked on his stove, so I assume water was involved in most of the dishes prepared!

Found out how Andrew got so wet, other than torrential downpours. (I was worried he'd wash out to sea if the waves overran the campground.) It seems Andrew nixed taking the two man tent along and left it in the truck camper, deciding the bivy sack was suffiecient. It wasn't. Mike used his cot tent (one man) and put it on the cot, got blown off cot, so slept on ground on tarp from Laguna. He stayed dry. By the way, these cot tents fit on top of a standard army cot, as well as floorboards of any boat with a flat cockpit that is same size as a cot, have zip up covers and little rounded tent pole/supports.

A surprise happened this afternoon when another boat showed up to join them, a Bolger PeaPod, Mike said. Didn't get name of sailor, but will. He launched at Harker Island and sailed down to Point Lookout to join them today.

Bill Moffitt has repeatedly advised that it is impossible to pack too much medicinal alcohol for such use as being stranded in middle of no where almost waiting out rain/wind/floods or other mishaps. If they are allowed to build a bonfire on the beach, I bet they are liberally applying some of Bill's stores and swapping boat building stories tonight!

By the way, Mike Seidel from the Weather Channel was standing out in the edge of the surf only a few miles from where our stranded group is and broadcasting from NC about the tropical depression hitting there. I almost e-mailed the Weather Channel to rush down to the Point Lookout Lighthouse with their truck and film the stranded sailors who had washed ashore in the storm and do interviews with Chuck and Duckworks.

I don't know, that might have ranked up there with the time I called Coast Guard when Mike and I first married long ago.

Jackie Monies


May 27 - Day Four and it's fine - we're sailing

Jackie Monies Report -4

The group left early this morning from Point Lookout, which must be a true island, as there is a ferry landing from mainland, and headed so straight for Harkers Island to the north that I had to play with the SPOT to tell, since their track lay directly OVER their track south!

Asked Mike why they had gone back to Harkers Island, if they were eating a hot breakfast at one of the restaurants? It seems the attraction was the bathroom facilities at the park headquarters, which is located on Harkers. Forgot to find out if they picked up the other Mikesboat sailed by Dave Chase when they went back! The sailor of the Bolger PeaPod had met up with Dave yesterday and eaten lunch with him before sailing south to the lighthouse and meeting up with remainder of group.

The weather has turned beautiful and Mike said sailing conditions are fantastic, sunny and temperatures in the mid 70's, light winds from 5 to 10. They were zipping along in the Laguna Dos and making really fast time. Sean Moffitt was sailing with them, to learn how to sail the Laguna, as he will be crewing in Andrew Linn's Laguna on the TX 200. Andrew was steering and Sean trimming sails apparently.

The camp ground for tonight had not been determined yet. Mike said they were going to see how far they got. At speeds they are making, they could get all the way back to Cedar Island by tonight I think.

Incidently, I was right about the bonfire and the medicinal alcohol last night. They may have to get back to civilization to acquire some more, as Mike said it was almost all gone. He said they had been "stoking the fire with it to keep fire going and stay warm" during rain storm. I thought he meant they had actually been pouring some on fire to keep fire ablaze but he corrected me that pouring had been internally, not actually using it as fuel on fire. That relieved me, as I said I could not believe Bill Moffitt had actually allowed any to be burned up! He is down to three fingers Mike said and getting a little grouchy!

Jackie Monies


Duckworks is now back at the abandoned gun club at:
34.80445,-76.37607. I would guess that is their campsite today/night?

John H Wright

Yes, spoke to Mike. He and Andrew got there at 3:30 their time for night. He said their speed was slow today, as winds were really light. They averaged 2 1/2 miles per hour today.

They are camping at the Gun Club again.


GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 06:20:26

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 06:30:42

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 09:10:59

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 09:43:47

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 11:07:58

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 13:31:58

GPS location Date/Time:05/27/2010 15:06:29

Back at the Abonded Gun Club


May 28 - Day Five

Jackie Monies Report - 5

The OBX group is still at the Gun Club campsite this morning, waiting out winds and whitecap waves, The weather report, which I got also, said mild conditions today with winds 5-10 mph. Mike said that was same report they got but he says they don't know what they are talking about. He said winds were out of north and blowing steadily in high teens and gusty.

The only boat that had left when I spoke to him was the B and B Princess and he said she was struggling and had not made much progress. They are moving north and wind is from north, so they are going to be doing a lot of tacking to make any progress at all. He said rest of them were waiting on shore to see if the wind abated or waves, lots of chop out on water.

I just got a SPOT message from them, which means they have turned on their SPOT, so I will check and see if they are underway. Chuck has run his battery down on his new Blackberry and did not bring his charger, so he can't send reports or photos. He won't have any reception back at Cedar Island camp probably. I think Chuck's SPOT is working however.

They got to the Gun Club camp early yesterday afternoon at 3:30 their time and spent rest of afternoon wandering around, cooking, building a bonfire. The rain and wind had stopped but Mike said wind picked up during night and got very gusty. Can't get a cuisine report on what they are actually eating on trip but they have a two burner stove along and lots of packaged food. Mike and Andrew have a large cooler along and I imagine they may have found ice on Harker Island. There are no facilities or commercial businesses in the National Seashore islands to buy food or supplies.

Spoke to Mike again about 9:30 last night to see if he or Andrew could e-mail photos. He was lying in his cot tent on the cot out in open on seashore, reading in bed by a head lamp. He said everyone is in little one man tents except Andrew in his bivy sack. They were all set up in a circle, I assume around the campfire, like so many covered wagons waiting for the attack!

Storms or at least rain is forecast for this afternoon again, so hopefully they will make progress against the wind and chop and get back to base camp at Cedar Island. Severe storms are forecast for tonight there. Asked Mike if he and Andrew had a safe location, he said he thought he was sleeping in back of the truck in camper shell. Did not say if he was letting Andrew share any of the camper.

Jackie Monies


And, they are off… about 7:30 eastern time….


GPS location Date/Time:05/28/2010 11:22:29

GPS location Date/Time:05/28/2010 14:38:43

View of Cape Lookout Lighthouse

May 28

Finally heading home. Back to Atlanta for me first and then I fly to San Antonio on Monday. I could not send pictures for few days due to forgetting part om my battery charging gear. But I have lots of pictures in my camera, so there will be a full story soon. Many thanks to Jackie for filling in.



Jackie Monies Report - 6

After getting a late start Friday morning due to the high winds and high choppy waves on Sound, the OBX group got off and ended up with a good sailing day. The wind shift that was to have happened never did and winds stayed out of north all day. This required beating into the wind all the way back to Cedar Island. It was a rough, wet ride as the waves were coming straight down the Sound from the north.

Mike said they started with both sails reefed with two reefs but shook those out during sail and ended up coming in at Cedar Island with no reefs. Going around the point to the motel/campground was really rough but once they were heading west it was smoother sailing.

They beat all the way with Mike sitting and steering from the forward cockpit. The Laguna is set up where steering can be done from either cockpit without crew moving around. Mike said Laguna got in to Cedar Island way ahead of everyone else and they were already loaded and cleaning boat when I talked to them in early afternoon.

Everyone stayed for dinner at the Driftwood Motel's restaurant, which is known for its' seafood dinners. Andrew feasted on crabcakes, others had shrimp or seafood dinners. Mike who is allergic to seafood had the shortribs. After dinner Mike drove George Broadlick, from Indiana, back to Harker's Island to pickup his truck and trailer for the Bolger Sweetpea. George is coming to the Texas 200 in his Martha Jane. A man after Mike's heart, he owns eleven boats. We haven't reached that level, having sold some and donated others, or we would!

The severe storms hitting North Carolina last night never reached the coast. Mike and Andrew slept outside in campground again and no rain reached them. This morning early they were in Beaufort, NC at the North Carolina Maritime Museum. The museum has three separate locations, each featuring different exhibits. The Beaufort one seems the largest and has traditional working watercraft, a repair facility for traditional craft and a boat building school.

Everyone has headed home and Mike says they will as well, as Andrew has a flight back to Oregon from Tulsa on Monday at noon.

Jackie Monies


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