Summer of 1984 Com-Pac outing at Hospital Point North Carolina, by Michael Scott
It is 1984 midsummer and most U.S. Navy sailors at 24 years of age are buying nice cars. Instead, I purchased a Com-Pac 16. The apple did not fall far from the tree. I was home on leave visiting my parents. A few of the Com-Pac owners and my father, Keith Scott set up a small weekend sail. We launched at the Camp Lejeune Marina at Hospital point on Saturday morning before lunch. I sailed alone on a new boat and had a lot of fun racing that afternoon. My boat was the basic model with standard main and jib. It was a beautiful day, and the winds were light which favor the Com-Pac 16. I was having a great time. Anyone can sail in a heavy winds, but I like the light days too and 4 to 8 knots of wind make things interesting.
Later that afternoon we rafted up at anchor. The location was not far from the marina. As I remember it was five boats total. They were all Com-Pac 16s and 19s. We had simple dinner of sort and drinks on the water then chatted and watched an amazing sunset. We all talked that evening until we could not see each other and decided to call it a night. It was a restful sleep in my 16 that night. I was young then. I slept with a towel for a pillow and another towel for a blanket.
For the outing, I carried a small flashlight, cooler for beverages, sandwiches Mom made and my coast guard gear. Surprising, life jackets make a good pillow in a pinch. My boat was clean and fast for its class because I did not carry much on board but the bare bones what was needed for the weekend. I learned earlier that a light 16 is a fast 16.
I must have been about 6 am. We were awakened by a thunder boomer and high winds. It pasted by in a few minutes. Since we were joined together with only a couple of lunch hook anchors in total. We drifted up to shore into some trees and went aground. None of us had any damage. So I volunteered to get out of the boat and push everyone of the bank. There was lots of down submerged trees and the task was very easy. Then everyone shoved off for home after coffee and breakfast.
We saw on the news later that the beach at the marina was closed to swimmers due to the gators in the area. Every time Pop and I talk about that day we laugh about the gators. I think it a great place to sail. Com-Pacs with shallow daft are perfect for these types of areas. In my many trips up and down the east coast, I learned its value to access many areas where deep draft sailboats could not use. Below is a recent picture of the marina and a lazy gator.