Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hanging out in North Carolina

We have been hanging out at our old marina here in North Carolina getting projects taken care of and making plans.  The thing about plans is they are always changing.  More on that later.

Cori has been working hard, Dale not so much.  She has touched up the non-skid deck paint, waxed and polished the smooth deck surfaces and the hull, made new sail covers, chaps for the new dinghy and has made many more bags.  The biggest project was the chaps for the dinghy.  The sun is brutal on the dinghy, even more so as we move south.  The chaps cover the tubes and protect them from UV damage.

She has been making many more bags and they seem to be popular.  They are made from old sails and from some banners that were going to be thrown out.

We spent a Saturday morning at the Oriental Farmers Market with a table selling some bags.  She had a pretty good day.  Oriental is a small town across the river, not a place where they sell Oriental Farmers in case you were confused (a small attempt at humor).  Thanks Dan for the use of your car.

I have checked off several things that need to be completed but still have more to do.  The biggest is to seal the portholes from leaks.  They are showing their age and are developing leaks.  I have several done and am using them as a learning experience to find the best technique and materials.  As long as it doesn't rain it is not a high priority, when it rains it moves up the list until the rain stops and then it drops down the list again.

Now about plans.  We kept working over different scenarios of where we are going and when we are leaving.  We both have family reunions the last half of July and are planning to attend.  The problem is deciding where to be with the boat so that it can be secured while we are gone, and makeing our travel plans.  Cori came up with the idea this week that we just stay where we are and start our trip north when we get back in August.  It may mean we don't get as far north as we have planed but it made better sense.  The boat is secure, the dockmaster and others keep an eye out for things that may go wrong and travel is easy flying out of New Bern.  Small airports are easier to deal with then the big ones, the lines are shorter.  The latest plan is for Cori to fly out early (next Tuesday) to spend time with her family and then for me to fly out mid-month.  We have a list of things that need to be taken care of since that is our legal residence so we need to have time for that.  Then we will drive to Minnesota for my family reunion and spend some time with family before traveling back to South Dakota.  Once back In South Dakota we will join Cori's family at their reunion in Colorado.  Then it is back to Hi Flite and hope for good weather to start our trip north.

Check back in August to see how all of this has worked out.

And just for entertainment here is a picture of a butterfly:

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Waiting out Tropical Storm Colin at Ocracke

We are at the dock on Ocracoke Island waiting for tropical storm Colin to move on by.  It is raining and winds are gusting in the upper 20's.  This is our second tropical storm since we arrived.

We left Matthews Point Marina on Tuesday, May 31, with winds on the nose and 2 foot seas.  The plan was to go as far as Broad Creek and anchor for the night and continue on in the morning.  After a bumpy ride we dropped the anchor in the calm waters of the creek and settled in for the night.  By sunrise the mosquitoes had found us and we elected to pull anchor and move on.  By 6:30 am we were on our way.  The winds had dropped considerably and the seas were much calmer but it was still a motorboat ride.  Breaking the trip into two segments allows us to arrive at Ocracoke early.  We were able to get a spot on the park service dock and paid, using my senior discount (half off), for a week.  Just after we got tied up the rain came.  This was the remnants of tropical storm Bonnie that had been hanging out in the Carolina's for the last week.  Thursday was almost a complete rain-out.  The music festival was scheduled to start Friday and there was water everywhere, at least eight inches flooded the area of the main stage.

Friday morning dawned with partly cloudy skies but the rain had mostly moved on.  The festival crew did a great job of pumping the standing water and setting up for the event.  By noon when it started there was just some areas of mud that had to be avoided.  This is the first year that they had music on Friday and it seemed a big hit.  There were a lot more people then expected with the weather.  We took in the performances, especially by one of our favorite duos, Beleza.  They did not perform the previous year so it was good to see them again.  After the music we checked out some of the other activities and caught the music prior to the fundraising auction.  After the auction Madeline and Berto  of Beleza stopped by the boat for a visit.

After an overnight rain just to keep everything wet the festival continued and I started celebrating my birthday.  As far as I am concerned the entire festival is all about celebrating my birthday.  I was disappointed that I could not find another t-shirt pointing out how I am getting old but Cori found one for me with an acceptable sentiment.

We caught a lot of the music at the various venues going into the late night.  We finally made it home about 1:00 in the morning.  We were able to reconnect with many old and new friends, even some we had met over the winter while in the Bahamas.

Sundays highlight of the festival is the final all star jam that we would miss by leaving Sunday morning so we could be back to work on Monday.  Having solved that problem we are able to stay for the full festival.

Most of the boats left early on Sunday or Monday to be home before tropical storm Colin arrived.  The rain started mid afternoon on Monday and continued off and on through the night.  The main brunt of it arriving early Tuesday morning with winds in the upper 20's.  Our only problem was a fender moving out of position letting the rail hit against the dock post.  By pushing hard when the gusts let up we were able to get it back into place and retreat belowdeck.  Fortunately this storm is very fast moving and is moving offshore quickly with a much improved forecast for the rest of the week.

We will be leaving here on Wednesday and plan on spending another week at the marina to finish off some projects then begin out trip north.