The Adventure Begins

The Adventure Begins
Skinny Dippin'

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Summer 2010 and Fast Forward to Present!!

Summer of 2010

We arrived back to Northwest Creek the first of May after a month at Carolina Beach. We immediately fell into a groove of little projects and days cruising the Neuse River. From the marina, we were an hour from New Bern, two hours from Oriental and 4 hours from Beaufort and Morehead City. Many days were spent at anchor in the River or in Broad Creek enjoying afternoons in the summer sun.

July 4th in New Bern is a very special day. Hundreds of boats, big and little alike, anchor for the afternoon at Union Point where the Neuse and Trent Rivers merge. This year, there was an air show featuring two stunt planes doing loops and spins, and the Marine’s brought out their Chinook Helicopter for a rescue demonstration.

We, like everyone else, were anchored near Union Point. We tried to choose a place to anchor where we’d be out ot the traffic area and yet still have a good view of the shows. We had some friends over to enjoy some snacks and comradarie. This was our first Raft up and was about to be our first overnight at anchor. Our biggest concern? Getting Tivo in the dinghy and motoring in the dark about a half mile over to the shore so he could pee. And then….even more importantly, finding Skinny Dippin’ in the pitch dark! We waited until all the skiffs and runabouts had fled for the evening, then jumped in the dinghy. Tivo doesn’t love being in the dinghy, but he’s just such a good dog, he’ll do whatever we ask him to. And Luckily, while I was walking the dog, Tom was trying to keep a visual on SD!

It was a magical day…from the cruise up River, to anchoring near our friends, and having them over for some socializing…swimming in the afternoon and airshow and fireworks at night. It was one of my favorite days. We got up Early that next morning and took the big boat over to the town dock to pee the dog. Then we started down river. We arrived home early and started the predeparture wash down.

August brings the Beaufort Pirate Invasion!! Historic Beaufort NC is taken over by Pirates and Wenches and all manner of sailors and boaters watching the invasion! There is a unique combination of cannons blazing and drunken revelry as the locals try to defend their shores! While this might sound super Hokey, it really is a blast! We had the best seats in the house, being right on the Town Dock as the pirate ships came in! While being in the crystal clear waters of Beaufort, Tom took the opportunity to change out the transom and rudder zincs.

For those who don’t know…Beaufort is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by Shackleford Banks. This island is inhabited only by wild ponies. It’s a stunningly beautiful spit of land.
Getting in and out of Beaufort is a challenge. The tidal current is strong here. You really need to be aware of the tide and your plan of action for getting out of your slip. According to the dockhands here, many a skipper can be caught unaware and find themselves in very uncomfortable postions, with the mega yachts that sit on the T docks. Luckily, we were ready to go at slack tide that morning. Easy Breezy.

And here is where our lives where going to take a turn. Beaufort to Northwest Creek is a 5 hour journey. While a pleasant cruise, knowing there is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive home after the cruise, made us question ourselves. Did we buy the wrong boat? Should we have a “go fast” boat so we could go places on our short weekends? We love trawler cruising, but do we have the time needed to be trawler owners? This is a question we struggled with for the next month or so. By the time October rolls around…we’ve made a decision. We do have the right boat. We’re just in the wrong location right now. (wrong just meaning inconvenient) So, we decide to go back to the beach for a little while longer. Carolina Beach is such a great location. Several destinations are reachable for lunch or weekend visits. And when weather conditions are not favorable, the beach is walking distance and restaurants and pubs are biking distance. This is what we need at this time in our lives. The decision is made, and plans are being implemented.

Thanksgiving weekend is our timeframe. We’ll take the long weekend to cruise her back down the ICW. This time, we’ll stop in Morehead City on Weds night….have I mentioned that we love Mike at the Yacht Basin? Thanksgiving Day and evening we’ll be at the Harbour Village Marina in Hampstead, then Friday will bring us back to Joyner Marina. While at Harbour Village. I did cook a full thanksgiving meal. Turkey, Stuffing, Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, candied sweet potatoes and gravy. I did it….in a toaster oven, three burner stove and a microwave. So.,..there you are….it can be done.

I intended this entry to just be the summer of 2010.…but here I’ve gotten all the way to our move back to the beach. The day after we arrived, the temperatures fell hard. Winter arrived. We made it just in time. Over the coming months, we still go to the boat, at least every other week…even if we don’t go boating.

New Year’s was coming in with a 65 degree day…we were going boating!! We went up to the Wilmington Town docks for New Year’s Eve!! What a blast!! We walked down town, had pizza and margaritas at “A Slice of Life”. Then stopped at Fat Tony’s for a Fat Tire. We were back on board by 9pm where I fixed a traditional Pork and Saurerkraut yankee dinner. We enjoyed dinner and hit the hay. Unfortunately, during the overnight hours, one of Wilmington’s “finest” decided to relieve us of a good chunk of our possessions while we slept. We awoke as this scumbag was disembarking from our vessel. We immediately called the Wilmington PD and our credit card company to secure our identities and credit scores. It seems, as I write this on March 27, that we’ll never see our laptop, cell phones, binoculars, wallets, keys or bike pump again. Man…this sucks. We tried to sleep after the policeman left…but couldn’t. We met the nicest guy docked behind us the day before. We had met him and chatted when we arrived….but it was New Years day…when this man, who we didn’t know barely at all, gave us cash money and a phone number in case we had a problem getting home. His home port is Wrightsville Beach . And when we got back to Joyner Marina, our dock neighbor let us use his cell phone to make dozens of calls again to the bank to make sure we were secured. Our Marina Manager let us use her computer to change all of our passwords on all of the numerous online accounts that we had clicked one time or another “remember me”. Many many thanks to those who helped us that day.

On the subject of being robbed, burglarized is what it is if you don’t confront the thief. Losing your “stuff”, while that sucks, is inconsequential….to the deep deep fear of what “could have happened”. The hours of wondering, what if he knew we were on board…what if we came upon him in the act…what if what if what if. It made us sick to our stomachs for weeks and weeks..and sometimes still. But…I am determined that this loser and this event will not define who I am and will not effect how much we love cruising. This could have happened anywhere. The fact that it happened on our very first outing in Wilmington after relocating for a currently undetermined about of time…sucks the most. We want to love it here…we want to feel at home every time we’re on the boat…but that is taking conscious efforts. Everytime we’re standing in line somewhere, and I see someone who may or may not be a “thug”, I want to ask if he’s our thug and how is he enjoying our stuff. I know…that’s a broad brush…but this thug in my mind is just a punk,,,other than being a he, there is no other predetermined characteristics.

So this brings us up to and into 2011. After the “episode”…Tom decided to dive into a Fuel Polishing project. I will let him tell you all the details on that, it’s really cool.
Since January, we’ve done a little boating when we can, lots of walks on the beach looking for sandcastles, and a good deal of bicycling for Oysters and Fat Tires. Life is good.
We’re getting back to normal emotionally. We love our boat, and we love spending time on the water. So far we’ve overcome the obstacles in our path and we’ve met some very very priceless people along the way.

A few notes as we move forward in this blog. Since we have a “galley down” it shall always be known going forward as the “eating hole”. And the engine room will hence forth be known as the “yelling hole”. Please make notes so you can follow along in the future!!

Coming soon will be updates on my new Sailrite and canvas work as well as Tom’s “from the yelling hole” updates.

Be safe, be happy and fair winds!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you have a great blog here. I just added you to the Trawler Blogs roster. Keep up the great posts!