4th Of July Farmers MarketKeith, perfect summer weather (for these parts)
07/04/2008, Oriental, NC
We spent another night on the boat, this time in the harbor. I slept well, but it does get a bit sticky. Woke up early and continued stowing things away in the boat while the sun came up. It has taken me like two days, but I'm finally done. The dogs were eager to get onto the dingy and get to shore. Unfortunately, it was filled with water. It took me about 1/2 hour of hand pumping to clear it. Clearly this dingy has some sort of leak that I cannot identify. It has leaked since I got Tropical Dreamer (I remember it was odd the boat was pulled up on the dock when not in use) but now it is a lot worse. No way am I bailing the whole boat out every morning. So while I was packing my "extra" things into the back cabin I pulled out the zodiac. I assembled it on the front deck (always a frustrating challenge) and transferred the 3.3 hp 2 stroke mercery engine to the inflatable (my other engine is 4 stroke but only 2hp - I left it in the motorhome for the time being). The zodiac rocks. Larger, much more stable, and it goes great with the mercery, especially with the dogs. I don't know yet whether it will work on the davits, but a good dingy is so important (especially for the dogs) I will tow it if I have to (except on offshore voyages, the dingy goes on the foredeck). I can't take the other dingy with me in spite of the valuable tube. Fortunately, there is a marine consignment store in Oriental. I'll offer the dingy with a leak that needs to be repaired and the attached tube. Whatever I get for it is more than I will get if I donate it to the sailing school, which is what I will do otherwise. I feel a lot better with the zodiac. It was a great dingy in the sea of cortez and it's practically brand new, as is that mercery engine. Also, the zodiac can serve as a fairly reliable lifeboat if needed. It takes about an hour to set up so it probably wouldn't be of much use in an emergency stored in the rear cabin. I got the above picture after the dogs did their thing in the grass and before our walk to the Rebounder to vaccume and clean it and to give the dogs another flea and tick bath. It's been a busy time for someone who is supposed to be cruising. Most of the hard work is done now. I expect to depart Oriental tomorrow afternoon. Tonight I get to watch the fireworks from Tropical Dreamer.
At Long LastKeith, hot but clear
07/03/2008, Oriental Harbor
I didn't feel truly at home on the sailboat until I left the town dock and went out to the harbor to anchor. This is where I prefer to be. And here we are. Now it is time for afternoon nap.
Doggy Dingy TrainingKeith, nice and hot
07/03/2008, Oriental harbor
The dogs did pretty well getting into and out of the dingy. Unfortunately, it still has a leak somewhere and is letting in water. I have to pump out the water every 10 minutes or so. It is fine to get us to and from the dock, but everything gets wet in a wet dingy. I think I will probably let the hard dingy go before long and just use the Zodiac, which is larger, more stable, and doesn't leak at all. For now, the dingy works adequately to take the dogs and myself where we need to go.
Oriental Summer Youth Sailing CampKeith
Each of the boats is sponsored by a local business and families come to vacation here so their kids can participate in the Oriental sailing camp. Brings back fond memories of the sailing camp programs I used to run - and here I am, still at it.
Before Stowing My Things07/03/2008, Oriental Town Dock
I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of stuff and the meager storage available in this supposedly big sailboat. Slowly but surely, I have been stowing it away in the nooks and crannies. I'm about 1/2 way done. The hard half is still to go. If I take it a little bit at a time, it is doable. Getting that spot at the town dock made things a lot easier because I was able to bring the motorhome right up to the dock. It was wierd to almost completely empty the Rebounder. I had so many adventures in that magic carpet. I was a bit depressed as I put it in the storage spot earlier today. One more trip down there to clean it and pay for the next three months of storage and drop off the laundry key (well used) and I'll be living solely on the sailboat.
Hanging Out On The SailboatKeith, hot but nice and anyway, we're used to it - no more air conditioning
07/03/2008, Oriental Town Dock
We spent our first night on the boat last night. There was stuff everywhere and not enough room to put it all. I'm slowly finding nooks and crannies to store all my odds and ends. The dogs seem to enjoy hanging out on deck. They can be in the sun if they want, they can lay down in the shade, and Jake has already figured out how to run up to the bow when he sees something he wants to investigate. Jake also has to greet everyone who sails by. Anne made herself at home by taking over the bed last night.
Jake, Naturally, Makes Himself At Home On the SailboatKeith, hot but bearable knowing we are back in the air conditioned motorhome soon
07/01/2008, Oriental down dock
Once below the dogs started exploring. I could tell that they smelled a lot of familiar smells. Jake laid himself down as if to let me know he was perfectly fine with this new place. Wait 'till his new home starts rocking and rolling. Anne, often the dainty miss, did as well or better than Jake. She threw her paws up the stairs when it was time to come up to the deck like she does when jumping up on the big truck I drove in Tucson. I expect to be finished loading the sailboat tomorrow (Wedesday), pack up the Rebounder and store it Thursday, take care of any final matters here in Oriental, and be off towards Norfolk Friday morning at the latest. This, of course, is subject to change per the usual cruising eventualities.
Jake And Anne Board Tropical DreamerKeith, hot, but not too hot
07/01/2008, Oriental town dock
I took a nap, drove over to pay the Deatons bill (it was a lot less than I feared), and then walked the dogs to the sailboat. The first challenge was getting them in. At first they didn't understand why I was taking them into this strange place, as if it wasn't ours. The lady in the sailboat next to us was giving me the evil eye, as if I was a trespasser. It must have looked pretty odd to be introducing dogs to a sailboat that was apparenty in mid-cruise. Even though the boat was a foot or two from the dock at most, it was still too far. Eventually I had to lift both dogs onto the boat, which was easily doable from a dock roughly the same height above water as the boat. Once aboard, they did fine. The deck, even the non-skid, is slippery on the dogs paws. I'm going to have to keep a very close eye on them until they get their sea legs and of course even afterwards. The cockpit is large enough for myself and the dogs without being too cramped. If there were a few more passengers, however, it would admittedly get a bit cozy. The companionway steps are too steep for the dogs. The good thing about that is when I put them below, they will stay below; the bad news is that I have to lift them in and out of the cabin every time they go in or out. I won't be surprised if they learn to climb up and down by themselves over time. Oh, by the way, if you were wondering where your hat went, Matt, I've got it.
A Space At The Oriental Town DockKeith, nice today
I was fully prepared to anchor in the harbor, but wonder of wonders there was a spot free at the town dock. Perfect. Transient boats can stay there for two days at a time. My new Oriental friend Pat was there waiting and grabbed my docklines as I landed. Pat and his wife are taking my space at the rv park when we depart Thursday or Friday. Pat drove me back to Deatons to retrieve the scooter. The great thing about a town dock space is that I can drive the motorhome right up to the space and very easily load things into the boat. Plus, it makes getting the dogs acclimated easier since we don't have to dingy in and out yet. I do plan to take them on several dingy rides over the next few days. There'll be pictures, of course. I celebrated with a hamburger, hush puppies and a 1/2 and 1/2 ice tea (half sweet and half unsweet). It's 2:00 p.m. here and I'm either going to take the dogs for a walk to the boat or take a nap, or both. I also need to pick up and pay the bill at Deatons this afternoon... yikes.
First CruiseKeith, nice, but getting windy
07/01/2008, Deaton Yacht Service to Oriental Town Dock
Not 1000 yards from Deatons I got stuck in the mud. That's right. I took this boat all the way from Annapolis to Oriental and never got stuck once. Stuck during the first 5 minutes. Fortunately it was only very slightly stuck. A few thrusts forward and then reverse and then forward and I was off. Thank goodness. It would really have sucked to have to call Deatons and tell them to come save me already. Cause, I went the wrong way around the marker. The marker that was marking the shoal. Red Right Return. Green Right Depart. Now I remember. The 2 mile cruise to Oriental harbor was otherwise uneventful. I gradually took the engine up to 6 knots and used the electronic autopilot most of the way. Matt, do I have a turbo charger on this engine. I wouldn't think so but I thought I heard one?
Singer Family Adventures
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