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Lemons Way
The continuing adventures of a cruising sailor/family lawyer, his wife (also a lawyer), and their young children.
Morning View From The Stern Of Tropical Dreamer In Oriental Harbor Looking Towards Town Dock
Keith
07/09/2008

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The Titusville Neighbors The Night Before Their Departure
Keith, steady wind from the south west, nice weather to hang out at night
07/09/2008, Oriental Harbor

I had my neighbors over for a beer. They eventually stayed for dinner (well, they went to their boat and brought their dinner over and shared it with me - I threw together a salad). We chatted for hours and enjoyed some mutual interests. Their boat is an older 37 foot sailboat named Roxy, which is the name of their 13 year old dog. They've been cruising for years, I'm just starting. They are cruising on a shoe string. I am better off. Their boat is a fixer upper. Mine is in great shape. It really helped me to put things into perspective in terms of how lucky I am. They are sailing away towards the outer banks as I write this. There is a place there that several people have advised me to visit. It is about 5-7 hours away and only accessable by boat - where Blackbeard hung out apparently. White sand beaches. Near, but just this side of, the Atlantic. In the picture you can see Jake licking the can opener just used to open the bottles of Corona. He later crawled onto their dingy and peed. We think he had to go and found a way to do it without peeing on the boat, which the dogs don't want to do. It was quite unlike Jake. I found dock space here for 30% off of the retail price from a friend I made at the self storage rv park. I can move the boat there today and stay for several days after I return from the west. That doesn't really appeal to me as I prefer to anchor out, but I've got to dock the boat while I travel so I might as well do it today The National Public Radio weather forcast predicts thunderstorms today similar to yesterday. I'm starting to get used to the cruising life again, only to have to leave it again. I'll be back soon this time.

Afternoon Thunderstorms
Keith
07/08/2008, Oriental Harbor

We've been having nearly daily (or nightly) thunderstorms. They build up over a long time, hit slowly, then build up to huge downpours. The one this afternoon hit shortly after I returned from a shore excursion. The dogs must have been frightened because they jumped down into the cabin by themselves (now they can do that and don't need my help, for better or for worse). It was blowing so hard the boat was swinging around the anchor and I came pretty close to the nice couple from Titusville. Again, the boat remained remarkably dry in spite of the dounpour. The storm is over now, but the winds are still pretty high and the dogs are hanging out below with me. Looking back, it probably was a very good idea to stay here. I might very well have made it to Norfolk, but if I got caught in one of these storms on the open water, it wouldn't be fun. Plus, I'm getting things done with the extra time I have ( in a relative cruisor sort of way).

A Boat From Marblehead
Keith, nice wind
07/07/2008, Past the bridge into the Oriental creeks

I took the dogs on a dingy adventure past the bridge and into the creeks where the kayacks go. Very peaceful. We came across this old boat which purported to come from Marblehead. If they mean the place near Boston, that's where my Father grew up. Perhaps we will sail there one day.

Jake Loves To Roll Around In The Grass
Keith, morning cool and humid
07/07/2008, Oriental, NC

With a little time on my hands I was able to take the dogs for a long walk this morning. We were on this grass road next to this field of green sod and Jake just went dog happy. We were actually on our way to look at the local dog kennel but it was just too far to walk there. I went back later and checked it out on the scooter. It's nice. A dog grooming outfit that has outfitted itself with little rooms inside (doggie condos, they call them) with outside areas to go potty and a fenced area for socializing all the dogs. I will need to board them for 10 days, which is a really long time in my mind, but I have no choice. At least it is a local Oriental place that comes well recommended. They will give the dogs adjoining rooms with an open door between the rooms or they will put them together in a larger room. They will get a social hour every day to play with other dogs, which Jake loves. And I think they will be safe and taken care of while I am gone. I can drop them off when I depart for Norfolk on the afternoon of the 11th and pick them up on the Sunday after I return to Oriental (since the place closes at 3 on Saturdays). It is a relief finding what appears to be good dog boarding in Oriental. I've also arranged to store the boat and I've verified that I can park the motorhome in the Norfolk airport's oversized vehicle lot for $7 per day. Now its just a matter of enjoying the time until then, trying to be somewhat productive, and remembering to close the hatches when the nightly rainstorm hits.

My Next Door Neighbor Boat (The Ones From Titusville, Florida)
Keith, late afternoon with wind blowing
07/07/2008, Oriental Harbor

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The View From The Bow Unobstructed
Keith, afternoon storms slowly brewing
07/07/2008, Oriental Harbor

We've been hanging out here in the Oriental harbor now for several days and will be for several more before I gear up for the trip west. That line of rocks provides the barrier from the waves that makes this anchorage so nice, especially in the squally conditions we've been having. There are boats anchored here from all over the world. Austrailia, Canada, South Africa, Titusville, Florida. You become one of the locals quickly at this anchorage. I chat with my next door neighbor boat (the ones from Titusville) often. He came over and helped me adjust the wind turbine so that it stopped hitting the tube (too late unfortunately to avoid damaging the blades, which will have to be replaced). Another neighbor came by and gave me some advice about the trip north. I've heard about people who anchor here for months and months.

PS. I just got an e-mail from the couple who backed into my anchor chain a day or two ago. I don't remember giving them my e-mail. They wanted to apoligize again and make sure there wasn't any damage to the chain. I've been holding fine, but I'll check when I put in to the slip in a few days. That was very good of them.

A Change In Plans
Keith, cloudy and windy
07/06/2008, Oriental

If I haven't mentioned it in the blog, I got called back to Tucson for some court hearings in mid July. I scheduled flights departing and returning to Norfolk, VA figuring I would have plenty of time to sail there, board the dogs, and find dockage for a week. Well that plan is changing. I'm ready to depart, but thunderstorms are predicted for the next several days and I just don't think it is a good idea to slog my way through them while rushing to Norfolk. Rushing on a sailboat is generally bad and ruins everything. I've been stressing about it and trying to find flights out of another city closer by. No luck. Then it dawned on me. Norfolk is 4 days away by sailboat, but only 4 hours away by car. I think I can get the dogs boarded here in Oriental a lot easier than in Norfolk (I've been trying to find a good place in Norfolk for days without success). I know I can find dock space easily in Oriental. And I have a motorhome that can do the 4 hour trip easily and provide me a place to base out of in Norfolk. So I'm keeping my travel plans and flights already reserved and purchased but delaying the sail north until the situation is less rushed and the weather is more stable. This will give me another several days in Oriental to finalize things on the boat, work on the computer, and relax before the weeklong trip back west. Then I'll fly back into Norfolk, drive back to Oriental, pick up the dogs, re-store the motorhome in my already paid for spot, pick up the boat, provision as needed, and head off at a proper pace. This plan is subject to change but I'll keep posting as long as I have internet.

Fireworks From The Deck Of Tropical Dreamer
Keith, fine now, but last night...
07/06/2008, Oriental harbor

For a small town, Oriental put on amazing display. Watching from the deck of the sailboat was very special. I kept the dogs down below so they would be safe. The word in the harbor was that a big storm was coming later in the evening so I battened up the hatches before I went to sleep. Sure enough, past midnight, it hit. 3 inches of rain, winds gusting past 30 mph. I wasn't too sure about my anchor and chain and sat and watched for about an hour but it held fast. Eventually I went below and watched tv to distract me. Anne got a little needy during the storm; Jake slept right through it. I'm pleased to say the cabin remained almost completely watertight in spite of the huge amount of water coming over us. A dry cabin on a wet night is a great comfort. Woke up this morning, emptied the zodiac of water, took the dogs to shore, and enjoyed a very long morning walk.

The Dogs Take Things In Stride
Keith
07/05/2008, Oriental Harbor

It is an hour or two after this picture was taken, the excitement is over for now, and it is almost time for the fireworks to begin.

 

 
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