Mike and Kathy
11/07/2007, Carolina Beach, NC
Carolina Beach - November 7
It was 42 degrees this morning at daylight, far too cold. After checking weather and sea conditions on the computer, I went to shore and hiked about a mile to a store and bought stocking hats and gloves. Now I know that a few of you so called friends will be pleased to hear of our suffering... but in truth, temps did climb about 70 in the pm so we didn't really suffer for too long. We said good bye to Carl and left Wrightsville Beach at about noon. After topping off our fuel tank and taking on some water we drove down to Carolina Beach about 12 miles to the south. We are staging here to head down the Cape Fear River with the tide and then outside to Charleston which is about a 24 hour sail. The weather looks perfect.
We had some excitement today with shallow water and folks on the radio giving constant advice as to which markers to get close to and which ones to keep at a distance. We disregarded them all and kept between the navigational beacons to the best of our ability. (We were heading directly into the sun and the glare was tough). There were a few times that we had less than a foot of water under our keel, but it seemed to be enough.
Tonight Mike fried some fresh grouper for dinner. He got things a little hot and we had a serious fog bank going down below. He wants to open all the hatches and I say it's too cold out, keep the warm air inside! We compromised and opened a few until the fog cleared. The grouper was excellent - with fried potatoes and a tossed salad.
11/07/2007, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Wrightsville Beach again. November 6
I know that there are those of you who want new scenery every day along with a new dot on the map ... but it is just not happening today. We have decided (and all decisions are revocable at any time for any reason) that we are going to sail from here to Charleston and forsake the ICW for as long as possible. It does mean an overnighter, but I think we're ready for it...
There is a good weather window starting Thursday morning and we are not sure yet if we are going to go down to the Cape Fear River to stage or to leave from here and deal with the Frying Pan Shoals off the Cape. That decision will be made tomorrow before noon.
Today we didn't do too much. I tried, in vain, to rewire our auto helm to accept input from one GPS to another but I couldn't make it work... .
We got together on "Restless" with Steve, Carol and Carl for a while this afternoon to chat and drink beer.... and then came back for some reading and supper.
The low-light of the day was when Kathy looked over and our dinghy was full of water... the plug had come out and the weight of the motor had forced water in until the lift of the air in the tubes brought things to and equilibrium.
I got it bailed out and then decided that it was time for a good cleaning ...
Ps.... Dan, I've learned from my good Catholic brother-in-law that envy is not such a bad thing, it's just such a waste of time that old folks like us rarely go in for it much....
Happy Birthday Dave and Debbie!
11/06/2007, Wrightsville Beach, NC
Wrightsville Beach day 2 - November 5
We stayed here today primarily so that I could figure out the starting problem. After reading everything Nigel Calder had to say on the topic, and gathering ideas from folks, I ran some diagnostics before heading out to purchase a new battery. The tests indicated that our battery was fine, the solenoid was fine the starter was not. So I dug out our spare starter and replaced the old with the new ...and it worked. Our engine now starts like it is supposed to.
In the process of laying on top of the engine on my stomach working upside down...blind half the time, I also found a loose hose clamp on the run between the heat exchanger and the muffler which has been the cause of raw water under our engine every day for the last month. I've been trying to track it down about that long.
After cleaning up, we walked to the grocery store that was a little over a mile away to restock our freezer. Shopping is a little different when you know that you have to carry everything you purchase home in a backpack. Anyway, we had a nice walk and are now restocked. It was about 70 with no clouds and a very slight breeze so it was off to the beach which is only a block away from the dinghy dock. We had late lunch at a Mexican place and returned to the boat.
Our last trip of the day was to the sea food place. We went by water to the dock at Mott's Seafood to pick up some shrimp for supper. They also had some nice looking grouper which couldn't resist. Later, Steve and Carol came over to help get rid of some of the shrimp.