Year End Boat Check 2015
10 December 2015 | Whortonsville, NC
I was surprised, when reviewing this blog, to discover that our last trip was in mid October. Wow, what happened to November? It seems that since I retired I have more to do than I can get done. I don’t know when I ever had the time to work. We were very busy in November especially around Thanksgiving. We had the whole “tribe” over to our house for turkey and all the trimmings. It was a day of total chaos and we enjoyed every minute. Before that we had offered to rework our son Jason’s bathroom as a 40th birthday present for him. Boy does that make us feel old. Anyway we are staying out of trouble even if we are not going to the boat as much as we would like. We planned a trip just to check on the boat and make sure we weren’t looking at the same mess we had before.
Friday December 4, 2015
We actually left fairly early. We were on the road by about 8:30 am. It is a good thing because it took forever to make the trip. That could be because we stopped for two meals and multiple coffee breaks. We have learned that sometimes we make the trip faster than other times and we just roll with the punches. It’s not like we are on a schedule or anything. Luckily, it is a pleasant drive and we usually spend it in conversation. When we finally arrived at the boat, we were glad to see that it was in really good shape. I think with the discovery that I had been using butyl putty and not butyl tape is a major one. I will probably proceed to systematically re-bed all the deck hardware over the next year or so. Don’t want to get in too big a hurry! We unpacked and settled in. The weather was nice but the wind was cold. We enjoyed an early homemade spaghetti dinner that the first mate had prepared at home. The rest of the evening was uneventful. I tried my radio over IP setup so I could check in to my traffic net. The Internet part worked great but I need to replace my aging antenna system. The internal tuner on my transceiver at home could not tune the antenna so I was not able to operate.
We went to sleep unusually early. I think we were both tired from a busy week. The little heater had done a good job of heating the cabin but the V-Berth was a bit nippy. Our dollar store blanket took care of that problem and we both slept comfortably and well.
Saturday December 5, 2015
We had not planned any particular activity for Saturday. It was a beautiful day but the wind was blowing over 15 knots at the dock which means considerable chop out on the river. The wind was from the North as well which made it bone chilling. Judy mentioned spending the day in Beaufort so that’s what we did. She wanted to shop and I wanted to ask some questions about boatbuilding courses at the watercraft center as well as check out a marine consignment shop there. It turns out that we picked the day (and time) of the Beaufort Christmas parade. There were two parking places left in the entire town. Luckily I got one of them. I had never seen that many people in Beaufort at one time. Due to the parade and other festivities, the watercraft center was closed. The parade was winding down shortly before noon. I was getting hungry and I figured the restaurants would be full as soon as the parade was over. We claimed a booth in a Mexican place on the main street. The food was good, not great, with service to match. I think everyone went home as soon as the parade was over because there was no evidence of a crowd in the restaurant. After lunch, Judy headed to the shops and I had a nice stroll to the consignment shop. It was pretty much what I expected with lots of nearly useless and grossly overpriced junk. It was a nice walk and I discovered a model train exhibition at the old Beaufort Train Depot. It was very interesting and I wished my grandkids could have seen it.
It does not take much time for me to shop anywhere and Beaufort was no exception. We drove back to Whortonsville were able to relax a bit on deck before the sun and temperature went down. After a light dinner we read and surfed the Internet and turned in early. Never let it be said that we don’t get enough rest when we are on the boat. The V-Berth bed is a simple foam slab for whatever reason we both seem to sleep extremely well on it. I think it may be that the boat is in motion continuously even when tied to the dock. I think this motion has a soothing effect. And then again, it could be that we just like being there.
Sunday December 6, 2015
Sunday morning was a complete comedy of errors. The first thing that went wrong was the coffee maker. We are not big coffee drinkers except for the period between 6 and 8 am. During those times, coffee is a big deal. Judy turned the coffee maker the light came on but nothing else happened. Bummer. It was not a boat or electrical problem. We had a serious discussion about what to do. We talked about starting the alcohol stove and perking coffee which is very time consuming. We talked about going out for breakfast and coming back to pack up. All the options were going to take a lot of time. Since we weren’t really planning anything for the day except going home, we decided to suck it up, pack the car and stop for a really nice breakfast at IHOP in New Bern. Well, the pack up and leave part of the plan went flawlessly. The “eat at IHOP part”, not so much. For regular readers looking for a restaurant review, get ready here it comes….
We arrived at the New Bern IHOP and noticed that it was not very busy. That should have been the first warning sign because at 9am on a Sunday morning it should have been packed. I did not notice the health rating when we entered but Judy did. I don’t remember what it was but it was low enough that it should have triggered a second warning sign. After the obviously new server took our order, there was a lot of activity by the servers but we didn’t see a lot of food leave the kitchen. We waited for nearly 30 minutes and went through two pots of coffee before our food finally arrived. In my opinion when my food arrives at the table, it should be too hot to eat. I should have to wait for it to cool. This food wasn’t even close. Both meals were totally stone cold. We asked to speak to the manager. She was very apologetic and adjusted the bill. Not that they truly care but IHOP in New Bern is off our list of possibilities. Thus endeth the restaurant review.
By now, it was pushing 10 o’clock and we were still looking for breakfast. We are not that familiar with New Bern and we didn’t want to spend the day researching breakfast, so we stopped at Waffle House. We had not been there in many years and there is a reason for that. Food was OK and service was OK. A least it wasn’t cold.
Except for Sunday morning it was a good weekend. I will be making at least a couple of trips back to check on the boat. I usually have a bit of a hard time getting Judy to go because it is usually a dash down one day and back the next. If I go alone it will probably be even more of a dash, down and back in a single day.
Happy Christmas from the crew of the Sailing Vessel Southern Star!