Too Hot August 2016
28 August 2016 | Whortonsville, NC
Since our trip to Belhaven in June we had not even traveled to the coast. Before we could do any sailing at all, our headsail had to be repaired. It turns out that the new shop makes an excellent sail loft if certain provisions are made. The work table has a smooth plywood top which I thoroughly cleaned. Since I never work with anything greasy or oily (on that table), it was clean enough for working on the sail. I covered the concrete floor with a large poly tarp to keep cement dust off the sail. I ordered a spool of V-69 polyester thread from SailRite and oiled up the long arm Chinese AlphaSew sewing machine. This is not the world’s sewing machine but it does make a decent zig-zag seam and it did not cost a fortune. Sail repairs were completed quite quickly. I did not have to replace the sail cover entirely because most of it was still intact. I was able to get strategically locate some ripstop sail repair tape on the few places where the sail cover was actually torn. After that, it was a matter of re-sewing all the seams. I am not at all pleased with the company I bought the sail from because they took too many shortcuts when they added the sail cover. This repair will not last forever. Next time I work on it, I plan to completely replace the sail cover and do it properly this time.
The sail repair was completed within a week or two of our return from Belhaven so that was not the reason for our delay in returning. The problem has been the brutally hot summer. We have had temperatures in the mid nineties most days in July and August. If the temperatures dropped below ninety the reason was that it was pouring down rain. We are not completely free because we do have some obligations at home but we watch the weather closely so that if conditions are favorable and we are free, we can go sailing. That just hasn’t been working out recently.
Friday August 26, 2016
We left Mt. Pleasant early on Friday morning. We were meeting Judy’s brother Keith and wife Robin at the RV Show in Raleigh. Ever since our most excellent trip out west last summer, we have been looking at a bigger RV and a more powerful tow vehicle to pull it. Keith and Robin are nearing retirement and are planning to move in the same direction. We kicked some tires and learned a lot about campers. We are doing a lot of shopping and trying to determine exactly what we want in a floor plan. We already purchased a new Ford F-250 truck which will handle any fifth wheel camper we buy.
We had a great time at the RV show and left Raleigh for the boat at about 3pm. That was a good decision. The sun went down shortly after we got there. We had hoped for a little less heat but that was not to be. We shipped the air conditioner and turned on all the fans. In a couple of hours the cabin was tolerable. We had eaten a hearty lunch at the RV show and fast food in Grantsboro so dinner was covered. Sitting in the cockpit was fairly pleasant after we installed the canopy. We talked about our day and planned to put the headsail on early in the morning. It turned out that Friday was the best, and coolest, day of the trip.
Saturday August 27, 2016
The air conditioned cabin was very comfortable over night. In fact, it was so comfortable that we stayed in a little longer than we meant to. By the time we had breakfast the heat was building. Putting the sail back on is not a huge job but it is fairly labor intensive and not fun in the blazing sun. I spoke to Nick that morning and he told me that he a Jeanette were headed to Vandemere which is about 20 minutes away to attend the grand opening of the new town waterpark. Judy and I decided to delay the sail installation and tag along to Vandemere. I had seen the property before and I knew there were at least plenty of shade trees.
The grand opening celebration was a typical small town street fair with vendors selling everything from driftwood ducks to earbobs. There was a fairly respectable auction conducted by local professionals. When we arrived, Nick was engaged in conversation with the man in charge of constructing and managing the park. According to him, the park will have electric and water at the six slips. There are already bathrooms with showers, a screened gazebo and a nice picnic shelter. In theory it would be a great destination but Nick was immediately concerned about the width of the slips which seemed way too narrow for boats that might stay overnight. I don’t think the park manager was sure about the size of the slips either. In any case it is a lovely place and a night or two tied up to the bulkhead may be doable. We enjoyed barbeque chicken served by a local church and headed back. Of course the heat was still with us and we figured a trip to “The Bean” for ice cream was in order. It was too hot to sit on the porch so we enjoyed our icy confection in air conditioned comfort. We stopped for ice (imagine that) at the new Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Oriental then on to Ensign Harbor.
There was a bit of a breeze and the cockpit was fairly comfortable until the sun got low enough to shine under the canopy. I deposited the headsail back in the car in case it rained overnight. I also pitched a tarp over the air conditioner. After cool showers and a light dinner we retired to the cabin with plans to install the headsail first thing in the morning.
Sunday August 28, 2016
The weather pattern was true to form on Sunday. The forecast was for cooler temperatures but a higher chance of rain. The Internet weather forecast that we use predicted that rain was imminent in the next couple of hours. We were up early because we really needed to get that sail back on and we really didn’t want to do it in the heat of the day. The weather was closing in and we would be lucky to finish before the rain came.
We had originally planned to leave really early on Monday to get home in time for another engagement. Given that and the crappy weather situation, we decided to cut the trip short and head for home. We finished the sail and got the car packed. We were taking showers when the rain started. It was only a short shower but the humidity was up considerable. We were pleased with our decision to head to the barn. Another day in the heat was not appealing. We have several weeks coming up with few obligations. I really hope we can make it to the coast for at least a short cruise. The boat will be ready to go after taking on some fresh water and checking holding tanks.