Day 41 - Last Day in Wrightsville Beach, NC
11 May 2012 | Anchored in Wrightsville Beach, NC
Fri 11 May 2012
Anchored in Wrightsville Beach, NC
[photo: the beach at the Blockade Runner Resort]
The evening got quite cool, but not cold. That is certainly preferable to stinking hot and humid when you are not plugged into air conditioning. We had a leisurely early morning while we awaited a call that the windlass switch is ready for pick-up. Diane suggested that maybe I should go ashore early with the bicycle and ride the 2 miles or so to the West marine to pick up the new pump I am using for bypass cooling; it has a higher capacity and I will then save the original as a working spare.
The ride was nice, but somewhat strenuous going up the steep inclines of the 2 bridges when my sore back is considered. Successful at West Marine, I rode back to Atlantic Marine and found that the parts supply had just arrived (early) and within a few minutes I was out the door with the windlass switch. I noted that they had the same cooling pump I just bought, and that would have saved me the long bike ride, but c'est la vie.
This is where the fun started; I opened up the v-berth to replace the switch, but found that it wasn't an exact match. It didn't take too long to get that sorted out, and with too much confidence, I buttoned up the v-berth before even testing that it worked. When I tried it, it was "no go". I was puzzled and somewhat annoyed at myself, so I took the switch out from the top and carefully re-checked voltages at the appropriate terminals. The only thing I could surmise was that the connections were not electrically sound, so I had to take apart the v-berth again.
Careful inspection showed that the slight physical differences meant that the cables contacted the terminals in a different orientation, and that was apparently enough to keep it from working. I filed and sanded the copper lugs and then reassembled everything, again! This time it worked great, but I had cost myself over an hour just by taking a shortcut.
I suggested to Diane that by the time I got this all cleaned up, it would be late to start to another anchorage or marina, so I suggested she get ready to enjoy another gloriously sunny and comfortable day on the beach while I attended to more boat chores, at a relaxed pace, and then rest my back. The unfortunate part was that Diane had been very helpful to ready the bikes for stowage and get the dinghy ready for hoisting, which we both had done. It was now time to undo the dinghy part to take her over to the public dock, but it was well worth it.
I just had a very significant revelation. My good friend, Dennis, was a work management consultant and he taught me (through his soon to be published book) that "planning for something" and "accounting for something" are two very different things. If you are doing a project and you plan for 10% errors by the workforce, you will get 10% errors (or more). My problem was that my budget allowance for repairs was $1,200. As of two days ago, we were still under that budget, so we had another failure (windlass switch) to ensure that we reached it. Now, if the converse works, since we slightly exceeded our repair budget, we should now be all done with repair expenses. Don't we wish!
Diane called on the cell for me to collect her at the public dock about 2 hours after she left. She had a great time at the beach, but wisely decided she had enough sun for one day. Our short round-trip in the dinghy (all of 300 yards) had us faced with several boats crossing our path and several more racing by while we were attempting to disembark. Their wakes were bordering on dangerous for a small dinghy, but the local marine police officer said there is no "no wake" requirement in this area. He agreed that courtesy would suggest they go slow with minimal wake, but that doesn't happen very often. Most of the offending boat traffic is filled with 20-somethings.
After more much-needed relaxation, dinner was the chicken fajitas I had prepared yesterday afternoon and then refrigerated. It has to be reiterated however, that the frequent wakes from the inconsiderate young boaters were very disruptive to our routine before, during, and after dinner. We are glad to be leaving Sat morning before the weekend mayhem begins.
Our plan is to anchor in the neighborhood of Camp Lejeune and then get to Beaufort, NC the following day.