Thanksgiving in Oriental
27 November 2009 | Oriental, NC
Beth - warm on Thursday, hat and mitts on Friday
We arrived in Oriental in time to partake of the Thanksgiving Buffet at Oriental marina. It was our good fortune that Jim and Betsy (Feelin' Lucky) arrived in time to join us. We heaped our plates with all the traditional good eats - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and cranberry sauce, and at least some of us added apple pie to already full stomachs!
Because there are strong winds forecast for the next two days, we decided to take a slip at the marina here. ($1.75 per foot, excellent showers/laundry/wifi). Imagine - Madcap tied up again!! Jim did a masterful job of turning into the slip, I had the lines all ready to throw over pilings and between us - with the help of Tom the dockmaster - we did a smooth job of docking. Then it was time for puzzling out how to let this line slack - pull this one tighter - do the same with different lines all over again to let Madcap rest where the big bowsprit wouldn't hit the dock and yet some portion of the side deck would be within leaping distance of the slip. Yeah! Success!
This picture shows the shrimp boats at sunset last night, and if you look up the town dock web cam (www.towndock.net/harborcam) you might see Madcap's mast visible in the far left corner above the roof of the Bean - the local coffeeshop. Of course if you wait too long, we'll be gone!
There were only 3 boats in the anchorage, unlike our other visits when Madcap has been one of many out there, and I'm just as happy we weren't among them this time. The wind really came up during the night and we heard some loud voices and saw movement out there. Apparently someone dragged. Glad it wasn't us.
On Friday morning, Bob arrived to check out our refrigeration system. Unfortunately his diagnosis was that we need a new compressor - not good news since that is another pricey item. Some more "not good news" was that it would be several days to get the part in and then have him install it. So - in the interests of getting further south before we get snow on our decks, we are now an ice-box boat. We know other cruisers who travel this way all the time, and although it is harder to keep things cool with ice, we can do it for a while too. We visited Jim and Betsy onboard Feelin' Lucky to do some research, and decided to see about a fix farther down the way.
Bob was a fascinating person - he says he is 80 although his agility and enthusiasm for life would lead one to think he is at least 10 years younger. He and his wife used to run a charter business in the Caribbean, and now they have settled into land life here. (Maybe... I get the feeling that since Bob has just finished building a house, he is looking for a new adventure.) When we asked how he keeps so youthful, he put a finger to his head and said with a nod that it is mostly a state of mind. Words to ponder from a man who seems to know what he is talking about. Between them, he and his wife have 10 children and are in training to become foster parents!
We chatted with Ed and Fred who were walking the dock this morning, and discovered that the boat tied up next to us in Dowry Creek Marina belongs to Ed. Last night we met Frank, who with his wife, Chris, is taking his first cruise on Melodean - the boat he spent 30 years building. Melodean is tied up at the town dock and is sure attracting visitors. It is a distinctive boat - red hull, junk rigged sails, a chimney that was dispensing wood smoke when we took our evening walk.
We went in search of a small propane tank to have as a spare, and some distilled water to top up our batteries, neither one of which could be found at the hardware store. When the man at the counter said we were asking for the wrong things and to try another question, Jim asked for shrimp. The guy (how could I have forgotten to ask his name?) turned to his co-worker and said, "Hold me back, Mary!" I guess Jim will have to go back tomorrow with a new request.
Although we took a look in the interesting little mariners consignment store, I couldn't convince Jim to buy anything. I had a great time prowling around the Inland Waterway Provisioning store - part chandlery/part souvenir shop - and of course we picked up coffee and muffins at the friendly Bean across the street where dogs, old folks, kids and all the rest of us flock for conversation and sustenance.
We'll check out the Farmers market here tomorrow, pick up some fresh fish, and then be on our way. With luck we will make Beaufort and then be able to SAIL on the ocean!!