09 December 2019 | Whortonsville, NC
Our boat has not seen much use this season. We hope to change that next year. This trip was again strictly utilitarian. Southern Star’s suit of sails is tucked safe and dry under the long bench in my office. We had not been down since just after hurricane Dorian passed. There are a lot of reasons for this that I won’t go into in detail here. With Christmas coming up we were fortunate to find a December weather window.
Saturday December 7, 2019
We left at about 8:30 Saturday morning. The goal was simple, just get the boat ready for winter. It is not a big task, just pump all the water out of the tanks that can pump and add some pink boat/RV antifreeze in the ones you don’t. And possibly run antifreeze into the raw water intake. Not much could actually be done on Saturday so we just relaxed and enjoyed a beautiful, sunny afternoon. It was a bit crisp but a light jacket seemed to do the job.
The highlight of the trip was meeting the new marina owners Lourdes and Todd. They bought Ensign Harbor a few months ago and are moving toward making their permanent home and are on site as many weekends as possible. When Judy and I got into sailing in a serious way we did not anticipate how much of the activity would be of a social nature. After 15 plus years tied up at Ensign Harbor we have met some delightful people and made a lot of friends. When our friends Nick and Jeanette passed away we not only lost the marina owners but two good friends. I think all my dockmates would agree with me, their passing was a serious blow to everyone.
Todd and Lourdes are not only very personable, they are young and energetic and have a lot of good ideas. They have already started with much needed minor repairs including a bathhouse makeover. I think they will fit right in with the group at Ensign Harbor. We are looking forward to their ownership and hope to see them and other dockmates in the spring when it gets a little warmer.
After having a late fast food lunch at “Highway 55” in New Bern, junk food and snacks were on the dinner menu. We set up the heater and relaxed for a long winter’s night. I enjoyed surfing the Internet using the already much improved WIFI system. Boats are functional machines and in most cases creature comforts are of secondary importance. With our little ceramic heater running at full steam, the cabin was comfortable for sleeping.
Sunday December 8, 2019
We picked a perfect weather window for the trip. Sunday was bright and sunny. We had our coffee and began the process of winterizing. We dumped all the water from the fresh water system and pumped pink antifreeze into the waste tank. Pink stuff was also poured in galley and head sink which should protect the seacocks from freezing. All that was very straight forward. I had spoken to two dockmates on Saturday about the virtues of winterizing the raw water system. One said he did not and the other said he did. I usually come down on the side of not dealing with the raw water system, however in this case I decided to winterize. We are planning a camping trip this winter and will be away a lot. If we were going to be at home I could make a dash to the coast and if weather forecasts indicated unusually bitter temperatures. With this done, there would be nothing else to do no matter how cold it gets.
We left at 11:30 and had lunch at Charlie’s in Bayboro. We had a good trip home. It is a long drive but not a difficult one. We are getting ready for Christmas and planning our camping trip south. We look forward to next spring when we will do our best to do something besides boat maintenance. Merry Christmas all!