Captain Vanessa August 2014
08 September 2014 | Whortonsville / Oriental NC
Jack and Vanessa, my brother and sister-in-law, have been sailing with us almost every year since we have had the boat. There have been times when there was a mechanical failure or bad weather but this year it all came together. Until now we would travel after work and have them meet us at the boat on Saturday morning. This time we were able to meet on Friday night for dinner. We had not celebrated Jack’s birthday that was weeks ago.
On our last trip we enjoyed an unusually cool weekend although the wind was really strong. We had transported the portable air conditioner home under the misguided notion that summer was over. Summer is not over and we were glad we took the AC back with us.
Friday September 5, 2014
We were in no hurry but we left at about 8:30am. We made several stops including a grocery store and arrived mid afternoon. By the time we got the boat settled for the weekend it was time to meet Jack and Vanessa for dinner. They were staying at the River Neuse Suites which is really nice. We took them to dinner at The Silos. We all ordered pizza and some of us a salad. The pizza was quite good and the salads were even better. The salad alone could be a meal. After dinner, we walked over to Oriental’s town dock area where there was a lot of activity. There were a dozen little fishing boats at the Marina where you usually see larger boats. We still don’t know whether it was a fishing tournament or club outing or just what. In any case there was a lot of activity in the marina area. After some refreshments we walked back to the River Neuse Suites and said good night. Judy and I drove back to the boat and turned in shortly after we got there. We had deployed the air conditioner earlier in the day and were really glad to have it.
Saturday September 6, 2014
We woke to a beautiful day, but boy, was it hot. We were up and almost had the boat ready when Jack and Vanessa arrived at 10am. Vanessa seems to like to steer the boat, so I gave her the helm shortly after we left the dock. We discussed what color the channel markers were and which side of the boat they needed to be on as we passed them. Vanessa does a good job steering because she has a light touch and does not over steer. When we got out on the Neuse Judy took the helm and Jack helped me raise the main sail. I had put a reef in last time we tried to go out so raising the main was a little more complicated than normal. After the sails were up I gave Vanessa the helm again. We took a long lazy tack out toward the Pamlico Sound. Conditions were near perfect when we started but Judy and I knew it would not last long. Many of the pretty white clouds were developing some serious dark bottoms and before long we could rain falling from several. The good news is they were mostly to the east and not headed our way. The little rain squalls became more numerous and some started joining forces. This is a typical weather pattern for this time of year and we have seen it before.
We had already had a nice sail and we decided to head for the dock before the heat and unsettled weather built any more. Jack took a turn steering in the channel on the way back. He did a great job and kept us safely in the channel. By the time we got back to the dock it was really hot. Our landing was less than perfect. I was backing a little too fast and Judy failed to catch the forward dock line on the first pass. Luckily Jack was able to help her by pushing the boat over so she could reach the dock line. The landing was not pretty but there was no damage to the vessel or her crew, which made it a good landing.
Jack and Vanessa went back to their hotel to take of their dog Molly and have a bit of a rest before dinner. Judy is very talented at putting a good meal together using the limited resources of a small sailboat. She had marinated some chicken breasts for the grill. We considered taking them to Ensign Harbor’s Cockpit to cook but the setting sun was streaming in making the Cockpit a lot hotter than Southern Star’s deck. Jack and I looked after the chicken on the ship’s grill while Judy and Vanessa added the finishing touches to the meal. We had turned the AC on after our sail and with the shade canopy over the cabin and two fans in the cabin, it was bearable.
We had a very nice dinner and visit. When our guests left for their hotel the outside temperature had dropped some and it was almost pleasant.
Sunday September 7, 2014
Jack and Vanessa were staying until Monday and were talking about finding a beach. Vanessa loves to walk on the beach and I suspect Molly (the dog) would enjoy it too. We suggested they take a ferry ride at Minnessott beach over to the Morehead City area and walk the beach a Fort Macon. The national park offers easy parking and access to a nice beach. I hope they had a great day, we certainly enjoyed having them spend time with us.
The weather was deteriorating as we were getting packed to go home. It was still hot and very humid. The clouds were getting thicker and there were a few showers around. The weather guessers predict a cool down for early in the week but it was still summer when we left.