Post Matthew October 2016
01 November 2016 | Whortonsville, NC
Our land-cruise to Washington DC was great. Hurricane Matthew came and went. Luckily he turned east before he made complete mess of Pamlico County. Other areas of the state were not so lucky. There was massive flooding with loss of life and property. Of course we were watching the weather closely. Matthew started on a low threat path but changed course. We were on our way to DC in a campground near Winston-Salem NC with Judy’s brother and sister in law. On Wednesday (Oct 5) we decided that Matthew had turned back to the east enough that we would not change our plans and head for the coast. We had already done nearly everything we could do. The boat was double tied with a spring line. The roller furling was secured against the wind. Had we gone to the coast we probably could not have removed the sails because of a strong northeast wind that had nothing to do with Matthew. We continued on our trip with our fingers crossed. We got an email from Nick the day after the storm had passed. He stated that there was no damage except some canvas covers that would need repair. As soon as we got home from our DC trip we started planning a couple of days at the coast. The weather after the storm across the entire state has been just great. We had a baby sitting gig on Friday so we decided to leave on Saturday morning. We need to be home again on Tuesday because Judy has agreed to help out at the tax office for a couple weeks in November.
Saturday October 29, 2016
We left fairly early and the trip down was uneventful. We stopped in Richfield for Breakfast and Asheboro for Judy to pick up some craft supplies. We found that Kinston was one area affected by Matthew. We were going to have lunch at King’s Barbeque but found them closed along with all the stores and businesses in their strip mall. We saw a hotel across the street that did not appear to be damaged, but all the furniture was in big piles in the parking lot. This suggests some fairly major flooding. We had lunch at “Cook Out” in New Bern. OK but not great for the price.
We arrived at the boat to find absolutely no damage to our boat or any others. The weather was perfect and several of the boats were populated. Don and Trish as well as Jay and Joan were doing maintenance. Joey and Dorothy had just returned to their slip from a trip to Belhaven. Chuck and Tish were preparing for a trip to Ocracoke with Nick and Jeanette.
We had a simple cold cut dinner and sat in the cockpit for a while to chat with Chuck and Tish who we had not seen in quite a while. The weather forecast was spectacular for Sunday and Chuck was looking forward to a nice southwest breeze for the trip across the sound.
Sunday October 30, 2016
The weather on Sunday could not have been better. Clear skies high temps in the low 80s with a forecast 10 knot southwest breeze. Southwest is the prevailing wind in this part of the world and it is great for sailing. The forecast was about right. I am not a good judge of wind speed but I do know when there are a dozen or so whitecaps on the water and limited wave action our 30 footer really likes it. It is plenty of wind to fill the sails and drive her at nearly hull speed. My friend Don described it as the boat’s “sweet spot”. I never thought of it that way but he is right. Any more wind (or wave action) is less comfortable and as the wind increases so does the workload on the crew. A lot less wind makes you tend to dose at the wheel. These weather conditions remind me why I go to all the trouble and expense of owning a sailboat. The experience is simply spectacular. We went out on the lower Neuse River and tacked several times up river. At one point we almost reached the entrance to South River. If we had had more time we would probably dropped the hook and enjoyed the anchorage over night.
Back at the dock, Don helped us land and we went about securing the boat. Dock lines, sail covers, coach roof covers all have to be restored before we leave. We talked about going out to eat in Oriental but we really weren’t all that excited about it. Judy was prepared to serve a nice dinner so that is what we did.
Monday October 31, 2016
Since we don’t go all out for celebrating Halloween, I guess driving home is as good an activity as any. We secured the boat and headed home by about 10am. We have not seen Judy’s parents in several weeks and hoped to get in a quick visit when we get home in the afternoon. This was a lovely trip. We did not prepare the boat for winter this trip because we hope to make it down again later this month. Who knows, we may be able to make fall trip to Ocracoke.