Winter Boat Check December 2016
05 December 2016 | Whortonsville, NC
We had hoped for an opportunity to sail to Ocracoke once more this fall since we really had not used the boat much this season. We had an opportunity in mid November but the weather was just a bit cool for sailing and it would have been a short trip because dirty weather was in the forecast and then life got in the way. We had a terrific Thanksgiving celebration at our house and Christmas activities start next weekend for us. Judy will be working in January so opportunities to travel to the coast will be few and far between. Last year we left the sails on the boat all winter. They were filthy by spring with a coat of green mildew and grime. Our goal this weekend is to simply remove the sails and some canvas and bring them home for the winter. They will fare better under the desk in my office / radio room. It was a short trip but the weather cooperated for the most part.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
With the short winter days we needed to make tracks to the coast early if we were to get the sails removed and packed in the truck before it got dark and cold. Breakfast was at McDonalds in Ramseur and I talked Judy into lunch at Chipotle Mexican Grill in New Bern. I think they have the best fast food anywhere. We arrived before 2pm and even had time for a nice chat with Bob, Tammy and Nick. The wind was almost dead calm until we unfurled the big headsail then (of course) it piped up to about 10 knots, or at least that’s the way it seemed. The Dacron wrestling match took a couple of hours. We removed both of the sails, the mainsail cover and the canvas bimini top. With everything carefully folded and safely in the truck our weekend mission was accomplished. We were both pretty tired. Judy took her cell phone up to the Cockpit so she could touch base with Cousin Becky and I practiced my Morse code for a while. I wish I could say that is going well but I seem to be stuck in my learning progress. 15 words per minute is respectable but I need to be proficient at 20 to 25. Oh well, I will just keep plugging away. I am scheduled to take an instructor led on-line class for 8 weeks in January and February. At the end of the class I will either be able to do it or not. Either way, I am looking forward to it.
When the weather cooperates like it did on Saturday, Brown’s Creek is a lovely place. We were on the dock when the sun set. The wind was dead calm and the water was like a mirror. The lack of wind and bird activity made the setting as close to silent. It was worthwhile just standing on the dock and just listening to nothing.
Dinner was simple. Judy had brought cold cuts and bananas for sandwiches. By the time dinner was over it had been dark for a long time and seemed much later than it was. The Dacron wrestling match was not too bad but five hours of driving is enough to make me tired. We decided long ago that is the price we pay for being able to stay relatively close to our children and grandchildren and still spend time in such a beautiful place.
Sunday December 4, 2016
We had accomplished our goal for the weekend and the forecast was not looking good. We loaded the car before the rain started and headed for high ground. We will return a few times during really cold weather and I will of course do my maintenance closer to spring but the trips will be few. Nick is still interested in taking the trip north to Manteo and Columbia early next summer. This past summer, we did not sail much nor did any of the boats from our dock. There were many times when we had the opportunity to spend some time sailing but stayed home because of the oppressive heat. Some activities are doable in excessive heat but traveling on a sailboat is difficult because there is no way to avoid it. Even with air conditioning you are only cool after the sun goes down. We have been there and know it is not fun if you are miserable. We have a lot planned for next summer, let’s just hope that global warming is a hoax and next summer will be cooler and more hospitable.