Fair Weather Weekend 2017
02 July 2017 | Whortonsville
Since we retired we find that our schedules are much busier than when we were working. We had promised camping trips for all three of our grandchildren. We like to pay special attention to each child so we wanted to do three separate trips. We started with Stella, the youngest who is now 5 years old. We weren’t at all sure about whether she would actually spend the night so we reserved only one night at a campground close by in case daddy needed to come pick her up in the middle of the night. Jonas was next, our 6 year old. We were more confident he would stay because he stays with us a good bit at home. Jonas’ trip was to a campground a little further afield for 2 nights. Both Stella and Jonas were as good as gold and both immediately requested another camping trip. Carson our 10 year old is an experienced hand at camping. We took him to the beach for 4 days. He had a blast in spite of some questionable weather. We enjoy camping but when it’s just the two of us we head for the coast. Taking care of the kids is a real hoot but quite exhausting for us because we really keep a close eye on them at all times. After three very intense camping trips and the preparation for three intense camping trips we needed a break. The weatherman said that we were to have great weather for the next few days so we packed up and left on Wednesday morning.
Wednesday June 28, 2017
We left at about 10 am and the weather was as beautiful as advertized. It was cooler than I would expect and the humidity was low. We had a salad at McDonalds in Ramseur and made a gas stop and a grocery stop. The weather was great and everything was going just fine until we arrived and the first mate spotted mouse droppings in the cabin. My mate will endure many things without complaining but sharing her living space with a mouse is not on that list. She immediately started cleaning and I was dispatched to the dollar store for bleach, mouse traps and mouse poison. She cleaned the most important surfaces and vowed to clean a lot more the next day. To add insult to injury we had experienced the same kind of rodent trouble less than two weeks ago involving the camper. Judy saw no humor in either episode.
Thursday June 29, 2017
We had planned to go sailing on Thursday because of the weather forecast but we weren’t in a hurry to leave because our tentative destination was south river. It only takes a couple of hours to get there even at a leisurely pace. Judy finished her cleaning and only then did I realize we probably did not have enough fuel for an outing. I borrowed a fuel can from Nick and went to town yet again in search of diesel. During this process we noticed that the sky had darkened. There was a menacing black cloud that seemed to be drifting down the river. My thinking was that we could leave and in the 30 minutes it would take to get out to the lower Neuse it would have passed. I was wrong. When we got to marker 1 at the mouth of Broad creek the wind was 20 knots right on our nose. The river as far as you could see was frothed with whitecaps. We have been on the water in weather like that many many times. Sometimes in order to get from one destination to another or to get home in time to go to work on Monday morning you must bite the bullet and slog for 20 miles against the wind. Keeping in mind that this adventure is supposed to be fun we declined the challenge and withdrew back into the channel. We motored very slowly and stopped multiple times. Had we waited an hour or two it would have been fine but then it could have been much worse. After an hour of waiting around we headed for the barn. Of course by now the crosswind at the dock was going to be a problem. It took two tries for me to back the boat into her slip and it was not a pretty display. I had to go in fast to maintain steerage which meant I had to slam the transmission in forward gear to brake the backwards momentum. Somewhere along the line Judy was slammed on her side against the lifeline. I did not see it happen and when asked she could not explain exactly what did happen. So much for claiming a successful landing with no damage to the vessel or crew. After a brief recovery period we decided to grill hotdogs for dinner. This is when I discovered the propane grill was no working properly. There was too much yellow and not enough blue flame. I aborted the process, wiped the soot off the dogs and finished them in the microwave. The grill will go home for repairs. Judy turned in early with her book and I wandered up to the cockpit to meet with Chuck who was down working on the boat without Tish. We had a great discussion but when we had not solved all the world’s problems in a couple hours we decided to call it a night.
Friday June 30, 2017
The weather forecast was not as good as the day before but not bad at all. We decided to go for a day sail and leave earlier in the morning before the storm clouds had a chance to build. When we left the dock the wind was very light from the South. We when past all the channel markers and set the sails. The wind was still really light. Judy made some lunch and we bobbed around for nearly an hour with barely enough wind to move the boat. We had managed to get about half way across the breadth of the Neuse when the wind stiffened. It picked up very quickly and we enjoyed a nice brisk sail for over an hour. When we turned around to head back the wind began to drop but it was still plenty for the 30 footer. We motored back into the channel and I had plenty of time to put on the mainsail cover before we reached the dock. Friday’s landing was better than Thursday’s but certainly nothing to write home about. At least the crew was not damaged further this time.
Our 46th wedding anniversary was on June 26. We celebrated with dinner at the M&M Grill on Friday evening. Judy had Salmon cakes and I had a Cajun seafood meal featuring shrimp and tuna. I am glad to report that the food as well as the service was very good. When we left for dinner Chuck told us that he had talked Tish into joining him and she was on her way down. We arranged to meet them in the cockpit after dinner. Stefan was in the cockpit having dinner with is two beautiful children when we arrived. Chuck and Tish joined a bit later and Stefan decided that it was bedtime for the kids. The grownups had a very nice visit but having failed to solve the world’s problems yet again we decided to adjourn for another day. The plan for Saturday was to attend the Croker Festival in Oriental. Everyone was going to try to be there for the parade at 10am.
Saturday July 1, 2017
We had planned to leave for home on Saturday. We have a full week of retirement ahead next week and we needed a day to recuperate from our relaxing weekend. We were up earlier than usual. We moved equipment from the boat to the car and got the boat ready for our absence. We left earlier than usual and went directly to Oriental. We arrived in time to see most of the parade. Croaker Festival is an annual event in Oriental but we had never attended. I did not see any evidence of Croaker being for sale which is just as well. I have eaten Croaker and there is nothing to croak about. I was surprised by the size of the street fair and the attendance. The highlight of the day was the Marine Band who played at 11am on the main stage. That made the extra effort worth the trip. We never saw any of the attendees from our dock but that is not surprising since it was a big crowd.
This was a nice relaxing weekend. We had hoped to see Matthew, Amber and Jonas on our way home but Matthew was leaving the country for a business trip on Saturday afternoon. The summer is getting away from us very quickly. Matthew has expressed an interest in a sailing trip and I really hope we can arrange one before we leave on another camping adventure to Yellowstone National park in late August.