Sails Off August 2017
09 August 2017 | Whortonsville / Oriental
The speed at which our summer is getting away from us is amazing. As I mentioned in my last post, we are planning an RV camping trip to Yellowstone National Park and beyond later in August. We have delayed our departure to Yellowstone as much as we could because we wanted to spend time with our grandchildren before they all started school. We have taken each of them camping at least once this summer and we may have Stella overnight again before we leave. Last time she came to spend the night with us she told us it was boring to sleep in the house and she wanted to sleep in the camper.
We really enjoyed our last visit to Ensign Harbor, back in July, where we were able to connect with old friends. This trip started out as a strictly utilitarian. Since we will not return to the coast until early October, we need to do all we can to make sure Southern Star is ready for any weather that may come to Pamlico County. I hate to use the term hurricane but it is that season. We are really lucky that Nick does not require that boats be removed from the marina during named storms. First we need to make sure she is securely tied to the dock. Then we remove everything we can that would provide resistance to a strong wind. This includes sails, our bimini and even the canvas cover we keep on the destroyer style steering wheel.
Wednesday August 2, 2017
We had been busy all day Tuesday, which is not at all unusual, so we didn’t even start getting ready to leave until after we had had coffee on Wednesday morning. Shortly before we left I heard from my friend Dave from Goldsboro. Dave is a long time friend and fellow Amateur Radio Operator. It turned out that he and his wife Bernie were camping at Bridgeton. Theirs was a short trip and what I would call a “shakedown” cruise with their fifth-wheel camper and a brand new truck. Since Bridgeton and Whortonsville are only about 30 minutes apart I emailed Dave and asked if they would like to get together for dinner. It sounded good to Dave as well, so plans were made.
We arrived at Ensign Harbor without incident but had little time to spare unloading and heading for town to meet Dave and Bernie. I had asked Dave to meet us at the Provision Company which is right around the corner from the M&M Grill where we had planned to meet. I knew the new Chevy truck he was driving to pull his camper was at least as huge as our Ford F250 so the parking lot I was sending him to was large and never crowded.
When they arrived we gave them a tour of Oriental which does not take long. Then we strolled over to the M&M. It was a beautiful evening. Dinner was nice and we had a great visit. The M&M is a decent restaurant and fairly consistent. In other words, a good bet to take guests. After dinner we had another short walk. Dave and Bernie have recently retired and are looking forward to taking some longer trips than working folk can plan. We wish them all the best and we are sure they will enjoy their retirement as much as we are enjoying ours.
Thursday August 2, 2017
The first order of business was to get the canvas off the boat and into the car. The sails on our little ship don’t look very formidable when they are neatly furled on the forestay and boom but it’s a different story when you are wrestling them down from their perches and into a car. It takes both of us to remove just one sail off the boat after we get it down to the deck. The task went well on this day because the weather was perfect. It was unusually cool and there was not a breath of wind. We use bungee cords to tame the sails so we can get them into a dock cart. Nick’s neatly trimmed lawn mades a great place to fold the sails. Once folded and lashed with bungee cords I can lift one at a time long enough to get them into the car.
With the weather closing in and our mission accomplished we packed the car and headed for home. We still have a lot to do before we leave for our “land cruise” later in August.