Labor Day 2018
05 September 2018 | Whortonsville, NC
This has been a strange summer. We have not been to the boat much at all. Most of the reason is weather. It has either been hot as blazes or pouring down rain, neither of which are fun. We were determined to take all our grandkids camping at least once while they were out of school for the summer. This proved difficult because of the same hot and or stormy weather. Further, it seems that since we retired there are never enough hours in the day or days in the week to do what we must, need and would like to do.
On a very sad note, I wrote earlier about the passing of or friend Jeanette Santoro. Jeanette and husband Nick owned Ensign Harbor, the wonderful marina where Southern Star lives. Unfortunately Nick succumbed to a similar illness as Jeanette only about 8 months apart. We traveled to Whortonsville in early July to greet friends at Nick’s wake. We felt so sorry for the couple’s daughter Alyce who lost both parents inside a single year. One of Nick’s final acts was to sign off on the sale of the marina to a nice couple from Oriental. Unfortunately that deal fell through and the future of the marina is in question. All the dock mates are very concerned and we hope a buyer is found soon who will run the marina in the low key, very thoughtful manner we had become accustomed to by the Santoros.
The purpose of this trip was to replace the house batteries. I noticed last time we were here that they were going south very quickly. I wanted to test them to be sure but they had been in place for about 5 years which is a fair average for a medium quality battery. The worst thing you can do to a deep cycle battery is NOT use it, and that is exactly what happens on a boat. They sit idle for weeks without being charged or discharged. We want to do some sailing in a month if the brutal heat subsides.
Sunday September 2, 2018
We made arrangements to meet Jonas and family for breakfast as we passed through Cary on our way to the coast. IHOP is one of Jonas’s favorites. It was a bit crowded but we did not have to wait long and the food and service were very good. Of course Jonas always has something we need to see at his house. We were in no particular hurry so we stopped by and visited for an hour or so and still arrived at the boat by about 4 pm. It was so hot the thermometer INSIDE the boat read 93 degrees. We opened the boat and set up our fans to at least move some of the hot air out. We soon discovered there was no electrical service on board. None of the other boats seemed to have a problem but we certainly did. We had had an electrical failure a while back which required a new line to be run from the switch panel all the way to the boat. I managed to get it going again.
We visited with Stefan and his children and Bob and Tammy in the cockpit. It was hot even hours after sundown. After that the portable air conditioner had managed to get the temps down to a comfortable 80 plus degrees in the cabin. With the assistance to 2 fans we slept comfortably.
Monday September 3, 2018
I had purchased the last set of house batteries at “Batteries and Bulbs” in New Bern. I had been pleased with their performance when the price point was considered. We got up at about the usual time and had coffee and a very light breakfast. I had to pull the second battery out so I did that before we left. We also deployed a rain fly over the air conditioner, in case of a sudden storm, and put up the sun shade over the boom. This is a simple white cotton shade that works wonders keeping the sun off the coach roof. The boat stays noticeably cooler (but still brutally hot) with the shade up.
We left at about 11 am with both batteries in the truck. We had made arrangements with our friends Richard and Frances to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant conveniently located across the street from the battery store. We enjoyed a long lunch and visit. It was great to catch up with what was going on with them. After lunch we stopped by the grocery store to get some gator-aide like drinks. I was experiencing some cramping especially in my hands probably due to loss of fluids in the heat. That is usually fixed with some electrolytes. When we got back to the boat it was much hotter than when we left. It was bearable to sit in under the sunshade but not very pleasant. I tried setting up my low power amateur radio but that was futile. I lost interest quickly in the heat. Judy gave up and went below to read in the air conditioned cabin. It wasn’t much better but at least the humidity was less than the nearly 100% outside. The sun finally set but it was still too hot to enjoy the screened in room (cockpit) so we got showers and went below for a light dinner. The original plan was to stay one more day and enjoy a day sail if for no other reason than to make sure the boat is working as it should. I think the original plan will have to be modified. The weather for tomorrow is the same as today. High temperatures near 90 with a heat index of 94. On a boat you can’t get away from it. The only place that is relatively comfortable is the air conditioned cabin. I think we will leave a day early and cut our losses. Hopefully there will be a fall this year and we won’t go from hot as blazes to freezing cold in a few weeks. We have always enjoyed fall and early winter sailing best. We hope we get some nice weather this year.
Tuesday September 4, 2018
We got up at about the usual time and eased into our day. By 9am the heat was already oppressive. The humidity was soaring and there was virtually no breeze. The no breeze part is highly unusual for this coastal area. We usually have more “breeze” than we need. The decision was finalized and we started getting ready to depart. I sent my friend Ray an email telling him we were coming home a day early and I would be able to help with an amateur radio club event that I would have missed. By the time the truck was packed, my shirt was soaked through. I did not need to look at a thermometer to know the temp was closing in on 90. We showered and slammed the doors on the air conditioned truck and headed up hill.
The boat should be ready to go on a cruise. We have not been to Ocracoke in quite some time and it is always nice after the summer crowds go home. Stay tuned, maybe the next entry will not be so long in coming.