Post Dorian 2019
15 September 2019 | Whortonsville, NC
It is hard to believe we have not been to Ensign Harbor since May. Summer heat is the main reason although there have been other factors. Since we both retired there are not enough hours in the day or days in the week to do what we need to do. Spending a lot of time in a rocking chair has not been something we have experienced although it would be a welcome change once in a while. Getting my parent’s place ready to sell has kept me and Brother Jack very busy. Now that the property is on the market the pace has eased a bit but still, there is a lot to do.
We were planning a boat visit in later in May of 2019 but the weather was unbearably hot. We decided to pull our fifth wheel camper to the mountains to enjoy at least a few days in the cool instead. It was an ill-fated trip. On the way to “Raccoon Holler” campground, we hit the mother of all potholes on a crooked mountain road near West Jefferson NC. We limped through our stay with the camper in disrepair. When we got home, the local camper repair shop evaluated the damage and told us the axles were damaged beyond repair and would have to be replaced. After waiting most of the summer for axles to arrive the day finally came for us to take the camper in for repair. Three days later we were told that there was much more extensive damage than they thought and the camper was declared a total loss. There would have been much less grief for us had the repair guys declared it a total loss in the first place. Due to their oversight, we missed the entire summer of having adventures with our grand children and at our age that is indeed a huge loss. The good news is the insurance company offered a generous settlement and we are now the proud owners of a new fifth wheel camper. This is just in time for us to get the grand kids out for a fall camping trip during an upcoming school break, and for us to take a long anticipated trip out west beginning in early October. If the hot weather trend continues we should have time for plenty of sailing in November and December. We shall see. Oh well, on to the blog entry.
Thursday September 12, 2019
Hurricane Dorian brushed the outer banks of North Carolina but the forecast never had the Oriental / Whortonsville area in the extremely dangerous northeast quadrant of the storm. Dorian approached from the south which kept us in the northwest quadrant. Southern Star was tied with double dock lines and secured well enough that we did not think we needed to take further action to prepare. As usual, the main problem when hurricanes visit Whortonsville is high water, not wind. There was plenty if high water but not as much as with other storms we have endured. According to a report from the marina owner there was minimal damage to the docks but no known damage to any of the boats tied up here. Our trip was to confirm the report and check for damage on Southern Star. We arrived to find a few canvas covers out of place but no real damage at all.
Our friend Don on Ragtop was busy cleaning. He told us that he and Trish had bought a new Catalina in Florida and Ragtop would be for sale very soon. Don and Trish do a lot of sailing in the islands. We wish them the best of luck with the new boat and hope to see them back at Ensign Harbor soon.
With the passing of our friends Nick and Jeanette, the future of Ensign Harbor is uncertain. The daughter and heir is a very sweet person but seems to have little interest in running a marina. This is completely understandable. Also, her residence is on Rhode Island and the designated local caretakers are not doing a stellar job of keeping the place up. My hope is that she can sell the marina to someone who is interested and will care for the place like Nick and Jeanette.
We have friends who are camping in Bridgeton and we are looking forward to dinner with them tomorrow (Friday).
When I was walking down the boardwalk to the boat after dark I saw the most spectacular meteor I had ever seen. At first I thought it was fireworks but it was too far away. It came down at a sharp angle and the light was bright blue. Suddenly it exploded into several fiery red bursts. It was amazing but needless to say, it lasted less than a second. I feel lucky to have seen it.
Friday September 13, 2019
It seems like a real waste of effort to remove the sails after having just put them on last time we were here but we have little choice. Dorian was not a really bad storm and did little damage. We would have made the trip had we thought it necessary. With our extended trip coming up we have to prepare for the worse case. We went into Oriental for coffee at the Bean, first thing and stopped for ice on the way back. Taking sails off is much easier than putting them on so it only took a couple hours of effort in the heat to have them packed in the truck. We went for a walk had some lunch and spent most of the afternoon in the cabin cheering for our little portable air conditioner to be able to keep up with the heat. Thunderstorms were marching in by the afternoon and one caught us by surprise. Now we will have to take the sun shade home to dry it out.
There is a big regatta in Oriental this weekend so I we headed to New Bern with our friends for dinner. We picked Dave and Bernie up at their campground in Bridgeton so they would not have to drive their big truck to the crowded downtown area. It had been years since we ate at Captain Ratty’s but the food was excellent as it had been before. We always enjoy Dave and Bernie’s company but don’t get to see them often enough. A good time was had by all and we returned them to their camper without incident. The weather in New Bern was completely different than at Ensign Harbor. It had rained even more here at the boat. Everything was downright soggy and the bugs were quite friendly.
Saturday September 14, 2019
Morning weather was still cloudy, humid and threatening rain. Judy was going for an early morning walk with her coffee but she wasn’t gone but a few minutes. It seems the bugs were still quite friendly and she would rather have coffee on the boat. We loaded the portable air conditioner in the truck. Along with the sails we had quite a load. Just before we left our friend John arrived to check on his boat. I don’t think he intended to stay log given the heat index. We had not seen John in a long time and it was good to be able to catch up.
Our fingers are crossed that Dorian will be the only storm the area has to deal with this season. Storm or no storm, we did everything to and for the boat that we can to protect her. There will be no reason for us to return before our camping trip. We left for home at about noon. We will probably grab some lunch on the way.