Hurray, the heat and humidity are gone!!
09 November 2011 | Brunswick, GA
Again I am delinquent in keeping up this blog. It is amazing to me that when we are busy moving I am so diligent about keeping it up-to-date but when we are somewhere for a long period of time, I continue to put off updating it.
The weather continued hot all through August and September and much of October but finally broke a couple of weeks ago. So the awful heat and humidity are gone but the lows are now roaring down the coast and giving us strong winds and high seas along the shore. The forecast has them laying down to 4’-6’ tomorrow so that gives you an idea what they have been for the last week. Bill Rohde from Jubilee warned us that would happen and would make finding a weather window more difficult. It also can mean getting stuck somewhere for longer than planned to wait out the weather. But this is home and we have nowhere we must be so we will be patient.
Because August was still so brutal weather-wise we didn’t get much done. Nor did most other sailors on the dock. In fact, Doug and Jeannie on Hawke decided they couldn’t scrape, and re-do their teak so left to visit family and just get away from the weather. They are back now and busily working on the things they had planned for the summer. They have a lovely Gozzard cutter with some very nautical teak work on deck. So they have their job cut out for them for awhile. It is starting to look lovely though. And Clyde and Sheri are busy working on their teak up on dock 11. They have a car here and have been just great about lending it to us. They have lived aboard for 10 years and have a real understanding of how nice it is to be able to use a car sometimes. Sailors are really nice, helpful folks.
The beginning of September we rented a car and drove up to Ashville for a relaxing lovely resort stay at the Alpine Village Resort just outside Ashville near Mt. Mitchell. Both of my brothers, my nephew Randy, niece Tami her husband Steve and their son Blane, and Di and Jerry (Scott’s biking buddies) and we had two lovely side by side condos for a week. Scott and Randy go them through their time shares and we were just lucky that there had been two cancellations when they called. Scott, Di and Jerry rode their Honda Gold Wing Three-wheelers all the way from Alamogordo, NM; in Tennessee they met up with Randy who rode his Honda Gold Wind down from Omaha and then they all biked up to the resort which is just off the Blue Ridge Trail. Tami, Steve, Blane, Bruce and I had arrived at the resort on Sunday and were all settled in and ready for them when they arrived on Monday. Tami and family had to go back on Tuesday but they got in a couple of walks (not too far and very carefully because the bears were out) and we got in a couple of games of Chicken Foot ( a variation of Mexican Train dominoes which I had learned at the cruisers gatherings). It was a good thing we had stopped at a Walmart on the way to the resort and picked up the dominoes because the weather was cool and rainy most of the week. The planned bike rides along the Blue Ridge didn’t happen on Weds and Thurs because of rain and fog but Friday the bikers headed out and Bruce and I followed in the car while Bill and Spanker stayed at the resort. It was a lovely ride and I got some great pictures of them biking ahead of us which were subsequently lost when the SD card on my camera got a glitch and I couldn’t retrieve any of the pics. Bummer!! We left the resort on Saturday and had another lovely drive on the Blueridge back to Ashville. Sunday the bikers and we took off back to Brunswick. They wanted to see the boat and marina and we needed to get the car back. The caravan proceeded down the highway but it was a good thing the bikes were leading since I didn’t realize how often they needed to stop for gas. It was no problem but I hadn’t figured that into the drive time so the trip took longer than I had predicted. A trip to see the boat, an over night stay in Brunswick and they were all off to Ashville the next morning and the start of their trips home. It was so great meeting Di and Jerry and, of course, any time with the family is to be and is cherished.
Things had changed some while we were gone. Sadly, Brewburgers and Cargo had closed as well as two breakfast and lunch places in the downtown area. There is now only Fox’s Pizza and Subway on the main street. Brunswick like most small towns has seen the original downtown become the victim of outlying shopping malls. We were sad to see Patrick have to close Brewburger’s. He had tried so hard to make a go of it by being open 7 days a week and bringing in musical groups to the bar area. I expect that the terribly hot summer (people were cowering at home in the air conditioning) and the economy were just too much. I found out later that he was the 3rd or 4th person in the last few years to try to make an eatery survive in that location. Now there is really nowhere to just walk over and have a beer and listen to some music if you feel like it. We didn’t do it often but it was nice to have it available when we did.
But there were some good changes, Duffy and Steve on Kit had arrived on our dock. They are from Wisconsin and are live aboard cruisers and are providing charters out of Marathon, Fl and will be moving later in 2012 into the Caribbean. We thoroughly enjoyed them and were sad to see them go when they took off a couple of weeks ago. We are keeping in touch and hopefully, we will meet again.
While they were here they had a couple of get-togethers in Kit’s cockpit for some of us on the dock. Those are always fun. Bob and Renee have been here as long as we have and are working on their boat for awhile. They have been in the Gulf of Mexico for many years and have lived aboard for 20 some years. They worked their way here from Panama and are planning to head north. They have had enough of hot weather and are “looking forward to ice and snow in the cockpit”. Another couple here on the dock, Paul and Donna are from Canada and new to their catamaran and to sailing. We all just looked at Bob with stunned expressions when he talked about the ice and snow. We all, of course, are doing everything we can to get away from it. Paul and Donna have a rental car and they have been great about taking us on quick pick up trips. Meeting so many people with such diverse backgrounds and plans make this life style so interesting.
Hurricane Irene passed by many, many miles off shore from us. We didn’t get any wind or rain and there was no surge. We are in the most westward of the East coast marinas, with the Gulf Stream ( a hurricane feeder) many miles away. There hasn’t been a hurricane hit this area since the 1800’s so it is easy to understand why it is considered such a good place to be during hurricane season. But that all said, we were certainly watching her and her predicted path.
The water maker is all installed and we just need to get to cleaner water to check it all out. Bill has the on-deck saltwater wash down installed and it worked for a couple of minutes but then stopped. We are sure it is probably the intake plugged up with growth/critters. The next time Lee, our dive guy, comes down we will have him give it a good clean out.
We had a cracked vinyl pane in one of our cockpit lee cloths so we decided to replace them all and to have a “window” put in our aft bimini so we can see the masthead from the wheel. While they were at it we had Wayne and his helper Jeff make a mini-bimini for the foredeck for Spanker. She loved sitting under the upturned dinghy on deck for the shade and to be hidden from the birds and was pretty disgusted when we put it on the stern davits. Wayne who loves and has many, many animals at his place made her a “kitty condo” as the bill said for a minimal cost so she would have a nice place on the foredeck. Check out the photo gallery.
So now that we both feel human again, we are starting to look ahead to where and when we will move on. We need to have the bottom painted and are taking a drive down the coast to check out several places between here and St. Augustine. I received the papers for Spanker’s import to the Bahamas and then the Turks and Caicos and Puerto Rico. The vet has them now and it trying to sort out how and what needs to be done on what schedule as well as how to work with or around some of the timing requirements. The regulations really presume that you are flying in with your pet rather than taking the more leisurely and possibly more delayed trip by boat. We will figure it out and have as much as we can done legally and then hope for the best. Some folks have just not bothered and have gotten officials who just petted their animal and didn’t even ask about papers. We just aren’t that gutsy so will do what we can do. That may cause a little more delay in taking off from here but as I came to realize several weeks ago it doesn’t matter.
This is our home now and if we don’t go anywhere for a long period of time that is like not taking a vacation for a while. Just because our home is movable we don’t have to be and , in fact, don’t want to be on the move all of the time. That gets old and very tiring.
We had a wonderful surprise a couple of days ago. Pati and Wayne from Mirthin called. We met them in Shelburne, Nova Scotia and had some great times with them while we were there. We took off then for Cape Cod and they took off for Maine so our routes never intersected again. They were on their way driving back to FL where Mirthin spent the summer while they were in Canada for 6 months They stopped by for a wonderful although short visit. As I have probably said too often in these blogs, meeting the people we have met is one of the best parts of our life now.