Sunday, June 30, 2013

Oriental, NC

June 26, 2013

This morning we headed to Oriental.  Right before we left, I met a woman who was cruising the Great Loop. She was on the trawler behind us, Ocean Magic.  They had started in Florida and were headed to the Great Lakes and then down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and back home to Florida.  I think she was missing home already.

We have been dealing with occasional water in our bilges since we bought Rainshadow. Water mainly gets into the aft bilge.  The bilge pump gets rid of most of it, but occasionally we have to manually eliminate the remainder.    Charlie rigged a hand held water pump with a garden hose and wired it to electricity to handle it.  This morning after discussing the issue with other tug owners and the manufacturer, there appears to be several contributors to the problem, mainly water coming through the swim platform door and possibly a bad rudder seal.  Tomco (makers of the American Tug) was very responsive and mailed the parts needed for the repair.   Other American Tug owners have very dry bilges, so we are optimistic this is something that can be fixed once we get back to home port.  (Update 7-16-2013:  The rudder seal was replaced and the bilge is very, very dry now!!)

The wind was blowing and the current was strong as we left Beaufort.   It was so strong, we hit the side of a dock as we were leaving. The dockmaster yelled, “Don’t worry!  It’s rubber..  you just have some white paint across your hull. It will buff out!”  I hope so.

Good bye Beaufort
As we waited for the bridge opening out of Beaufort, the dockmaster called us over the radio. He reminded us to not cut across to the intracoastal waterway because of the Shoal.  He said to go around it using the Russell Slough Channel, stay between the red over green marker and green 7 marker.  He said plenty of boats have grounded on the Shoal, eager to get to the intracoastal waterway.  We were very careful watching the markers as we made our way up the Adams Creek Canal to the Neuse River.  In the chart below, the intracoastal waterway is marked by the dashed lines.  We are entering from the bottom of the chart, following the yellow highlight. You can see why some boats jump over the shoal.

Watch the Shoal leaving Oriental!
The rest of the trip was very warm, but uneventful. 

Bella and Sarah Chilling in the Salon
 When we arrived at the Oriental Marina & Inn there were just a couple of boats in the marina.  I asked the dockmaster if the town was easy to bike around.  He scowled, “Of course it is. This town is just entering the 1970’s.”  Come to think of it, the marina does remind me of the 1970’s.  But, it had power, water, cable tv, a pool, very clean showers and bathrooms and  a restaurant.

Oriental Marina & Inn
After securing the boat, Charlie and Sarah went swimming while Bella and I took a walk.  As we headed back to Rainshadow, The  Polly P. docked next to us. The owners brought their two Boykin Spaniels – Frances and Catfish.  Bella was very happy as they all played together.  I was unfamiliar with the breed.  They explained that it was the official state dog for South Carolina and as you head south more people are familiar with it.  I looked it up on the computer because I forgot to take a picture.  So here is the picture I found when I googled “state dog of South Carolina.”

Boykin Spaniel
Charlie, Sarah, Bella and I decided to go bike riding through town. It was a short trip. There was a nice park on the Neuse River where we stopped to enjoy the view.  We bought delicious ice cream at the local coffee shop “Bean.”    While we ate our ice cream, we talked to a local group sitting on the front porch and then we headed back to get cleaned up for dinner.

When we came out of the boat for dinner, the marina was full of boats and they were having a party.  The New Bern Yacht Club had decided to get together in Oriental that day. Things were hopping in the restaurant when we had dinner.  Someone from the New Bern Club said, “Hi Cathy! “as I entered the restaurant.  I smiled and said “Hi” back so I didn't have to take time to explain that I was not Cathy.  I was hungry.  Our seafood platter was very satisfying.

After dinner, we enjoyed the evening with the owners of Polly P.  We toured each other's boats and then had a beer on top of Rainshadow. We shared our sea stories and our dreams.   They told Charlie about an attachment for the cordless drill that allows you to pump out water more easily than using the rigged pump. Charlie’s eyes lit up. I think it is now on his wish list.  They also gave us tips on good books. They highly recommended for Sarah to read “The Knife of Never Letting Go.”  I downloaded it on our Kindle for the trip tomorrow.  They suggested Charlie and I should read “Honey, Lets Get a Boat.”   When I googled it, this is what I read:

This is the story of a couple's travels on a forty-foot trawler cruising 6300 miles and 145 locks around the eastern part of North America known as America's Great Loop or the Great Circle Cruise. Their nautical ineptitude is evident from the beginning, but pulling from their personal and collective strengths, the authors overcome doubt, a lack of experience, and real and imagined horrors. The odyssey is told the way life hands out its adventures -- sometimes humorously, sometimes tragically, but always memorably.

I can totally relate. 

Rainshadow (in the middle) docked next to Polly P. (on the right)

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