Thursday, June 27, 2013

Storms to Beaufort

June 24, 2013

We had packed up the bikes and prepared the boat the night before so we were able to make a fast exit this morning from Ocracoke.  We tried to follow a ferry out of the channel, but it was too fast and it went outside the channel!  So we decided to take it slow and careful on our own. I used our binoculars to find the markers for Big Foot Channel while Charlie navigated Rainshadow.  Soon we were in the Pamlico Sound once more. The water was more turbulent than a couple of days before, but not bad. 

After about 2 hours, we saw a storm approaching.  We could see lightening in the distance.  Usually, we have two ipads on the helm with two different navigating apps  - one utilizing the US Marine app and the other using the Polar Navy app - the chart plotter and radar. Because the radar only reaches a few miles, it did not show the storm. We had left so fast this morning; we had not looked at the weather.  Now, we wanted to see a radar!  The ipad using US Marine lost a signal in the middle of the Pamlico sound, so we couldn't use that to look at the weather.   The PolarNavy app had lost a signal, but because it used charts already loaded, it was still monitoring our position appropriately so we did not want to use that ipad to look at the weather.  Charlie tried pulling up on his iphone, but the signal was not strong enough.  I had a later version of the iphone  and I was able to pull up  This is what we saw:
Approaching storm
  Yikes! We decided to slow down and let the storm pass.  Sarah and I put on our life jackets just in case things got bad.  Charlie estimated that we would only get some rain and that it would pass before we got there.  Just in case, I lowered the VHF antennae.  Charlie was right, except for rain, we missed the storm.   By the time we entered into Adam’s creek, the storm had passed and the water calmed down.  It was a beautiful ride into Beaufort. (North Carolina, not South Carolina.  This one is pronounced Bo-fort, with a long o.)

Helm gadgets to help us navigate through storms.
As we got close to Beaufort, we had to really pay attention to the markers.  There is a wicked current and the winds are strong.  We waited for the bridge to open (on the half hour) and went through to the docks.  At first, the dockmaster put us in a slip that was at the end of the marina,  a long walk to the bathrooms. But Charlie talked to him and we moved to the slips closer to the bathrooms.  After we docked, we  decided to divide and conquer the chores. I went to the Laundromat at the General Store and Sarah (my youngest) and Charlie washed off the boat.

Fresh Flowers along Beaufort's Boardwalk
At the General Store, I put three loads in the washers. While they cleaned, I walked the beautiful historic section of town.  By the time I got back to the Laundromat, the wash was done and I put the wet clothes into three dryers and sat down to wait.  I was the only other person there.  Soon after, though, a young woman and man entered the Laundromat.  They took their wet clothes from the washer and placed them on a table.  They were in a very animated discussion about our country’s gender identity crisis.   She did not like the pronouns “her” or “he”, but preferred “they.”  The young man said it did not matter to him.   He was a very colorful speaker and began saying things that made me uncomfortable.   I am not sure if it was the discussion, or the dryers, but sweat began dribbling down my neck and a wave of claustrophobia took a hold of me.  I kept wondering why they would not stop talking long enough to put their clothes in dryer.  I decided to check my dryers early, before the timers went off. The clothes were nice and dry, so I quickly threw them in the bag and offered the dryer to the couple. They accepted and thanked me.  I made a quick exit and headed to Rainshadow, contemplating some of the issues that were discussed in the Laundromat and vowing to be more tolerant of difference in the future.  

That night, we went to a restaurant on the boardwalk. The town is very dog friendly and Bella was able to sit with us outside on the deck enjoying the warm Beaufort breeze.

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