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Friday, June 22nd

Vacation delay


We are scheduled to start our vacation today, as soon as Cori gets off work. It isnít going to be that easy. Since we are planning on going offshore the weather is of the utmost concern. We are delaying our start until Saturday to let some of the weather pass by. We believe the boat is ready we just need to put a few more things away to avoid them flying around if it gets rough.
Dale on 06.22.07 @ 01:33 PM EDT [link]


Tuesday, June 19th

Getting ready


We spent the weekend getting things ready for our trip. Last year we took the bimini off to replace the canvas. This meant we had to take off the solar panels which I put in storage. We have been looking at the bimini frame and how to change it to our satisfaction before replacing the canvas. We still do not have the new design finalized. Fortunately I havenít started cutting anything. Since we are planning to be gone for two weeks and anchoring out most days we decided to put the frame back on and mount the solar panels without the canvas to help with keeping the batteries charged. Saturday I got the panels mounted and all of the connections reconnected, turned off the charger and we are relying solely on the panels. So far everything is staying charged up even with the refrigeration running. We should be in good shape for the trip.

Cori spent the weekend making screens for the hatches since we expect there to be a lot of bugs in some of the areas we will be anchoring. We have screens for the windows but the old hatch screens were not in good enough shape to reuse. Since we are on the far end of the long dock we donít have a bug problem very often so not having screens has never been an issue. Monday was running around picking up necessities Ė propane, oil, snacks, etc. and making phone calls. We sent our EPIRB in to have the battery replaced and now we are trying to get it back in time. Our insurance only covers Pamlico and Albemarle sounds so we need to get a rider to travel outside our coverage area. There are a lot of small details but our biggest concern is what the weather will be doing. The weather will dictate our route so we are keeping an eye on the forecasts.

Dale on 06.19.07 @ 01:40 AM EDT [link]


Saturday, June 16th

Friends leaving


Last weekend was an occasion for a party. Unfortunately it was a going away party. Chuck and Barb, who live in their trawler at the end of the dock, are moving ashore. Due to age and declining health they are moving to Maine to be closer to family. This is the couple that celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary last July. They have had a very interesting life cruising on their sailboat and then their trawler. It has always been a joy to sit with them and listen to their stories. They will be missed.

The week has been busy. The kids are out of school and Wednesday was my (Daleís) last day of work for the school year. Along with getting everything finished off at the school we are in the late stages of planning our vacation. We are planning on two weeks sailing and exploring Lower Chesapeake Bay.

We will let you know how it goes.

The other excitement this week was what happened to my Miata. As I mentioned several weeks ago I bought a 94 Miata on eBay and we drove it back from Minnesota. I have been enjoying driving it and have taken it to work a number of times. Tuesday was the one month anniversary of buying it. Since most of the teachers are done for the year there were not many cars in the lot. By mid afternoon there were three cars left. I was in my usual spot, in the middle of the lot with two others on the edges. As I was going back to my room a lady came down the hall and wanted to know if we knew who owned ďthat little white carĒ? It turned out that as she was leaving she backed into me. She put a good dent in the left front fender. It could have been worse. The estimate is for just under $1000.
Dale on 06.16.07 @ 12:37 AM EDT [link]


Tuesday, June 12th

Weekend of June 1, 2, 3rd


Sorry about the delay. I have been having computer problems again.

We had company for the weekend. Coriís parents, brother, sister, and two nephews (5 and 6 years old) were here. The nephews also brought company for Ben. Sam and Ted, their bears, were along. Sam and Ted each sailed with us for a season on our 29 Ericson on Lake Superior before going to live with them. Saturday we took everyone out sailing for the afternoon. Our plan was to spend the night at anchor but the weather forecast didnít look very good. Tropical storm Barry was working its way up the coast and was scheduled to hit us late Saturday. We had a nice sail but it wasnít real exciting for the boys. They had decided they wanted to be pirates, so we got them outfitted as best we could with tattoos, bandanas and eye patches. Tropical storm Barry hit us Saturday night and it blew and rained hard. By Sunday morning it had passed and we had blue skies again. That didnít last very long and we had rain off and on the rest of the day as the remnants of the storm continued to move through. On Sunday we went to Beaufort and they got better eye patches and cutlasses. From they on we had to watch out we didnít get caught in the middle of a sword or a cutlass fight. We took them over to Atlantic Island to the fort and to see and wade in the ocean. Sunday evening everyone had to get back to their real lives and the boat was empty again.

Dale on 06.12.07 @ 09:56 PM EDT [link]


Wednesday, June 6th

A very late Memorial Weekend update


This is a late, even later then normal for me, update on Memorial Weekend. The forecast was for more of the same weather we had been getting all week, clear skies, light winds building to 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon, daytime temps in the 80ís and nighttime temps in the 60ís. Since there was no wind on Saturday morning we headed into town to run a couple of last minute errands and then back to the boat to go sailing.

We got out of the marina around 12:30 and since the winds were light we started a slow sail down the river. As we approached Oriental we were down to trying a spinnaker to try to keep moving. Eventually that failed and we just sat there. Every day that week the wind had picked up in the afternoon so we chose to just wait it out. It didnít take too long before the winds came up and we were overpowered with the spinnaker. After an unsightly drop Ė we need a sock to douse the spinnaker Ė we were sailing again. By then we were close to South River which was one of our destinations. Since the winds were up and the right direction we opted to continue down river and spend the night in Lower Broad Creek. The Navy had an aircraft carrier offshore and we were listening to them warn the boaters to keep their distance. They also had fighter jets practicing nearby so we got to watch them make practice runs at the target area then do an impressive pull up Ė almost straight up and then come around for another run. We pulled into the creek and anchored off from the others and had a quiet night on the hook sharing the anchorage with only nine other boats.

Sunday we started out around 11:30 and caught a nice breeze making several tacks back towards Oriental until the wind finally died out. We motored for a bit rather then wait for it to come back up so we were just about to Oriental when right on schedule the wind started up from the southwest again. We sailed around with no particular destination until it was time to find an anchorage for the night. We motored into South River and dropped anchor for another quiet night.

Monday we started out about 11:30 again and started working our way upriver. Southwest winds mean we take a lot of long tacks to get back home. By the time we were across the river from Clubfoot Creek the wind died again and we started motoring home. Halfway there the winds came back, pretty much on schedule, but we chose to motor in and get things straightened up and cleaned up early.

Our first three day weekend of the year and nothing broke, unlike last year. We got to try out the windlass; it works but is somewhat suspect. I still donít trust it. We got to fly the spinnaker again; we just need to get better at dropping it or we need to get a sock to douse it. All in all a pleasant start to the summer.

Dale on 06.06.07 @ 02:49 PM EDT [link]