Friday, April 25, 2014

Do the Wave

As a common curtosey, it is customary for passing boats to acknowledge each other with a wave.  We mastered that skill in Oriental where everybody waves all the time.

So far today we have encountered the largest variety of wave styles to date.  Most boats will have one person on wave duty.  The Coast Guard opts to have the entire crew wave.  Typically it's just a hand placed in the high five position.  The friendlier boats will add some movement to their waves.  Some atypical waves included the two fingers pointed like a gun wave, the surfer wave, the salute wave, and amongst the younger generation, the head nod. 

I opt to use the moving hand wave regardless of the extra caloric output.  We are a friendly boat.  After we had a slight grounding while in the middle of the ICW this morning, I used the full arm sweeping wave to a passing yacht who read to us depths and offered to give us a tow off.  I dub that my gratitude wave.  Ironically they were in a vessel designed by the same people that made our boat.  

Each member of our crew has invented their own style of wave. 

Kai "the cow phone wave" - having nothing to do with his beef hotdog, he thought his fist looked like a cow with horns which could also serve as a phone when angled

Fal "the wave of peace"

K "the wave dun dun dun" (que music)

G "the ziggy" 

Pip "the bark"- especially to boats speeding past us

Regardless of the wave style, if you are gonna stare at the boat, pass us some hand acknowledgement or the head nod. It makes us feel better.  Don't leave us hanging- that happens out here too.  

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Patience Is Our Virtue

We started this trip on a very patient note and patience remains the name of the game. 

 After a bumpy ride across the Palmico Sound just a few days ago, we entered the ICW and began traversing southbound through the ditch.  As we went along, the kids made a game trying to blow bubbles at passing boaters.  

We anchored out the first night outside of Fort Macon in Morehead City.  It was a busy bustling area and did not make for good sleep.  We experienced our first dolphin sighting as the sun was setting and we were taking on the kids in a trivia game.   We continue to see dolphins every day, some being extremely close.  Gunar had a good workout with the anchor in the morning and off we went.  

On our second day we noticed some apparent audible changes in the engine we had just invested heavily into to insure it would run top notch.  Gunar being ultra intelligent opted to get a marina as the afternoon wore on and get his hands dirty making necessary adjustments.  

 We pulled off to the side of the ICW at Swans Point Marina in Sneeds Fairy, NC, where a mother daughter team operate a quaint marina.  Though they knew little about boating, they did everything in their power to make our stay comfortable including loaning out a personal vehicle so we could get groceries and Kai could get his hair cut like Dad.   Fal did not miss an oppertunity to get a manicure either.  We stayed there two nights as we needed to make sure all was well with the engine.  It is wonderful when your spouse is not only a gifted captain but also a skilled mechanic.  Bombs and gunfire sounds could be heard around the clock from the near by Camp Lejune Marine Base as well as perpetual millitary aircraft. 

When this morning came, our hopes of an early departure were crushed when we realized we were shoaled in with the low tide temporarily (the depth issues were not reveled upon our initial call to the marina) and the wind was not helping.  We had no choice but to stay dock bound and wait some more.  We broke free this afternoon and tried to get a few miles behind us before dropping the hook just outside of Surf City, NC.  

Good night to all.  Here's to hoping the anchor doesn't feel like taking a walk as the tide swings.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Heading Down the Stream

After months and months of patience, the stars aligned and we are on our way. We are learning to trust a new boat and rediscovering the magic of cruising.  Happy days!!!   

Monday, April 21, 2014

Weather Delay

We are ready to leave Oriental after months of preliminary refitting but now, the weather isn't cooperating. 25 to 35 knot winds have us pinned to the dock. Winds are supposed to lay down this afternoon. Hopefully we can make our way to Moorehead where we will anchor for the night. 
Engine is looking much better and runs great. 

Easter was totally kosher. Had egg hunts and whatnot. I celebrated ever lasting life by punishing my liver and glycemic index. 

 God wants to teach Oriental with a flood. 

Time to enjoy a cup and wait for the howling winds to subside. With any luck we'll be off and running in a few hours. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Towers, Forts, and Other Stuff (by the kids)

While Mom gets the cockpit and back locker tidy...

Kai-  My fort is part hotel, store, waffle shop, and cake shop.  That's all.  Kayden and Fallon buy stuff with screws and nails and they use the screws and nails for money.  

(Fort by Fallon and Kayden)

Fallon-  I built it with my brother and we built it with teamwork. I bought a little carpet from Kai for Pipa (dog) to lay on.  It kept Pipa comfortable in the shade.  My job was to watch the dog so I brought her in the fort.  

Kayden-  My Mom started cleaning out behind the cockpit.  She had stuff she wanted to throw out so I had the idea we could build a fort with it.  I took my sisters chair and my chair and put them four feet from each other.   Then I took this little bench from my Grandma and made a triangle shape with the chairs.  Then I took the old enclosure pieces and draped them over the bench and chairs.   I used all of mine up.  Then I used a plexiglass panel and we had a little window.  Then Fallon let me use her enclosure pieces to cover up the space left.  I had an extra piece so I gave it to Kai.  My Mom gave us a hose.  I put one end in our fort and spread the other end out into the rocky land we built the fort on. You could talk into it and hear each other like a telephone.  It was the length of our boat.  It was rocky so I put an old towel on the ground.   Then we had some beds.  We built a little table too.  We put tarps over the fort to make it darker.

No luck fishing.  We weren't using the right bait.  

Jenny- People in the yard got quite the show; I watched many smiles and chuckles as people passed by.  A man working across the yard made a point to come up and tell us how impressed he was with the way the kids entertained themselves.  He was amazed they could carry on in a boat yard simply using things laying around.  It was nice to hear.  Nice job little ones :). You made me proud.