Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Waiting on weather...

Rob Woltring and Keith Rarick arrived on Saturday night to join me as crew and sailing masters for the crossing to the Bahamas.  They had expected warm weather in the South, but instead they landed in the midst of a major winter storm.  No matter, we hunted up a steak dinner at the Texas Steak House in New Bern (the barbecue place was closed, to Keith's disappointment), and then drove back to Oriental.  After getting all their stuff aboard, we settled into some serious celebration ... over-beveraging seems to be the word that jumps to mind.
The next morning we had breakfast at the deli, and set off on a series of errands.  Rob seemed to have lost his reading glasses and thought they were at the steak house, so we decided to drive into New Bern, retrieve them and do some shopping.  Alas, no glasses there, nor in the car, so we turned to spending my money on more stuff for the boat.  Over the course of the next couple of days we acquired line, safety tethers for the fishing pole and gaff, an additional rod holder, four jerry cans and a siphon, Starbucks coffee, more beer, more scotch, tequilla, fixings for sushi (nori, soy, wasabi, sushi rice), and whatever else I seemed to have forgotten ... Rob wanted to put a generator on the boat, but I had to draw the line somewhere.
We did all of this in intermittent rain, sometimes pouring rain, and in ever falling temperatures.  By Monday it was 31 degrees and we had snow flurries (never enough to stick, but damned cold).  We soldiered on despite the weather, and kept an eye on the weather forecasts.  Keith offered up a couple of sites that I had never heard of ... among the best weather sites ever:  Unisys Weather and the Navy's Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center.  Based on these and the NOAA offshore forecast we decided the storm would pass by Tuesday, when we'd head for Beaufort NC and then on Wednesday morning go offshore.
Meanwhile, we finished up the shopping, returned my rental car to the airport in New Bern (Ross Pease, the harbormaster, loaned us his truck to bring us back to Oriental), and got back to the boat around 14:00 on Monday.  Pete Watterson of Seacoast Marine Electronics dropped by to see that the AIS was working, and by happenstance arrived just as I was putting my new registration decal on my EPIRB.  He noticed that the battery was two years out of date ... I had been looking at the wrong date on the EPIRB and not noticed ... so he agreed to take it back to his shop, replace the battery and do all the pressure tests.  When he came back to the boat around 16:00, I was out taking a photo of the harbor, so Rob persuaded him to set up a GPS interface for my computer so I could use Coastal Explorer.  Good idea, even though it was another boat buck, and after we got a driver for the USB/serial port adaptor, we got it going.  Rob brought a whole raft of charts on disc, which I'll load in the computer before he leaves.  Pete stayed for a sundowner, and we then prepared to head out to dinner.
We had been to M&M's, my favorite dinner place, the night before, after hearing some music over at the Tiki Bar ... a town of 1,000 people, and somebody had complained that music outside at the Tiki Bar was too loud, so they had a local band (my bass player friend Bob was there) play while town officials went around with a decibal meter.  And it was 40 degrees or worse outside.  But I digress.  M&M has sushi on Monday nights.  It's owner/chef Dave's favorite evening, I think, and he makes sushi as good as any I've ever had (my apologies to Shin-san at Akane in Los Altos).  Keith and Rob agreed, and we had a great meal, Dave sending us off with a sushi roller and a bottle of his homemade fig wine (well, no rice wine available, so this will have to do).
We got back to the boat and settled down for a nice night and awakened to sunny skies ... cold still, but sunny and our prediction seems to be correct.  Breakfast and we'll depart at noon.  It's been a great stay in Oriental!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home