Sunday, November 16, 2008

Great Bridge and beyond

But enough about stuff.

We got to the lock at Great Bridge just as a big low was moving up the coast. I had a momentary twinge about being stuck between a lock and a drawbridge on Election Day, in case something displeased the natives about the results. However the ability to walk, even in the gusting, pouring rain, across a dangerous highway, to the library (wifi), grocery (milk, pork chops), Radio Shack (they didn’t have it) and hardware store (sink stopper) was great.

We met and bonded with another Valiant 40, #122 Tamure, formerly Francis Stokes' Mooneshadow. We're #124. Instead of six degrees of separation, we found about six nodes of connection in the first ten minutes. I wanted to rustle through all their lockers to see what was where, but I mostly refrained. There was enough inspiration out in public.

On the third day of the low, the wind stopped blowing the water out of Currituck Sound and we were on our way again, in the middle of a great pent-up herd of boats: “3 motor, 13 sail” on our bridge opening, and as many again on the two successive openings. Sometimes the VHF chatter is excruciating, all this excessive politeness and idle comment. Reminds me of AM talk radio, only less interesting.

Mostly Doug drives, to keep me from wandering out of the channel, and to get better meals. It's a real treat to steam under the 65' bridges without even looking up, much less creeping cautiously through like we did on Absolute with her 64 foot masts topped with things we didn't want to wipe off!

Waterway miles are statute (land) miles, not nautical, and we seem to only get about fifty of them in on these short days. But that’s okay. There’s something tiring about standing around doing not much, all day long, and 7:30 to bed doesn’t seem excessive. I’ve even started reading again, working through a two-foot backlog of magazines. Then there's about 60 pounds of books, snuck aboard bag by bag, presently counterbalancing the batteries.

We even sailed a little, on the Neuse River, in a line with the rest of our herd, as the 'motors' wove their wakes between us. I love the Carolina rivers - they're so beautiful when the weather's fine, and this day it was fine. We were looking forward to a night in Beaufort NC, had a friend to visit with and everything, but a weather window should not be denied either. So we stopped for fuel, motored out the Beaufort channel, turned southwest and set the sails. Dophins, moonlight, the horizon clear before us, also very fine.

1 comment:

Sally said...

From Sally: Had a big smile on my face reading this section. Agree wholeheartedly about the excessive politeness, etc on the VHF radios, can't they just shut up? Also the big wakes the powerboats make as they speed by you.

Oh how we love our books, what would we do without them?? We have our headlamps that have elastic headbands on our foreheads for reading at night, we look a sight, but boy they are great - Home Depot! A section of my log was on books I had read: title, author and a brief description and lastly how I rated the book. I did this because we read so many that I would forget which one was which and sometimes if people asked me what I read I would look blankly at them to name all the books.

Love Sally