Saturday, November 9, 2013


For people who blog regularly, there are some days that posts just grab you out of nowhere and you simply must sit down and write at that exact moment. Then there are posts that you mull over for days, distilling your thoughts, wanting to be sure that the observations on which you intended to expound are in fact worth expounding on. Some days absolutely nothing worthy of notice happens and the blank page remains. Then there are those weird days where a half dozen things happen that are all worthy of some written exploration, and to lump them together into one post seems somehow to cheapen the value of each. Today was such a day.

Every Saturday morning in Oriental they have a farmer's market. Being as we've been here almost 10 days, this was the second day I had the opportunity to go. It's smallish as markets go, but you can buy good veggies, local honey, pastured pork products, freshly roasted coffee, and some baked goods. Sandie gets up at 3:30 each Saturday morning to make the bagels, muffins, and scones that she sells alongside her fabulous squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers. I bought a butternut squash from her last week and we had some silky soup from it last night. Tim, who is not a soup person, even liked it which is saying a lot. This morning we bought another bag of Tim's Ethiopian coffee (yum - you should smell our boat), a couple bagels for breakfast, some maple sausage links fresh from the farm and another butternut.

The farmer's market is alongside the free town dock.  The town dock is exactly in the middle of town, studiously guarded by the town dog (whose name escapes me at the moment), complete with bandana around his neck as he sits in the middle of the main street forcing everyone to drive around him as they smile.  The free town dock is sort of the gathering place in Oriental, so if you ever plan on staying there, be prepared to spend a lot of time talking. We've met a lot of  people on that dock, just because you feel free to walk up and talk to them, and this morning was no exception.

We've been eyeballing a large steel boat that came in yesterday but hadn't been able to catch the owner until today. The boat is an amazing 45 ft steel cutter pilot house and its owner, Martin, is a man from Holland who single hands it, living full time on it. We had an opportunity to see the inside and we were both completely smitten. It's one of those boats that has the classic, work boat,  shippy look to it, with gnarled wood, tile, brass, and all the little artisan details that are lost on new boats. It did take me a while to drag Tim away from the engine room - and I do mean room. It even had a drill press in it. The head on this boat looked like a New York apartment bathroom, complete with palm tree in the corner.

After an hour or so of drooling we did discipline ourselves to work on a couple projects. Tim headed to the mast base to see about a leaking

seal, and I started the galley sink rebedding project. The way the galley sinks are designed, it is impossible to keep water from pooling around the edges of them. This has led to water seeping under the edges and I was noticing a bit of what looked like dissolved plywood so I figured I better buckle down and do the job. I was anticipating it would be a pretty major job because I had read a story on another blog we follow about the same job, and knew to expect some corroded anchor studs. I wasn't disappointed. The project took 10 hours and a few trips to various marine suppliers in the area, but it's done now. As you can see in the pictures, it hadn't been done in a long while, if ever. While I had it apart I used the time to polish the stainless.

In the middle of my project we had the opportunity to visit with some blog followers over drinks and appetizers. The other night we received a call completely out of the blue from some folks, Steve and Dorothy, who live just a few miles from here in New Bern, NC. They also own a Tartan 42, the one built right before ours, and were looking to spend some time chatting and getting some ideas for their boat. They, too, are retired and had hoped to head out for a longish cruise this month but ran into some difficulties on their boat that may delay their departure (go figure). We had a good chance to visit on two different occasions and it was a pleasure getting to know them. It is weird beyond measure that with only 30 Tartan 42 models in the world, three of them or their owners have been in this harbor this week.

It's been a good, full day. Great weather, projects ticked off the list, and wonderful company. We've enjoyed our stay here in Oriental, but we're already itching to get moving again. The thermometer was a gentle prod in that direction this morning, and as soon as the engine parts are in and the work is done we hope to be heading south again.


Don Parsons said...

I knew Tim would like that Ethiopian coffee. Let me know if you guys want some more, Starbucks has it now and I can always get some at the coffee shop in olde st charles. I'll be your supplier :-)


TJ said...

Thanks Brother, may have to take you up on that as we poke our way along. It was good to hear that things are working out; I envy your new ride. Working with you was a good way to end my time in the sky.

affordableacadia said...

What a great blog you have! Glad you got a chance to tour Martin’s boat. If he doesn’t write his own blog I guess the rest of us will have to do it for him! Bruce.