Friday, November 27, 2015

In the middle of the tribe

Sometimes one just has to face the music, throw in the towel, belly up to the bar...and go back on the ICW. We had every intention of jumping down the coast to Charleston, then northern Fl, then southern Fl. Three, maybe four hops and we would celebrate being back where the air is warm and the water clear. (Well, clearer anyway.) Each day, several times a day, we would debate the weather. Each time, it seemed, the forecasts were just a little less encouraging. Mostly they foretold of big rolling seas and sailing for hour upon hour in the ditch. We have done that in Kintala on several occasions. It can take all the fun out of a day. And doing it at night? (At this time of the year most of the jumps down the east coast involve overnight sailing.) We have done that as well and it makes for a very, very long night.

Leaving Bucksport this morning with the full moon still hanging around in the brightening sky

So, instead of overnight runs through clear ocean water it has been day runs through the brown; Wrightsville Beach – Southport – N. Myrtle Beach – Bucksport – Minim Creek. We passed through Lockwoods Folly and the Rock Pile with nary a drama, and have a good plan for slipping over the Mud Flats instead of plowing our way through them. I don't think one can get enough practice at this sailing thing to be perfect at it, but a couple of years of practice sure seems to make it easier.

The moon and the endless trees along the Waccamaw River

Minim Creek is out near the edge of the grid, though there has been a lot of little boat traffic today. Camo colored boats filled with camo dressed people. Given that we heard pretty loud gunfire several times this morning my guess is some kind of hunting season opened around here today. (That, or there was a Wal-Mart somewhere near and the Black Friday crowds are getting serious about their Christmas shopping.)

I have no idea what kind of hunting is done from little boats. In any case I was glad my jacket is bright yellow. Then again, maybe they hunt something big and yellow from little boats? Oh well, we are here safe and sound, and hope to be in Charleston before the weekend is out.

Even though we left Oak Harbor months ago and have traveled nearly 800 nm, it feels like we are - just now - getting back to our tribe of sailboat gypsies. With friends close behind and other friends ahead, it seems like nearly everyone is on the move. The chatter is of where we might meet and places we might go instead of the list of summer boat projects that lay ahead. Some are still working on projects. There are bimini tops and enclosures, mast work and rigging, bits of this and pieces of that still being finished by impatient crews. On Kintala the first thoughts of things that will need addressed next “work season” are already flirting around in the gray. (The Beast has taken to oozing more oil than normal, the list of teak bits that need attention is starting to grow, and the non-skid remains unpainted in spite of the best intentions of last summer.)

But, for now, most thoughts are about where to go, when and how to get there, and the friends that will be met along the way.

It is good to be back with the tribe.

A boat school bus? Maybe it needs a coat of yellow paint.

You see all kinds of boats on the ICW


Unknown said...

You have to love the bus !

Mike Boyd said...

I presume we're the bimini top you mention and by the time we are done with it, we will likely be taking the ditch down too. My guess is it will be far too cold to make an outside run (unless we can catch a break with some unusual weather phenomenon...but the weather breaks I seem to get are not of the good variety). Cold nights on the outside without a dodger set for the new bimini just sounds miserable.

It seems to be hunting season here as well and it makes me a bit nervous that folks are hunting in what seems to be to be a bit too urban of an area.

Stay safe and we look forward to joining you in warmer waters soon.


Deb said...

Mike just wait till you're floating down the ICW in South Carolina through a bunch of decoys and you're a half boat length away from a duck blind in which sits a hunter with a loaded shotgun. Brings a whole new meaning to sitting duck.

Deb said...

Alex so sorry we missed you guys!