Saturday, February 25, 2012

The End of Winter as We Know It

A few days ago, a big late winter storm blasted through. We were just south of the snowline. Fifteen miles north of us, a line of severe thunderstorms dropped hail amidst 56 mph gusts. The next day Scout was stretched along the leeward side deck sunning himself while the westerly winds continued at 10-15.

We marked an anniversary Thursday, our second since Cameron and I picked up the boat in Annapolis. It reminded me of the adventures we had provisioning and heading south to Oriental, a short trip with many memorable moments. Joined by my dear friends Pat and Charles, Cameron and I departed Annapolis on the heels of a gale with me at the boat's helm for the very first time, which scared the mess out of the boat tied to the dock just off our bow. Cold nights, two nor'easters, two engine failures, first call to Towboat, pirate ship bounty in Portsmouth, karaoke night in Coinjock, night runs on both Chesapeake Bay and Pamlico Sound and one broken anchor. A good time had by all.

Deck when Cam & I arrived Annapolis 2010
Annapolis departure day

Cockpit Annapolis 2010

Pat & Cam on Chesapeake

Charles & Cam figure out chartplotter

Cam standing watch at night on the Bay
Safe in Oriental; photo by Pat B.
In anticipation of spring -- which is what we are calling March 1 -- we have doused the Blue Cocoon, no doubt to the collective relief of everyone at our marina. Well, actually, there are only four occupied boats including ours. Two of the others are friends who indulge our gypsy fashion; the third had a tarp over his cockpit for several months so it is unlikely he would complain. OK, so we removed the Blue Cocoon and no one really cares.

With appropriate deference to the weather gods and believing in the unpredictability of Nature, I declare that winter has abdicated to spring. Minnows in the shallow margins, the first few crabs emerging from deep mud, but oysters still cold and salty.

We are relocating to another marina this week, weather permitting (which I probably just cursed in the previous paragraph). No longer will we walk to the Farmers' Market or The Bean. Dinghy rides to Town Dock are in our future. That is how we were supposed to be getting around if we were cruising, so it is suitable transport.

We will miss the action around the harbor, the variety of sailboats from distant ports anchoring off our dock and the follies of drunken boaters on the 4th of July. The trade-off is even better southwest exposure for the summer winds (too much of a good thing?), a swimming pool and an air-conditioned club house. We will see our friends Pat, Judy, Ross and Mark somewhat less, but will stay in touch to follow the continuing sagas of The Restaurant That Never Opened and The Marina Still Not Fixed After The Hurricane, both old black and white horror tales. [yes, they are working on the marina occassionally, and there are recent rumors that a deal has finally been struck on the restaurant.]

And of course we will keep our ears open and our radio tuned to pick up the inbound chatter of friends headed north after a delightful, which is not to suggest uneventful, winter in the islands.

In the meantime, we have been embroiled in a couple of local political issues. In one incident, the Mayor and Town Commissioners want to trade town land to a private owner; he is offering less than half what the Town would give. In the other, the state has decided to toll the only ferry access to this county. Both issues are well covered in, as usual.

Winter harbor from OYC

Winter shore at OHM

Light air winter sail on the Neuse

1 comment:

  1. Lovely post, as usual. To where are you moving?? We'll be coming through in mid-May-ish and really want to see you guys.


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