Sunday, June 10, 2012


Oriental has no lunar tides, no traditional ebb and flow. The water rises or falls based on wind direction; down on a south wind and up on a north. Sailors follow the winds as well. South winds for heading north (away from the hurricane season) and north winds for heading south to the islands for winter. Or, closer to home, south winds for sailing to Ocracoke and north winds for returning.

Last Sunday, our friends and first slip mates (through whom we first met Bill and Sue), Steve and Lynn on Celebration (see blog to right) returned to Oriental after having been away over two years during which time they sailed north to Maine and as far south as Trinidad. This year they are getting north of Hatteras for hurricane season and traveling far and wide across the country to handle some family logistics (and visit land-based friends in the process). In the days they were here, we enjoyed long conversations over dinner aboard Wild Haggis, drinks and hors d'oeuvres aboard Celebration, eggs from the Farmers' Market, coffee at The Bean and a wet dinghy ride to say farewell. Through Steve and Lynn, we met Hunter and Julie who are wrapping up a "jubilee year" of cruising.

Celebration set sail this morning.

Celebration "back home" in Oriental outer anchorage

On Tuesday, Pat and Judy on Thalia (see blog top right) departed for Maine to escape the summer heat here in the south. Belhaven, the Pungo River canal, red fox, black bear and a deer wading the shallows. Ms. Wanda, a character who runs the Alligator River marina - truck stop - convenience store just across the bridge from where Cameron and I camped at The County Line this past winter ( Then on to Coinjock where, sadly, they were a day late for Karaoke Night.

Thalia leaves early morning
Steve and Kim on Fine Lion, our slip mates the past two summers and part of our Bill and Sue connection, arrived Wednesday after seven months' sojourn in the remote Bahamas. The north winds kept them on the coast longer than they planned, but they spent a few days at Cape Lookout Bight before running the ICW back to Oriental. Kim met Lynn (both have rented Bill and Sue's boat slip) the day of Fine Lion's return and joined us for drinks aboard Celebration. The circle widens.

John, on Bounty, having been delayed a month in his plans, happily left on Thursday heading for open ocean and the Azores on his transatlantic solo. We caught him heading out the channel while we were running the dinghy over to the harbor to say goodbye. We will not hear from John until he reaches the Azores, then he will wander down the coast of Portugal and Spain toward the Canaries.

"Bon voyage, John"
Bounty in the Oriental channel transatlantic bound
Like the tides and the seasons, friends come and go. We follow old friends at sea through their blogs and emails (see Chris and Anne's and Darcy and Kyle's blogs top right). It takes both desire and effort to maintain contact, but not much, and it is worth every minute. We reconnect with other sailing friends when they walk past the Town Dock or the Farmers' Market or stop at The Bean. These tidal relationships depend on the phase of the moon, the direction of the wind, weather and caprice. Being tidal, periodic and occasional, they are no less dear, no less enduring. In fact, they are special because of the transitory opportunities to reconnect. 

Carpe diem: your friends sail with the tide.

061212 Postscript.
         The day after Celebration arrived, Beth, Lynn and Judy had coffee at The Bean, the only day Judy could have coffee before she and Pat left the following day (Tuesday). Judy and Pat headed north on Tuesday, but were delayed along the way with a couple of engine issues. Steve and Lynn left this past Sunday early and will now rendezvous with Pat and Judy in Portsmouth. Pat and Steve will have a chance to meet. Friends meet and sail, sail and meet: the joys of a sea gypsy life.


  1. It certainly felt like we were 'back home'. Thanks for making the stay so great.

  2. Although we do not feel out of touch, it is nice to see you face to face sometimes. J

  3. Great post Jim! I've just gotten caught up and Steve and Lynn's blog - we really miss you all! We took the sunfish out twice last weekend and it was glorious, but it still doesn't compare to the "real thing."

    Also I think Kyle is going a little bit crazy without a boat to work on :)

    1. It's time for Kyle to start on the Wharram. That would keep him out of trouble for a while.
      It may be counterproductive, but I have told Beth that we need to eat everything you have posted.
      Miss you guys.Glad you are sailing.


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