Friday, October 11, 2013

Not Tropical Storm Karen

Evening storm sky

When I woke this morning, I looked to the east and spied a mysterious and brilliant orb of light burning through the clouds. It has been a week since we last saw the sun. The no-name storm that has pounded our coast with high winds, water and heavy rain was named Tropical Storm Karen when it lingered in the Gulf of Mexico last week.The forecasters seemed surprised by her resilience, failing to predict her unpredictability after consistently misforecasting her progress in the Gulf, as she merged with a passing cold front and stalled off the North Carolina coast. 

It has blown hard for a week, the winds slowly clocking around as the storm barely slid northward. For two days, northerly winds surged the wind tides to mere inches below Hurricane Sandy's high water mark, making it a challenge to get our dog, old Scout, off and back on the rolling boat. As always, he was a sport about it.

On Wednesday morning, driving past The Bean, I smiled to note how Raccoon Creek delivered its seasonal resurgence, flooding the road to reunite the creek with the harbor as it had been before someone thought they could pipe it under a harborside road with a standard stormwater pipe. Sadly, because of that past folly, The Bean, which June had opened at 0600, had to close at 0800 as only three patrons managed to swim (not really, but either full height chest waders or a boat were needed) to the front door. Our daughter arrived early afternoon, looking forward to coffee at The Bean, and was disappointed to find it closed.

Town Dock and harbor from the "deck" of The Bean.
Primadonna is the mast visible beyond the trawler on right.
Anger Two.
The Angry have been vindicated, and I now join them. While Wild Haggis rocked in the big northern winds a couple nights ago, I read about the betrayal of a local friend. Although I have written about my sympathy for the stranded french crew on Primadonna, my sympathy evaporated when I learned the master and owner of the vessel defrauded a friend of ours who has been a friend to Pascal over the past year. See article about the fraud. Pat, the manager of The Provision Company, a chandlery near the harbor, spoke with Pascal, the French captain most every day. They became friends, at least so Pat believed.

A couple weeks ago, Pascal approached Pat with a problem. He said he sold his roller furler on eBay and had a check that he could not cash because he has no local bank account. Pat agreed to co-endorse the check, the only way the bank would honor it. Almost three thousand dollars.

By the time the bank discovered the fraud (a counterfeit check with real company name but fake account number), Pascal had his cash and, reportedly, was enjoying drinks at two local bars he had previously been unable to patronize. As co-endorser, Pat was liable for repaying the bank. Despite pleas from Pat, Pascal has not returned any of the money, so  Pat had to repay the bank three grand out of his own pockets.

I applauded the generosity of our local grocery store, the Town and Country, when they declined to prosecute shoplifting by Primadonna's crew. It showed empathy and compassion for people down on their luck in a foreign land. I applaud them still. Theft is never right, but thieves who steal from friends deserve a special place in Dante's underworld. After all the assistance contributed by the people of this community, the skipper has spit in the collective eye of all of his supporters.

Trawlers at rest
The river flows, the wind swoons, water slaps against our hull, and we rock side to side in cool air. One day, Primadonna will bother Oriental no more.

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