Wednesday, November 13, 2013

That was Quick

Sailboat on river to view partial eclipse at sunrise

Summer was not extreme, and the stubborn southwest winds took the edge off the heat most days. What should have been autumn sneaked in with slightly cooler air and some northerlies, then suddenly crescendoed into an Early End of Fall with a huge arctic air mass dropping over North America, bumping into a low pressure system over the South. Result? Snow last night. Blowing a gale, freezing temperatures (sub-freezing wind chill, naturally) and horizontal snow. Tiny clumps of snowflakes dusted the deck. The boat rocked and creaked and shuddered in the wailing northern winds. Almost a blizzard, at least as close as we are likely to see this far south. With two small heaters running, all of us, including Scout, snuggled deeply into fleece blankets and sleeping bags. 

[It reminded me of a big storm in March of 1981 (maybe 1982) when I stayed in my parents' cottage on Emerald Isle (not The Emerald Isle as in Ireland, however), riding out a snow storm that dropped 28 inches. It was quite magical to wake to clear blue skies and blindingly white snow-covered sand dunes. The snow edged the lapping deep blue waves along the shore.]

Jim and Christine on Ullr  (Norse god of archery and skiing and maybe some other stuff; you will need to ask Jim) have nearly completed preparations of their second Ullr, an Island Packet 38 they recently purchased, selling the first Ullr. They will provision here at WPM and hope to head south late next week. A bon voyage dinner is set for Saturday. (That leaves plenty of time for more departure dinners if weather delays interfere with plans as happened with our friends on Lowena two years ago.)

Mark has a good-as-new repaired dinghy (he had chafed a seam at the hull and was having a very slow leak). He had thought he would have left for Florida by now for Thanksgiving with his sister. Crew plans are not yet clear. Bob and Sweeney the Schnoodle are heading back from the Chesapeake somewhat reluctantly despite Butch's emphatic warning about how cold the Chesapeake gets (the water freezes!). They will be welcome company for the few of us off-season lingerers.

I presume that, current winter assault notwithstanding, the season will settle into averages. That means the remaining fall and all of winter should offer mild and pleasant temps, possibly requiring upper body fleece but permitting lots of shorts and plenty of bare feet. None of what happens here would be embraced by our friends hanging off moorings or anchors in The Bahamas until spring, but it should be nice enough for us. Maybe. It was last year.

In the meantime, it has been cold, remains cold and will be cold through tomorrow before returning to autumn. So we are hungry for oysters, the crisp flavor of fresh sea. Time to go fishing at Keith's.

Lastly, to much local publicity and comment, a cruiser friendly to Oriental towed Primadonna out of the harbor to a mooring in Morehead City. The Dutch captain who towed her away has become an instant local hero. I hope he is not entirely comfortable with that, but appreciate him solving the town's problem with one boat. 

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