It’s Thursday morning, the sun is just peaking over the horizon and it’s Halloween. Speaking of Halloween, it seems a bit odd to me, as it did last year, to be aboard for a holiday that is largely ignored by the sailing community. In years gone by, this holiday was a big deal for us and our boys. Now, hardly a ripple. Times change.
However, for some it seems, dressing up in costume is a big part of their lives and Halloween is just one more excuse to head into overdrive and really dress up. I heard that after Christmas, Halloween is the second most “decorated” holiday. I believe it. One particular group that I expect falls into that category of “decorated” for Halloween are the folks that live aboard a pint size “pirate ship” here in the harbor. Celebrating pirates is very popular with all sorts of festivals, dressing up as swashbucklers (the friendly type) doesn’t become less important as they age.
In any event, here’s a shot of Beaufort’s own pirate family lair. And, believe it or not, I think it’s a live-aboard pirate ship. No part time pirating for these swabbies. They even have a lookout on board. No, make that an ex-lookout.It will be interesting to see what other sorts of “seasonally adjusted” evil doers we will encounter today.
On our run to Oriental the other day, we shared the channel with a barge and tow. We tend to think of the ICW as being for pleasure boats, but other than in the Dismal Swamp, there is plenty of commercial traffic. As they say, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear”. Brenda didn’t want to steer as we s-l-o-w-l-y. passed this tug and tow. Pretty big. There are more sailboats than power on the ICW and you very occasionally see a beautiful classic. I expect that the guy on the bow is not a lowly crew member. He certainly looks the part of “owner”. Speaking of classics, this was one of two Chesapeake oyster buy boats that passed us. Very pretty. Shrimping is big business here in the warm shallow inland waters of the bay and the shrimp boats are in abundance. I find it hard to believe that they can get a decent buck for their catch when competing with the farm raised variety from Asia, even if they taste better. We have seen shrimp boats in various ports. How about a sunrise over the fleet in Oriental?Sometimes, if you ask nicely, you can buy seafood from a commercial boat. I Approached the owner of this one, the Lady Bella, and was able to buy a few pounds of shrimp, head and all yesterday morning. He said that he normally only sells a minimum of 25lbs. Too much. Reminds me of buying a “peck” of oysters in Elizabeth City last fall. I only wanted a dozen. A peck? That’s a lot of oysters. We ate the shrimp last night. Very good. However, I think it took more time to “head” them and peel the shell, than it took to eat dinner. Isn’t that always the way for good cooking?It was fun to watch them unload the catch. After being taken out of the hold they are cleaned on a conveyor belt. After cleaning they are put in bags, boxes and plastic bins to be sent off to market. A really BIG bag of shrimp. Big… Shrimp… Seems like a contradiction in terms. Hmm…Big or shrimpy, that’s a lot of shrimp. Getting my two pounds, which turned into about two plus pounds, cost me $10. A lot of shrimp for the price. Of course, with heads on, there was a lot of waste but still a bargain. Brenda didn’t like looking at them with their heads on. Looked to much like a “living thing”. “Are you sure the are dead?”
Speaking of shrimp boats, how about these two rafted together, Redemption and Forgiven. I expect that the know each other. “Forgiven calling Redemption. This is Forgiven looking for Redemption”. They found each other, Praise The Lord! Yesterday we headed from Oriental NC for the 20 mile run to Beaufort. Speaking of Oriental, as I logged into my site to begin this post, I realized that I had not published my last post. Not sure how that happened as I though I had but it was still in draft form. Alas, two posts in the same day. Not really, the unpublished work of Pandora… The lost post… Not exactly.
In coming here from Oriental yesterday, it was flat calm, just like it’s been for some time. However, Chris Parker, the weather router we use, says that’s all about to change when a cold front comes through later in the week. The big question is just how windy it’s going to be over the weekend when I head out, with crew, to make the run to Florida, the final leg of this current delivery trip south to stage Pandora for our winter in the Bahamas.
Leg one, the run from Essex to Annapolis, earlier this month, went without incident as did the run, with Brenda, from Annapolis to here. That’s of course, if you forget some of the “technical” issues with the engine. And no, I still have not called the yard in Deep River that bungled the work on the engine to talk about some sort of adjustment to my bill for pain and suffering. I am not particularly looking forward to such an “awkward” discussion. Perhaps today.
Beaufort is one of our favorite stops on the ICW as the down-town area is very pretty with some shopping on Main Street along with scenic homes on the nearby streets. Shopping for provisions isn’t particularly easy as the supermarket is more than a mile outside of town. On top of that, it’s pretty clear that my starting battery is kaput and not holding a charge overnight, so a visit to West Marine or another marine supply spot is probably in order. I’ll have to get that done prior to the arrival of my crew on Friday night.
Regarding our departure from Beaufort, that depends on when the front comes through, bringing with it brisk northerly winds, something that we will need if we are going to make a fast run south. And, another question is just how “brisk” the winds will be and how long they will last prior to shifting back to a more southerly direction. I am happy with “strong” winds, a relative term, when they are from aft but am not thrilled with the thought of strong winds and seas if we are beating into them. I should be able to learn more from Chris Parker in the next few days.
One of the downsides of using crew for a run like this, is that they inevitably have schedules and have to be home by a particular date. And, having a deadline makes for problems as you might find yourself heading out when it’s not a particularly good idea, or worse. It is often said that the most dangerous piece of equipment on a boat is a calendar. Needing to be somewhere by a particular date can cause all sorts of problems. Oh well, perhaps we will get lucky and get symmetry between calendar and schedules.
Well, crew is arriving on Friday night, late and we will have to see how things develop. Here’s hoping that like today, our trip south to Florida will be more treat than trick.