Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Relocation Day

Ocracoke Lighthouse from our bow
We spent two nights in Ocracoke and had a great time. There is no doubt that this place is an island. Everything has to come and go by boat or ferry. Things are slow. The shops sort of open and close when they want. This is very frustrating for some of the vacationers from 'up north'. There are a lot of golf carts and scooters along with the cars.

Evening in Silver Lake
A lot of things went very well for us on this first stop of our trip. First, we got there! Anchoring was simple. Dinghy and motor worked well. Getting Roux in and out of the dinghy worked well. The new National Park Service dinghy dock is great and the associated visitor's center gave us a nice area for dog walking. We had live music from a bar on the waterfront (but only until 10 pm.) We had beautiful weather, sunrises, sunsets. Watched the ferries come and go.

Junie denying back pain
We also got to experience island medical care. Junie had hurt her back several weeks ago but worked very hard at denying the problem because she didn't want to cancel this trip. By Monday night it was obvious that she needed to see a doctor. And by Tuesday morning, it was clear that it needed to be right away. So, we got directions to the - the only - medical clinic on Ocracoke. We had to walk, of course. And take Roux. The folks at the clinic were nice. One Cortizone shot and some muscle relaxers later we were on our way. Not cured by any means. Good thing no other medications were required because they would have to come from the mainland by ferry.

While Roux and I hung out in front of the clinic under the live oaks trees, I had three people stop and ask me for directions. I'm not sure what that says about my appearance that morning.

Roux has been having a blast. He is a creature of habit buts he learns new routines quickly. He understood pretty fast what 'dinghy ride' meant and how it was to his advantage to cooperate. This is no simple task. Getting a 110 pound Lab with bad hips into a rubber boat from a sailboat at anchor requires some finesse. Although, I doubt that anyone watching found it to be very graceful. But, we make it work. He has enjoyed walking around town. Overall, he is getting more exercise and barking / complaining less than when we are home. Both good things.

So, today was relocation day. We got up early (5:00 am), had coffee, loaded Roux into the dinghy for his morning trip (much earlier than he was ready for) and made preparations to cross the Pamlico Sound east to west. Our destination was River Dunes Marina just north of Oriental. We had heard and read good things about them. They also have some things we need - long hot showers, laundry facilities, water, fuel - and some other things - pool, hot tub.

Sailing on the Pamlico
It was a very still morning in the harbor. Which gave us time to wash down the chain and anchor thoroughly as we brought it in. We have history with Silver Lake mud and wanted to make sure we left it all there. We followed the 7:30 ferry out of Silver Lake. It is far better to be behind them than in front of them. We had a gorgeous morning. We motored for a while. Then put out the full cutter rig for a while and had a leisurely sail. Later we stepped down to just the mainsail and genny for a nice broad reach. We made the River Dunes entrance at about 3:30. The channel has a couple of twists and shallow spots so we were a little paranoid. But, even though we did, at one point, see our depth showing zero feet of water under the keel, we didn't touch bottom.

Oh, and one last thing that went well. As we were approaching the marina, I called them on the radio to let them know we were inbound. They asked, 'Do you want to come in bow first or stern?' I said 'stern first'. Remember those new bow thrusters? They worked like a dream. It was a little breezy but we just spun her around, hit reverse, and then pushed the bow wherever we needed it and backed in. A thing of beauty. Small victories.

We will be here at River Dunes for a couple days. This place caters to the ICW transients and there are some big boats here. We probably fall in the lower third, size-wise. But, at least SeaClearly isn't the only sailboat here like she was in Wanchese. Tonight, we are on shore power again. We are taking full advantage of it. Running the AC, all of the lights are on, fans running, battery chargers. All full tilt.We are clean, cool and ready for bed. Now, we just need to get Junie's back healed up. Maybe that hot tub will help:)


  1. sending healing thoughts your way!

  2. Glad you are enjoying your trip. Back pain is no fun, hope June feels better soon.

  3. Sounds great except for the pain in the neck. Enjoy!

  4. Sorry about your back, June. I think a lot of retirees have back problems!
    Go see Dr Ackley at Island Chiropractic when you get back. He's great!