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Although we’d hoped to reach Maine quickly, in the two weeks since leaving Ft Lauderdale we have encountered several days of difficult conditions, with high winds and seas making our progress slow and uncomfortable. (If you have been watching the weather at all you will know what I’m talking about.) Consequently, we’ve spent more time on the ICW than I thought was possible, and our proposed 10 - 12 day journey is now entering its third week.
Not only have we been hampered by rough off-shore conditions, we’ve also had to deal with some necessary repairs along the way. However on the upside, the people we have met as we dealt with these repairs are some of the nicest, most helpful, sail-friendly folk I’ve so far encountered.
First there was Tommy, our Wrightsville Beach, BoatUS driver who helped us get to a safe anchorage when our engine died in a cloud of thick, black smoke. (If you don’t already have one, I highly recommend the BoatUS Unlimited Gold Towing Membership.) Tommy also collected us the next morning and towed us to the Seapath Yacht Club dock to have our cracked exhaust manifold repaired. The crew at the Seapath YC Marina office were incredibly welcoming and helpful. By the time we parted company 24 hours later it was like leaving old friends.
Capt. Tommy, on the job with BoatUS.
Two days later as we were approaching Beaufort, NC., we were considering our options of heading back out to sea. The weather man was suggesting a run of three or so “good weather” days and we were keen to get some sea time. The hitch was our jib, which had suffered a beating during Tuesday’s gale. It was lunchtime on Saturday. Our chances of finding a sailmaker looked grim, but we tried anyway.
After a short internet search we found the Beaufort Sailmaker. Kathy Schurdevin answered the phone and was happy to help. She also said she would meet us at the docks and pick up our sail when we reached Beaufort. Five hours later she had finished the repair and arranged to return our sail the next morning. Kathy was as friendly as she was knowledgable and not only did she provide a quick turn around, she also managed to work within our budget.
The point of this story is that it seems even the shore-based sailing community is made up of sailors and people who understand sailors, and are willing and happy to help whenever possible. I feel blessed to be a part of this community and hope that along the way I can return in kind the help that we have experienced.
First-mate, Colton, happy to be on calmer waters.
Meanwhile, tonight it’s back out to sea with a run to New York. S - SE winds up to 15knots, for the next two days after which we expect to run into some manageable Northerlies. Hopefully this time we’ll have our good weather, and will arrive in NY reasonably warm, and dry. I’ll keep you posted…