A day in Oriental, NC

I’ve been aboard a week. This life isn’t easy. Trying to live with two men, each of us with our distinct lifestyles; living in a small space; gear everywhere; endless projects; an occasional shower. Trying to adjust to getting up with the sun and going to sleep many hours earlier than my old routine. Missing the comforts and relationships of home.

We spent the entire day today at a boatyard in Oriental, NC, because we have once again had problems with dirty fuel causing one engine to stall. The yard has been cycling our fuel through a filtering system all day long. We changed the oil in both engines today, which is a messy job (as is most any job in the cramped “engine rooms”). We started working on problems we have with the plumbing of our heads/toilets, but we have lots more work to do there. We got a fuel gauge working that had stopped. We failed to fix our wind speed indicator, which works occasionally, but mostly not. We did most of the rigging of a bracket to hold our outboard motor securely, rather than leaving it on the dinghy when we’re out at sea. It’s been a productive day.

Everyone we have met in Oriental has been delightful. Everyone at the boatyard is knowledgeable and helpful. The town seems to be a very pleasant place, though maybe a little too sleepy for my taste. Seems like lots of people travel here from away (many by boat), find that they like it, and decide to retire here.

The weather, after our initial gale, has been wonderful. Until this evening’s rain, that is, and tomorrow it is supposed to get cold, and below freezing tomorrow night. But with the cold front comes a north wind, which we can use to our advantage. We’re thinking of going as far as Beaufort, NC, tomorrow; spending the night; then heading out into the ocean for an overnight (again in strong winds and cold) to Charleston, SC. In one overnight of intense sailing we can go as far as in 3 or 4 days of motoring down “the ditch.” We’ll re-check the weather and again consider the plan tomorrow night.

It should be interesting getting out of this marina in the morning, as the boats couldn’t be packed in any tighter!


9 thoughts on “A day in Oriental, NC”

  1. Hi Zeke,
    I’m a little concerned that you are having so many mechanical issues…so early in the trip. Maybe it’s a good idea to have the vessel inspected before you leave the US.


    1. Hi Gil–
      I appreciate your concern. We have a backlog of issues left over from last winter and from the boat lying mostly idle for a year. That’s never a good thing for a boat. So rather than feeling bad that we’re having issues, I’m feeling good that we’re starting to “catch up,” addressing some long-standing problems.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi All, I had the opposite thought: the more breakdowns along the east coast the better! Identify system weaknesses, parts that may need unanticipated redundancy, conditions that put usually well functioning assumptions, routines, whatever, into compromised situations. Isn’t it going to be easier to sort out problems here than after leaving Florida? Hope you guys agree.


    1. Hi Tisha–
      We have diesel cabin heaters, and tonight we are using them! It’s very comfortable in the pilot house, even though it is quite cold outside. Hopefully we won’t need the heaters for much longer…


  2. Zeke, I am so jealous of you adventure. Glad you’re shaking things down before you hit the first big ocean passage. Have fun in beautiful Beaufort, our winter home – wish we were there already to greet you!


    1. Hi Peter–
      Thanks for you good wishes. Afraid we only anchored for the night in Beaufort, and took off again in the morning. Didn’t even get ashore. Maybe on the way back…


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