Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Plastic Dinosaurs and Deputy Dawg

Sept 8th
Oh boy what a day! We knew we had to go through the Albermarle Sound. We got to Coinjock yesterday afternoon and I think I told you it has this really great restaurant. REALLY great prime rib. We got cocktails, buffalo shrimp for appetizers and each of us got 15oz prime rib...a huge piece each but they also serve a 32 oz!! Anyway, its not just a big portion, its a really well cooked prime rib with real au jus and a properly prepared baked potato. A really nice crisp salad with great blue cheese dressing and a dreamcicle cake for dessert! I cant tell you how wonderful it is to eat like that after a couple of days underway. We have enough leftovers to get us to Charleston!!!

Anyway, there is this big 'not a tropical' system I told you about that blew through but left some strong winds so we were going to wait to go across the Alb. Sound till Wednesday but we rechecked the weather and saw that the wind was going to be behind us and the rain was pretty much gone. So we headed out about 11am after topping off water tanks......and the sound itself was fine and we made 6 knots without the sails up. I was so relieved once we got to the 2/3rd way marker! But I got too excited too fast I guess because as we left the sound a storm blew up on us....the winds picked up even stronger as we approached the anchorage we decided on.........it took us a long time to motor over to it because we had turned back into the wind to try to get to the back side of land.....but it was just so icky....anyway we dropped anchor after dodging crab pots right and left and the anchor held but after
10 minutes we decided we would be miserable worrying about the anchor dragging all night and looked for the next nearest marina.

Alligator River Marina was only 4 miles on and on this side of the swing bridge (which was not opening because it was such lousy weather!). We hailed them and they had room for us so we booked it for them......dodging the FREEKING crab pots everywhere..... and trust me after Barry diving in perfect weather the other night to get the fouled prop untangled from a line......this is not weather we wanted to get a prop fouled on some SOB's crab pot line!!

Hell we could barely stand up once we turned and the wind was on us broadside.......I HATE crab pots. And these guys are not supposed to set them in the channel but they do......the channel is for boats to navigate safely but we dodge crab pots every day right in the middle of the channel.

I might start a grass root movement encouraging boaters to drag pots off or hook them, cut the lines and let the crabbers figure it out for themselves.....just the ones in the channel tho.

Anyway we didn't have far to go but once we turned west just before the bridge, to get to the marina the wind was at us broadside and VERY uncomfortable. Thank goodness Barry is the smartest man alive and went out to set up the fenders and dock lines before we turned west. We could not see a thing and had never gone into this marina which in good weather for beginners like us is always stressful. It was just a few more minutes to the marina but EVERYTHING on Barrys navigation station ended up on the floor. A quick note here that everYTHING I stowed stayed put!! I learned my lesson from that first horrible Alb. Sound crossing last spring. We still have too much stuff......Ill put more in storage when we get back to PRLM.

So back to our story, we called the marina and got this deadpan womans voice. She gave us directions how to get to the marina and of course we could not see a thing but she assured us begrudgingly that once we got closer we could see fine.

'Oh.....just come through the two jetties and....oh god there are TWO jetties we have to slip through?

Then she gave us some funky thing to do that made no sense because once we got safely thru the jetties and yes it had instantly calmed down and we could see and that horrible side to side rocking had stopped......there was the beautiful calm little marina. But she had told us to turn left behind the building and there was no where to turn left behind the building so I called her back and she said
“Oh did I say left? Just pull up on the face dock but no one will be there to catch a line because its rainin'”

So you know what this means right? Sami gets control of the helm so Barry can jump out off the boat and tie us.......we have these cool head sets so we can quietly talk to each other and not have to yell when we anchor. We call them marriage savers and they are. We can calm each other down or give instructions and I recommend them highly. Anyway this one of of my first times bringing the boat in and I was brilliant.

We got it tied off and the Marina Unhappy Woman came over the VHS on ch 16 and said “Yall are gwin to have tu pull the up up further” But I ignored her and we stayed put.

Remember its still raining like crazy and Barry is already sopping wet. Once we got settled in I told him to chill and I would go up to the marina office and pay for the night. So I don my rain gear and boogie up. This is one of those places....a Shell station actually that just happens to back up to this fairly nice new marina docks......so its a gas station plus a few groceries and deli.....anyway she comes over and I smile the big Sami Smile few can ignore but she does.

So I say....”Hi how ya doin'?” …....ok when I say Deputy Dawg........a human woman Deputy Dawg, thats what I want you to picture ok?........and she says “Im fine” and I say “are you sure?” and I think she has not been hugged or kissed in 35 years......I desperately want to run back to the boat and get some of my estrogen for her.......honestly its the first thing I thought of after Deputy Dawg......so I tell her Id like to pay for this evening and she says........"We don't take checks and finally smiles a little.

She is tickled inside that I have to walk back to the boat in the rain and get the credit card, but I wont let her know that bothers me one bit and I say cheerfully, “Oh Ok.......I want you to meet my husband anyway and what smells so good in here? Is that fried chicken?” and I just walk out.........I think she mumbled something about closing at 8........but I know she is thinking how she is going to kill herself soon. Maybe she has already tried because her wrist and hand are bandaged, but later she tells me she burned herself but I do not believe her. I think she got it handling a snake last Sunday in church. Poor snake.

So I head back to the boat and Barry is finishing tyeing up and plugging our shore power in. I said “They don't take checks and you gotta come in a see this woman for yourself” So we get his wallet and walk back up to the office and she pulls out this form......and asked questions like we were trying to borrow money from her or something but she was bored at the same time like this was the billionth time she had to fill out this form and was going to die when she was through with us. Poor poor woman.

I think I will leave her some estrogen in a little envelope tomorrow morning and tell her they are magic and if she takes them she will grow a personality. And then maybe someone will hug her.
Maybe I will leave her a plastic dinosaur. So she will maybe keep it in her pocket and when she remembers its there she will remember not to take herself too seriously. my friend Carla discovered this..........Yes I will. I hope she wont hit me. Maybe Ill just leave it with the estrogen in an envelope and a note saying Do Not Open Till Thursday.

Anyway we are here safe and sound and Im so happy we are tied to a dock. And we have not lost a day of traveling and its only going to get better. Also Im turning into a sailor and doing stuff like this is the only way one can learn right? Barry took a Tylenol PM and I may do the same tho I think Ill sleep safely tonight for sure.
More tomorrow......I will load pictures tomorrow....

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