November 6, 2011
We are still working at a frantic pace on repairs and are picking up steam. Solutions are being identified, parts are arriving, and lots of projects are in progress. Leanne and Kathy are busy with inventorying all the equipment, spare parts, and other items onboard. We’re updating and servicing our safety gear and medical kits. We’re also getting quotes on some new carpeting and re-upholstering of chairs and some other minor interior upgrades. Brian and Troy from Celtic Marine Electronics will arrive next week to start installing new equipment. We’ll provide an update on the progress of all our repairs and include some more technical details in the next post.
One of the things we most enjoyed about cruising in Australia and New Zealand was how friendly and helpful people were to complete strangers. Offers to loan us cars, people bringing things from their gardens, people picking us up hitch-hiking and going out of their way to deliver us to our destination, being given free fish, lobsters and abalone – the list goes on! And I’m very happy to report that back here in the USA, we are again experiencing the best side of human nature. Here are just a few examples.
Earlier this year, while downsizing some of our possession in anticipation of selling our house, I became a frequent user of Freecycle, posting many items I couldn’t keep but couldn’t bring myself to throw out. This led to meeting many interesting people, some of whom became repeat customers, including Vera, who is from Siberia. On her last visit to my house, she had just returned from Siberia, and presented me with a special gift, a necklace of a Siberian girl made with real reindeer fur. I love it!
After our house was sold, our wonderful friend and Jordan’s “Aunt Meg” volunteered to take Jordan (our dog) to live with her in North Carolina. But Meg could not take him for two weeks. Our gracious neighbor Rose Marie came to the rescue, offering to let me and Jordan stay at her house for as long as needed (and we had other foster home volunteers too). Then we had the great fortune to find Sweet Hope and Captain George (see entry of Sept 28th), who helped guide us down the intracoastal waterway to North Carolina. The trip would not have been possible for us without an escort.
Once in North Carolina, we found a great house to rent. Unfortunately, it does not have internet service, which nearly made us pass it up. Enter Frank next door, who has internet and allowed us to put a router in his house so that we could stay connected. He then introduced us to other neighbors who have been invaluable in helping us to find reputable local contractors to work on the boat. The Sea Gate Marina folks have also been great, allowing us to store our kayak there and to bring our bottles and cans over for recycling. And our landlords have been great – friendly and helpful.
Soon we had an email from Billy, a fellow Nordhavn owner who lives nearby and had heard we were here but who we had never met. He showed up with some fabulous blueberry muffins, offered us the use of his car (but we already had a rental) and brought us maps and information about all the fun things to do in the area. Our electrician showed up last week with several pounds of fresh shrimp and the woman who does boat interiors brought us a large bag of herbs from her garden.
We caught up with our Nordhavn friends Dave and Debbie from Grace of Tides who were passing through, as well as Milt and Judy from Bluewater (a Nordhavn 47) and had a wonderful dinner together. Just last week, one of our Nordhavn Dreamers friends, Michael, introduced us to other friends of his, Steve and Linda, who are also here for work on their boat and we’ve already had a lovely dinner together and found them a house to rent right here in Sea Gate.
I have brought my car down here from Virginia and for months have been battling a problem with a slow leak in one tire. I went to a local tire shop where they spent an hour removing the tire, finding that the problem was a broken valve stem (which turns out to be a special kind that ties into the tire pressure monitoring system), replacing it with a regular valve stem and recommending I get the proper one from a dealer and then refusing to let me pay anything!
So even though the lightning strike was a bit like a kick in the gut, there are so many good things that have happened – it has really helped restore our faith in the goodness of people! Thanks to all of those mentioned here and the many others who have offered advice and moral support! It has meant a lot to us and we promise never again to say “that would never happen in the US”!
We are still enjoying the area and have been walking, running, and kayaking as often as possible. This weekend I introduced John and Leanne to Geocaching, an outdoor activity involving using a GPS to find “treasures” hidden in strange places by other people (see http://www.geocaching.com/). This weekend we found three caches. One of them required two visits and one of them took us to the Croatan National Forest, where we did a six mile walk and will definitely return for some more hiking!
Click any photo to enlarge! And you can leave a comment by clicking the Comment button below the photos. Click Here if you want to send us an email.