February 26, 2014
We are very excited that the boat is now back in the water and we are ready to go cruising again! We spent Christmas back in Saxapahaw, NC visiting our dog Jordan while Meg (his adopted mom) enjoyed a holiday in Curacao. He remains happy and healthy and we loved the chance to spend some more time with him.
Upon our return to Beaufort, it was a mad rush to get all the projects completed before launching the boat back into the water on January 23. Launch day was quite chilly with freezing temps and frost in the morning. But the launch went smoothly and the engine techs were soon on board to oversee starting the engines following their major servicing. Fortunately all went well and we were able to head to the nearby Beaufort Town Dock where Shear Madness would stay for the next month.
Bradley and I set off for some land travel, with both of us intending to fly to Florida to visit family and friends. But the Polar Vortex had other ideas as it was set to dump an unusual amount of snow on NC. Bradley decided to stay with the boat while my flight was postponed by two days. I did finally reach Florida where I had a chance to visit Bradley’s mother and sister, attend a birthday party for our good friend Richard, and watch the Super Bowl with our friends Wolfgang and Christeen and adorable daughter Sophie.
From 80 degree FL, I headed to -11 degree Denver, where Bradley caught up with me. There we visited my stepson Mike, my niece Robin and new husband Eric and his daughter Anya, my other niece Vicky and hubby Mark and ultra-adorable great niece Sophia. We also caught up with good friends Alan and Kathleen and daughters Sydney and Florence. Bradley even proved to be a good Taboo player, a great game in which you are guaranteed to laugh a lot!
From there it was on to Northern Virginia where we experienced another major snowfall – 14” at our friends, the Shanks house in Bethesda. After visits with Margy, Bryant, and Tyler, friends Lloyd and Arlene, a board meeting and dentist for Kathy, and an eye doctor for Bradley, it was time to head back to the boat and begin plans for cruising!
Since we had done a pretty good job emptying the freezers and cupboards, it was time for a major re-provisioning. In anticipation of this, we rented a large SUV for the drive back to NC, planning to stop for the first of multiple Costco/Walmart visits. When we had filled four carts, we decided to stop and see how much room we had left in the SUV before buying anything else. The answer – NOT MUCH! So we called it a day and drove on, stopping at the Nahunta Pork Center to squeeze in some amazing fresh pork products.
Arriving back at the boat at sunset, we still had several hours of work to get the groceries on board and unpacked. Provisioning a boat is a little more complex than just buying things and putting them in the fridge or pantry. Space is at a premium, so most everything that comes in boxes gets removed from its packaging before being stored. Meats are also unpacked with all the Styrofoam and plastic discarded and then it is repackaged into vacuum sealed bags for longer storage using less space and have much less refuse upon use.
Since food ends up stored in various places in the boat, we keep an inventory system so that we can easily find things when they are needed. All this takes quite a bit of time. Before departing, I would make another trip to Costco in Wilmington – where I would also visit my friend Nancy in Southport – and make several trips to Walmart for all those things you can’t get at Costco. (for all my Youtube fans, a video of this whole process is in the works).
We were very happy to attend an oyster roast at the home of our electrician and now good friend, Steve, where we had a chance to relax, gorge on oysters, and catch up with his family.
We are also very pleased to welcome Gary Sanders on board as our new deckhand. Gary is from NC, a graduate of UNC Wilmington, and has his Coast Guard OUPV (6-pack) license as well as some very good experience. We had the pleasure of meeting his parents, when is mother insisted on visiting with us to see who was taking her little boy to far away places. Mom brought Dad and his older sister for a tour of the Shear Madness and a great lunch, so we learned all kinds of interesting history about Gary!
We are planning to depart soon for Charleston, SC and from there to the Bahamas where we look forward to some WARM water and some fresh fish!
Photos of some of the work we did are included below. Click any photo to enlarge and please send us comments! We love to hear from you!