November 4, 2008.
It’s been 2 full years since we cut the dock lines and sailed south. Currently we’re at Deaton’s Marina in Oriental, NC. The repair we had done in Virginia seems to have failed and we’re hoping for a better result here. In a couple of days we’ll have the answer.
We’ve been tied to Ken and Carols dock while waiting for the weekend to pass so we could head over to the repair yard. We passed the weekend enjoying the company of many friends. We had dinner with Fine Lion & Sapphire before they headed south. Then we spent a good bit of time with friends of Ken & Carol, Sandy & Paul who are from the same marina in NJ where we once kept our boat. On Saturday, Carol took Christy and a couple of other girls to New Bern for a day of shopping while I joined Ken’s crew for a day of racing out on the Neuse River. Oriental really would be a kick ass place to live. There's just so much to do……..and eat. Seriously, if we lived here I’d weigh about 300 pounds and be exhausted from the social schedule.
I was looking through our records and found a few interesting facts that we’ve compiled over the course of the two years that we’ve been out and about.
We’ve spent 4960 dollars on fuel for the dinghy and the big boat. So it seems that we’re averaging about 48 dollars a week for fuel. It’s more than I expected but pretty cheap compared to what we had been spending per week for gasoline for the car, truck and motorcycles.
We’ve also traveled about 9000 nautical miles which would translate into 10260 statute miles. That means we move about 87 nautical miles a week. So even though we seem to always be trying to go about 50 miles a day we must spend a lot of time sitting at anchor (or as in this case awaiting repairs).
Time spent at anchor, tied to a dock or on a mooring breaks down to these numbers. Out of 730 nights, we’ve spent 66 nights tied to a dock. Those are nights mainly divided between Vero Beach, Saint Augustine, Ken and Carols house and some time in Charleston. We’ve spent 62 nights on a mooring ball and 44 nights on the hard (boat out of the water, on land). Most of those nights on a mooring were this year in Marathon and Vero Beach with some time in the Exuma Land and Sea Park. The 44 nights on the hard were spent doing yearly maintenance at either Silver Cloud in NJ last year or at Herrington Harbor North in Deale MD this year. That’s 172 nights out of 730 which means that we’ve spent 558 nights lying to our anchor.
Internet is another expense that was interesting to finally dissect. We have a Wifi amplifier and fixed external antenna onboard so we can usually “borrow” a free internet connection from the boat. I’d say that we have an internet signal available to us about 75 percent of the time. The few times that we’ve had to pay for internet total up to about $170 over the 2 years. So with the right equipment we’ve been able to do pretty well with free internet.
While compiling all these fun facts I began to consider a chore that I’ve been doing pretty much every day since we left. That’s right, walking the dogs. I would guesstimate the average dog walking at about a quarter of a mile. Sometimes it’s less, but it’s often longer so a quarter of a mile is a fair estimation. That means that most every morning for the past 720 mornings I’ve walked a total of 180 MILES. Then of course we do it again in the evening so it comes out to about 360 miles of dog walking over the course of the past 2 years. Throw in the distance of the dinghy ride which is usually several hundred feet each way and a conservative guess would be that we spent about 500 miles in the dinghy in search of suitable puppy pooping grounds. See, and you thought we might get bored.
While I’m on the subject of the dogs bowelular behavior. Molly has finally learned to poop on the bow of the boat. Since both dogs have now finally mastered this new behavior there was great joy. When we left AYB our first nights anchorage left us with no suitable place to walk the dogs. Christy and I took the dogs in the dink and ventured up a nearby shallow river for several miles in search of anyplace that we could get the dogs ashore. The shoreline was uninterrupted marsh grass for mile after mile with no solid ground in sight.
We took the dogs back to the boat and they sat with their legs crossed. The next evening we made it to the south end of the Alligator River and pretty much had the same experience. No place to go, literally. That’s where we had that brutal front come through so while we were trapped for 2 days I started walking the dogs on the bow of the boat. I’d clip their leashes on and walk them to the front and finally Molly took care of business like it was no big deal. Phew! After that it was like the floodgates had opened and they started making regular twice a day trips to the bow by themselves. Things are definitely looking up…..