November 9, 2008
So were just sitting here waiting for parts to arrive. We got the bikes out and we’ve been doing a little cycling in an effort to keep from climbing the walls. Town is small enough to walk everywhere but having the bikes out adds a new dimension to what we can accomplish.
Yesterday we were taking a ride when we realized that it was Saturday and that the fish market was open. We picked up a pound of grouper and a pound of great looking shrimp at a fair price. When we got back to the boat to stow the fish we received a phone call from our friend Bill on Puddlejumper.
We met Bill while we were up in Washington, DC. He was the fellow that had built his 40 foot catamaran from scratch. He never worked with fiberglass before he started building his boat. I think he might be out of his mind but learning as he went the boat came out wonderfully. Anyway, he was calling to say that he was 20 miles away and that he’d be stopping in on Sunday.
On Sunday morning Bill called to say that he was just about here so we launched the dinghy to head over to Oriental Harbor. Once clear of Whittaker Creek we opened the dinghy up and roared down to Oriental Harbor. We got there just as they were dropping the hook outside the harbors breakwater.
Once tied to their side we were welcomed aboard with open arms. It was really great to see Bill again. He just another example of the fine people that we’ve met on our journey. He’s about to make his first crossing to the Bahamas so we went over some of our favorite places to anchor and some of the routes we had taken while there. Bill’s usually solo but for this long trip from DC to the Bahamas he’s got a companion, Darilynn aboard. She and Christy hit it off and sat and gabbed for a bit before we got up to leave.
There’s a weather window that is opening tomorrow so Bill wants to make it to Beaufort tonight. This will enable them to ride the ebbing tide out Beaufort Inlet in the morning and start their sail south. So after spending 2 hours catching up with us we said our goodbyes and then they once again pulled their hook and headed out for Beaufort, 20 miles away. They should have anywhere from 5 to 15 knots of breeze from the north for at least 48 hours. I can’t believe they stopped in just to say “hey”.
We blasted back to the boat, had lunch and decided to go for a bike ride since the weather is so beautiful. After touring as many streets as we could, we stopped off at Ken & Carol’s for a bit before heading back to the boat.
We got back to the boat after our ride and as Christy climbed into the cockpit she announced “I smell smoke”. She quickly opened up the boat and went below to see what was burning. She immediately popped back up and said that there was no smell of smoke below, it was only in the cockpit. We looked around and nothing that might have been burning was apparent. After a while we were starting to think we were going crazy, I even asked the dogs if they’d been playing with matches. And then I saw it, Son of a Bitch.
You know how as you start to get older your eyes start to go. Well sometimes I have trouble seeing some of the detailed information on the charts. Instead of having to deal with reading glasses in the cockpit I keep a magnifying glass at the helm. I had hung the towel that I use to dry the dogs feet on the wheel to dry. As luck, bad luck, would have it everything lined up just perfectly. The sun beating in through the windscreen on the boat was hitting the magnifying glass and the focal distance was exactly the distance to the towel.
That magnifying glass has been there for over a year. I’ve hung that towel there a hundred times and today, finally everything lined up perfectly and the magnifying glass burned a hole right through the towel. Fortunately the towel was damp enough that it didn’t flare up. The magnifier just burned a hole as it walked across the towel.
So that only goes to further cement my theory. Things are definitely looking up. We didn’t set the boat on fire and burn the dogs to death; yup, things are definitely looking up.