Sunday, October 23, 2016

Enjoyed a Side Trip to Ocracoke (Outer Banks)

Putting InSpeyered 2 back together was a challenging task that I took on while Al traveled to Miami. The very good news is that Al's retina is reattached and healed well enough so he can have the much less invasive surgery to remove the oil bubble and have it replaced by a gas bubble.  The doctor used the word "amazing" to describe how much his vision has improved.  With a gas bubble in his eye, he cannot fly for 1-2 months so we have to be much closer to the hospital for that procedure.  So his decision is to wait until January and have the same doctor do the procedure while we spend some time enjoying Florida weather.  It also should allow us to head to the Bahamas in December for a Christmas celebration with Erik.
So I spent 3 days from 10/11-13 cleaning the canvas and glass and getting it all put back in place, cleaning all the screens that we removed and getting them back in place, and finding all the things we stowed away!  So when Mike and Nancy (California Lady) and I made the car trip to New Bern on Thurday to pick Al up at the airport, InSpeyered, looking quite spiffy, was waiting to surprise Al!
Here is Mike posing with one of the many bears that are all dressed differently on display all around the quaint town of New Bern.  (Apparently Bern is the German word for bear) This one happens to be at the arrival waiting area in the airport.  After Al got in we headed straight to our favorite cheap beer and pizza place for "Thirsty Thursday"!  ($1 draft beers!). And when we got back to the boat Al was truly surprised at what I accomplished so I earned the label "Best First Mate Ever"!  Nice huh?
Since there was not much work left to do, we set our plan to leave Oriental and begin heading south over the weekend.  But we learned about the annual Ol' Front Porch Music Festival and in keeping with our living in the moment journey, plans changed.  So Saturday we thoroughly enjoyed all types of music performed on various front porches in the great town of Oriental with our boat buddies on Cal Lady and Free To B.
This charming house provided the porch for the main stage for a group from Nashville that was the "headliner" country music band. 

This group played my favorites from the 70's and 80's. That's Nancy on the left and Ginny on the right mellowing in the sunshine to good music.

This house was particularly charming.  We decided we could be comfortable living in this lovely costal town!  So we enjoyed Sunday, staying one more day to return our rental car and have one last docktail gathering before leaving our hurricane hole.  But Monday we found that a bridge closure further south, plus flooding and marina closures made marinas south bound an issue.  After calling marinas in Southport, NC we had to once more amend our plans and delay our departure for 4 days.  We need to be in a marina in Southport to have a technician from Zimmerman marine repair facility fix our problem with battery charging failures.  We can't be in a marina until Sunday10/23 to have the work started on Monday.  So over more docktails we came up with the great plan to run 40 miles to Ocracoke on the Outer Banks, leaving Tuesday 10/18 for a 2 night visit.  Going to the Outer Banks has been on our "to do" list for a while. Getting into Silver Lake where a National Parks Marina is located in Ocracoke was reportedly tricky with a narrow channel that changes with shoaling but luck was with us!
As we neared the channel, along came 2 ferries bringing visitors and residents to Ocracoke.  We had one on each side so we backed off and let them lead the way in which turned out to be a very good thing because the channel has two tight S turns that were challenging to follow.

Here's Free To B and then California Lady playing follow the leader!

We walked the town and Al and I checked out Ocracoke Light House, built in 1823 and is the oldest operating light station in North Carolina.

Then we walked though a mosquito infested wooded area to find Teach's Hole, the cove where the notorious Blackbeard anchored his boat when not plundering other boats. Blackbeard died on his ship on November 22, 1718 right at this spot after a fierce battle with a British naval force 

Al is searching for signs of buried treasure!

On Wednesday we biked to the beach and enjoyed delicious burritos from a food truck in town and strolled the nearly empty beach with a perfect blue sky above!  Ocracoke was a great place to spend some time while waiting to move on South toward Southport, NC. We are such lucky people to have this opportunity to explore the coast while enjoying meeting so many wonderful friends and to be able to "change plans" when the time seems right! Thanks for following our adventure! Call if you want to join us somewhere along the way! 

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