Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Carolinas

Every once-in-a-while we speed her up to clean out the engine. The engine experts say that the engine likes to run the boat at 10 - 12 knots. Our budget says that WE like to run the boat at 7 - 8 knots. At 7 knots, we get about 4 miles per gallon. At 12 knots we get less than 2. Besides, we get a lot better view along the way at a slower speed, to say nothing of the fact that it is far easier for older minds to navigate the slower the boat goes! Power boating is a new world. Many of the boats who pass us are amazed at our fuel economy. They are all talking about gallons/mile rather than miles/gallon. As former ragbaggers (sailboaters) we were used to using about 3/4 gallon/HOUR and getting nowhere fast.

Another reason that we push her a bit is that the cold weather keeps trying to overtake us. We woke up one morning in Oriental, North Carolina to heavy frost all over and the temperature INSIDE the boat at 39 degrees f. The Admiral didn't even THINK of getting out of her bunk until the skipper had turned on both the reverse-cycle airconditioner (which works off the engine) AND the little propane heater we carry. A few days later at Lady's Island (across from Beaufort, S.C.), we plugged into a dock and turned on the air conditioner to cool us off for a while. Go figure!

We plan to get off the boat for a week starting the Thursday before Thanksgiving and driving a rental car to daughter Elizabeth's house in Kissimmee, Florida where we'll visit with her, husband Chris, and baby Mikey. We're also flying son Sean and his family down for a few days for a really festive holiday. We have no idea where we'll be since we often have to wait for a "weather window" to avoid proving how macho we are. For instance, we had planned to leave Lady's Island (across from Beaufort, SC) today and proceed past Savannah, but, with a strong northwest wind blowing down Port Royal Sound which we have to transit, we're spending another day at the marina. Weather permitting, we'll do a few long days to get to a decent spot to leave the boat for a week. This means we'll leave Allen's brother Jock behind for a while, but he'll catch up while we're in Kissimmee and join us for the Thanksgiving festivities.

Our mascot, "Bernie", playing with our frost ball.


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