And headed down toward the south lock the next morning past the old Superintendent's house.
We went to the Rose Buddies' wine, beer and cheese party on the dock and discovered that Fred Fearing, who started the tradition many years ago was sick in bed and couldn't attend himself. All the cruisers got together to send Fred a card and to collect money for a new hand-held radio for Sam, whose personal radio had died a few days before. We sent our recalcitrant outboard out to be repaired by a Nissan dealer at great expense for a "faulty black box" and other stuff.[NOTE: Three days after we left Elizabeth City, we discovered that Fred has died at 93 and that, the same day, the local police had issued a cease and desist order to stop Sam from assisting boaters in docking at the free town docks.]
From Elizabeth City we traveled south, anchoring at Tuckaho Point and Campbell Creek, enjoying the quiet and solitude in the latter for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the outboard failed us again, so the captain didn't get a chance to explore the creek by dinghy.
We spent the next two nights in a slip at the Oriental Marina, right across the street from The Bean, the local coffee shop which serves as a hangout for both the locals and the many boaters. We indulged in nice hot showers (complete with marina-supplied towels, soap, and shampoo), ice cream at The Bean, both breakfast and lunch "out", and a major reprovisioning at the grocery store (with a ride home provided by the store). We sent the outboard out to a different dealer and this time it came back with a diagnosis of dirty fuel, which I suspect was the problem in the first place. We cleaned out the gas tanks and started over and it has worked fine since. (NOTE: It has been proven that George W's Texas corn likker mixed with our gasoline is destroying the innards of outboards and other marine gasoline engines. Cripes, look what it did to George! We have been told that gasohol hasn't shown up at the marinas in North Carolina yet.)
Sunset at Oriental
Along the way, we had heard about a Southern Cruisers' Rendezvous at New Bern and, since we were ahead of our schedule, decided to head for it. Along the way we passed "Freddy Freddy" who we had been traveling with off and on since Annapolis. He built the boat himself from an old lobster boat (which he adjusted, hacked, wedged, and twisted before he used it as a male mold for a new fiberglass hull) and an old sailboat hull which he cut in half and used as hull and deck extensions. The bay windows in the cabin create lots of light and space. The sailboat hulls help create a side deck to walk around them.
In New Bern we anchored off the town with a bunch of other cruisers, walked around the town and attended some of the seminars, workshops and a great barbecue dinner at the Rendezvous.
We remet friends from previous trips.
Bruce and Lynda from Jet Stream
And met some new ones.
Joe and Judy from Just B'cause
From here we head to a marina about six miles away to leave the boat for a week so that we can fly to Kissimmee, Florida to babysit our grandson while daughter Elizabeth and husband go to a wedding. After that, we're on our own with no fixed schedule or definite appointments. Maybe the Abacos for Christmas?
Comments, questions, or complaints: Sesame@snet.net