May 4 – 6, Days 161 – 163, ICW Blowin’ Blues

We’re still in Beaufort, NC. When 150’ sailboats remain on the dock, you can bet we stay there too! The winds have been blowing up to 40mph and there are whitecaps on the ICW. Of course, you can’t have a proper weather related stop without some rain and we’ve had plenty of that too.

5-6 rain
Yep, glad we got our covers fixed in Florida!
5-6 blog
This is what it looks like from inside. No, that’s not frost on the windows, just a lot of rain beating down on our cool screens! Notice we have last blog post up on screen.

We can pretty much count on losing all our power outlets on the port side whenever we have a sustained rain and today has been no different. We just can’t figure out where the issue is! It all comes back after it’s dried out, but there’s no obvious fix. You go Bayliner! In the meantime, we rely on power storage management and lots of splitters to keep all our devices charged up. At least the boat looks great with all that fresh water deluge.

5-6 car
It’s cool when a marina has a free loaner car to get to the store, but this one was THE biggest beater so far.

Speaking of fixes, at least we addressed the fresh water pump problem. The new pump arrived on the evening we pulled into Beaufort and we had it in our hands the following morning (The internet is stunning. West Marine told us it would be two weeks to even find it! If you wonder why retail might be in trouble, there’s your answer).

5-6 pump
There must be a department in charge of designing “the most inconvenient spot” for stuff!
5-6 pump2
New freshwater pump installation nearly finished!

OK, we’re not talking about cold fusion here, but N was pretty pleased with himself after swapping out the pump and having water flowing once more from the taps.

5-6 pump3
OK, OK… enough with the water already!!!

We’re relatively lucky to be here in Beaufort waiting for weather as far as the dock is nice and we’re right on the main drag of the little historic town with access to restaurants, bars, and various museums so there’s plenty to do.   

5-6 jaws
Does this boat look familiar?!
5-6 jaws 2
Here’s a BIG hint!…….It’s THE boat from the original Jaws movie. And you can charter it for a day of shark fishing. As you can see there were some big ones in the marina!

We’re learning all sorts of cool things at the various museums where we stop. I guess we unwittingly left some readers hanging over the role of the railroads in the Civil War. Of course, if you go to a railroad museum, they’re going to have an outsized view of the role of railroads, but in the case of the Civil War there are some interesting facts. In the 19th century railroads were owned and operated by individual entrepreneurs. Much as the Civil War hinged on the matter of state’s rights, the operation of the railroads differed between North and South during the war. In the North, railway owners allowed the government to organize and operate their individual railroad properties in support of the military for the good of the union whereas in the South, their “government” had to negotiate with each owner every time they wanted to use the railway to move materiel leading to gross inefficiency. It didn’t help that the southern railways were running on at least 6 different gage tracks, or that there was no iron to remake tracks as the rails were destroyed. Indeed, in some cases rails were cannibalized for shot.   

Speaking of museums, here in Beaufort there’s a great maritime museum with more fun facts to relate (did I mention we’re here waiting out the weather?!). We all like the Coast Guard, but did you know they started in boats called “revenue cutters” with the objective of chasing down merchant ships sailing up and down the coast to ensure the appropriate taxes were paid? Hmmmm…. but do we like the IRS?

5-6 band
Notice the instruments (I like the guy on “saw”), but the music was pretty good!

Did you know German U-boats sunk a bunch of ships right off the US coast? At the height of the attack something like 27 ships over 177 days were sunk before we formed the Coastal Air Patrol to spot the U-boats and drop bombs on them. Even so, 78 ships were sunk off the US coast!

Finally, Beaufort is the land of Blackbeard the pirate whose ship was found not far from here a few years ago. Did you know that privateers were basically ship owners who signed up with one side or the other in a conflict and in so doing received a “license” to pillage ships of the opposing side? Hmmmm…. WN 3533SK, license to kill! No seriously, when the conflict was over, the licenses were rescinded, but some (like Blackbeard) figured why not continue?  

Well, at least we were lucky to hit Beaufort for a weather stop when there was stuff going on. We got to see a boat show and a boat building competition.

5-6 boat comp 2
Everyone received the same amounts of wood, screws and nails and had four hours to build the boat on the right here.
5-6 boat comp
The guys on the right are the national champions and can basically build the boat from scratch in about 90 minutes! The guy on the far right is the shop teacher at the local high school. The kids on the left were one of several teams competing. N tried to get the kids to do some trash talking with their shop teacher, but good NC manners prevented them taking up the challenge so N took it upon himself to tell the shop teacher these kids said he was going to “get owned” today. Teacher laughed… got “owned as it took them 4 hours to get it  done…..with help from shop teacher who had finished hours before.
5-6 row
Of course, it’s not enough to build the boat… also have to row it in a rowboat race. This one was held in high winds and current so competitors were blown all over the marina. Pretty funny to watch.

OK, ok, going a bit stir crazy on the dock. B insisting, we go about 1 mile to see wild horses…. AGAIN…. before pushing north. Hope to get underway Sunday.

One thought on “May 4 – 6, Days 161 – 163, ICW Blowin’ Blues”

  1. Well, now you know one of my most favorite towns in NC. I love the Farmer’s Market on Saturday a.m., but it may have been rained out. I am glad you got to see the Boatbuilding competition. And yes, I hope you see the horses on Shackelford (do I sound like a broken record?

    You are going to love the cruising up the coast from there. I hope the boat holds together for this next stretch! Little Washington and Bath are quaint towns. But then, almost anywhere you go from here is going to be lovely. I enjoy seeing the route maps when you post them.

    The soft shell crabs are in season. Have you ordered them yet? They are my very favorite dish, with duck a close second. Enjoy the journey. Watch out for water moccasins in the coves (not quite as many as alligators in Florida), but important to be mindful of. Even on low hanging tree limbs. And poison ivy! Talk soon! J


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