Make no mistake the title to this chapter doesn’t refer to a Sirius XM channel. No it describes the local weather as we end up enjoying a full week of temperatures in the 70’s! In fact, even the nights are comfortably warm and we open up all the windows aboard Kailani during the days and leave a few windows open in the Master Stateroom during the nights for ventilation. The upgrade in the weather brings out all our shorts and short sleeve shirts for the first time since we’ve left Connecticut for this journey.
Oriental’s town mascot is the dragon, everything Oriental has a dragon logo printed on it, so Saturday, February 17th is the local dragon parade celebrating the Chinese New Year. Two blocks of Water Street are closed off and at 2 pm the ferocious dragon makes its way down the parade route and dances up a storm as lively as 6 elder citizens can push the dragon body. Everyone has a raucous time with smiles and happiness all around. Afterwards, Tracy gets into a painting class where a local painting instructor teaches participants to paint a dragon. Three hours later, she comes out of the class with a painting that the instructor commented very highly on Tracy’s natural painting talents. I can certainly attest to her skills painting teakwood aboard Kailani.
We finally make the decision to purchase fishing licenses for North Carolina during this week and start to explore the fish wildlife in the Oriental area. We pack up our folding cart with fishing rods, tackle, chairs and a cooler and head off to Lou Mac Park, a short walk from the boat. Lou Mac Park has a fishing pier that extends out into the Neuse River just for fishing with rod holders and cleaning stations built into the dock, so it’s convenient. In spite of all the conveniences built into the pier, we may have to do some Wikipedia research to learn anything about the local fish species because for the whole week, we don’t catch any. At least we have some fun casting, retrieving and drowning some fresh bait.
This week, we get some courtesy bikes from the Inland Provisioning Company and now we can explore a bit farther out from the marina. One of the things we must do is make a trip to Oriental Tees and get Tracy sized for her new hooded sweatshirt. She saw the sweatshirts in the Inland Provisioning Company but they didn’t have her size, so Pat told us to go to his supplier, Oriental Tees and get sized, select a color and they should have the sweatshirt ready by the end of the week. We go there on Tuesday morning, place the order and Tracy gets her sweatshirt on Friday. That’s spectacular for southern time (identical to island time, just no island!). We also do some clothes shopping and buy some fishing shirts at Nautical Wheeler and Tracy buys some outfits at Marsha’s Cottage.
Our neighbors and AGLCA friends, Mac and Sheila are using the nice weather as an opportunity to get a bunch of cleaning done on their yacht prior to their departure for the Bahamas later this month. One of the items on their list is some fiberglass repairs to their bow and just by coincidence, I get an opportunity to check with Mac about fiberglass repair at the same time he happens to have a repairman on board looking at his work. I end up walking over to Mac with the cracked cowling from our tender and ask if he knows any good fiberglass repairmen and the guy onboard Mac’s vessel says “I’m the guy”. I didn’t expect such a fortunate result, but Alex takes our cowling, checks it out, hands it back and says he can repair, paint and have it looking like new for $160.00 to which I say “what’re you handing it back to me for, keep it and do it”. By the way, our cowling had been sitting on our outboard in Mark’s yard at Offshore Rafting in Arapahoe since he had picked up the boat a week earlier, so how did I happen to have it in my hand? Well, Mark was kind enough to bring it back to me just so I could start looking for a fiberglass repairman. We really appreciate that kind of customer service.
Meals this week are split between eating on board and a couple of nights out at M & M’s Restaurant, which we really like for convenience, variety and quality of food. With our shopping spree from the Piggly Wiggly we have lots of delicious choices on board also. I’m getting real good with preparing breakfasts consisting of French toast or waffles or egg to order or pancakes and occasionally just a bowl of cereal.
This week’s projects consist of installing the SeaTek handrail that Tracy found at the consignment shop. I mentioned last week that she worked tirelessly at restoring the teakwood and I must say, when she’s done, it’s a perfect match to the existing teakwood aboard Kailani. I have to bike to the hardware store to get screws long enough to go through the handle, so off I go. When I get there, I park the bike and as I’m walking into the hardware store, right there in front of the entrance, I see a Toyota forklift with a load up about three feet in the air. On the pavement lying under the load is a guy drilling and screwing caster wheels into the four corners of the pallet so when the load is lowered to the ground, the wheels will allow the guy to push the pallet around. Seems to make sense, right? I’d just like to see some method of preventing the load from falling on my head if I was the guy lying underneath the lifted load! So after finding the necessary screws for the handrail job, I went up to the counter where the cashier guy was sitting and there were two guys in front of the counter. As the seated guy was ringing up my purchase, I asked if he knew the guy outside lying under the raised pallet and one of the guys standing there says, “yeah, that’s me”! I ask him if he’s at all concerned about the load accidently falling on him while he’s underneath drilling, to which he responds, “no, that won’t happen, we just got the forklift fixed!” Again, life in rural North Carolina! Back to the handrail project, the install comes out real nice with countersunk screw holes so the heads are flush with the curved handle (see photos).
On Friday afternoon, my sister Lisa makes her weekly call to touch base and we discuss the possibility of getting together next weekend in Topsail, NC. I tell her that we’re planning to leave Oriental by midweek next week and we could be in Topsail by the weekend. So she will check with Art, AJ Nd Nicole to see if they’re available and if so, we’ll get together next weekend.
I hope it’s not as “rough” at dock when they visit as it was this day. We have more motion tied up sometime than when actually moving.- tc
As the week comes to a close, we’re looking forward to getting our dinghy and cowling both back on Saturday morning. Then we can explore some of the creeks in Oriental and take another crack at possibly experiencing some of the local aquatic wildlife.