On Monday, we met up with Brooke and Dee (GH47 East Passage) and Richard and Shannon (N37 Esmeralda) for lunch. Brooke and Dee are currently docked in Charleston long term and Richard and Shannon were just passing through. We had a good visit - in spite of the rainy weather - and again forgot to take a picture.
While there we managed to run lots of errands and even completed the paperwork for the sale of our lot near Pensacola. We now own no dirt in the US - only that lot on Little Abaco that we've never seen. It's a nice feeling - always being home on Carolyn Ann.
Joe soon realized that the auto pilot wasn't working. That's not a really big deal, although it's a much more relaxing way to steer the boat most of the time. As the day went on, though, he noticed that the manual steering was also not right. He could turn the wheel almost a full turn before getting any response from the rudders. We kept going but our wake looked like a drunken sailor as Joe had to saw at the wheel..
After anchoring for a night, we arrived in New Bern, NC. Since our son decided to move to Cary, NC (outside Raleigh), we're looking for dock space within reasonable driving distance. We'd heard good things about New Bern so we decided to cruise up the Neuse River to check it out. Grand Marina is nice, with easy access to the downtown area. There are lots of shops and restaurants and some historical sites in the downtown area.
The Palace itself was completed in 1770, though all but the stable burned in 1798. In the 1950's a group had it rebuilt using the original drawings.
There was bear everything - except at the Cow Cafe, featuring "gourmoo" food, and claiming to be the only 4 "hoof" restaurant in Moo Bern.
Roger (N37 Pelican) lives in the area and showed up for a visit the next day. He asked if we needed anything and mentioned a hardware store that has everything - Nixon's. Joe needed a new rubber flap to cover the engine exhaust and Roger was sure they'd find something there. Sure enough, Nixon's came through - and will probably be a "must visit" from now on.
Later in the day my sister, Jean, came and took us to her house in near by Hertford for dinner. Her husband, Rich, again broke out one of his well aged bottles of wine. This one was a mystery bottle, as the label was missing, that turned out to be a 1982 Pomerol. Wonderful!
We thought we'd detour up the James River to Richmond to visit one of Joe's sisters and her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren, but it was the weekend before the Fourth of July. Between that and associated local festivals and predictions of bad boating conditions on the Chesapeake, we had trouble finding a place to stay and ended up at a marina in Hampton, VA and called Enterprise.
After we left the museum we drove to Smithfield to have dinner at Lou and Robin's house. Lou is the naval architect who designed our boat. Robin fixed us a wonderful dinner and we really enjoyed getting to know them. Joe and Lou talked all kinds of boat stuff, and Robin and I talked about everything else. Again, we forgot about getting a picture!
After lunch we followed Tina over to see her new condo. It's brand new - and big - and much closer to those granddaughters than Pensacola was.
We made one more trip to Costco (!) on Monday, then turned the car in, expecting to leave on Tuesday. The weather, however, is not cooperating. Looks like Thursday could be the day to make our way up the Chesapeake.
With the extended stay we managed two dinners with new friends Wally and Lori - one on Carolyn Ann, then a relaxed Euro-dining experience on their sailboat Do Littles. They left Canada about six years ago and sailed to Europe. Since then they've traveled to multiple countries - spending three years using Paris as a home base while they explored the canals - and sailed back across to the US. Now they're working their way back up to Canada - for the winter.
More pictures on picasa http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.pica