Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 2016 Swansboro, Oriental, BSC

Monday, August 1

Brian and Caleb finish pressure washing the deck.  Then Brian and I took the truck to the post office and then on to Jacksonville to the Home Depot for project supplies.

We got deck stain and paint with all the paraphernalia and an assortment of flowers for planting two big pots.

That evening Brian helped bread fish for frying for dinner.

We also had some fresh garden tomatoes that Geri had given us.

Tuesday, August 2

Brian worked on installing new speakers in Erica's jeep and I worked on staining the deck stairs.

Wednesday, August 3

Brian installed the old radio back in the jeep, the new one was defective.

I worked on staining until it started to rain.

The boys and Steve went a couple blocks over to a boat ramp to pull out the neighbor's boat.  Coming out of the water, an axle broke on the trailer.  The rest of the day was spent chasing parts to repair it.

I went to the store and picked up dinner supplies and worked on cooking.

They finally got the parts and repair done and came in late for dinner.

Thursday, August 4

I worked on finishing the deck staining.

Brian got sick with a stomach bug, so late in the afternoon we all went back to the boat.

We could have stayed in Swansboro longer and done more work, but it was time to move on.

We are so thankful for the Parnell's friendship and hospitality.

Friday, August 5

We pulled the anchor up at 11am. We had to wait for high tide.  We motored back to Spooner's Creek near Morehead City.

That evening we walked to Wal-Mart and got reprovisioned.

Saturday, August 6

This was Brian and my 22nd wedding anniversary.

We celebrated by walking to the store for a few things. We stopped in at Hobby Lobby and he found some wooden fish to hang in the boat for more decorations.  We had lunch at the Chinese Buffet, then went to WM and I got some new sandals.

Sunday, August 7

Caleb had the anchor up by 7:30 and we went to Beaufort and anchored at 9:30 near the Town Creek Marina.

On the other side of where we were is the new bridge in process.

We spent most of the day doing water runs, filling the jerry jugs and then pouring them into the tanks.

That afternoon, we went into town and walked around and spent a couple hours at the Maritime Museum.

Monday, August 8

Brian and the boys cleaned the hull of the boat and the waterline.

We pulled anchor around 12:30 and went around the corner to Taylor's Creek. We reanchored at 12:55.

Brian got out his hooka system and cleaned the bottom of the boat.  There was already a lot of new growth from sitting 3 weeks.

We all swam close to the boat to cool off.  There is a strong current in the creek. Caleb and I had fun swimming against it to the bow of the boat, then letting it carry us back to the stern.

That evening we were treated to the sight of about 30 wild horses munching dinner on Carrot Island.

Tuesday, August 9

We encountered bad noseeum's in the pre-dawn hours, even with all the screens in.  So we had the anchor up and were on our way by 7:50am.

Going down Adam's Creek on our way to Oriental, we pulled off to the side and Brian and Caleb moved the dinghy from being towed  to up onto the deck.

We reached SailCraft at 1:30pm.

 We came to do a bottom job, get the engine trouble fixed once and for all, have some thru hulls filled in, replace the propeller and had a new shaft made. He had a new plate made so the anchor would not hit the hull when it is being lowered and raised.

When we arrived and got tied up, we did a few little housekeeping jobs, then went swimming.  We also were able to plug into shore power and have the AC on to cool down the boat.

Wednesday, August 10

Jim, the mechanic started work on the engine trouble.

I did laundry and made a new batch of kombucha.

Thursday, August 11

Brian bought some stain and touched up a back board behind the table.  Then he and the boys worked on cleaning the keel bolts and painting them to prevent rust.

Later, we swam again.

Friday, August 12

It was time for the boat to get hauled out of the water.

They used the lines to pull it into place and the slings slid under. Then Alan raised it up and pulled forward onto the land.  They power washed the bottom, then moved it into our spot.  After blocking it and attaching the ladder, they backed it out of the slings and we were set for the next two weeks.

We certainly got our exercise going up and down the 12 foot ladder several times each day.  We had running water on the boat but could not let any go down the drains, so we had tubs to catch it for teeth brushing. I loaded up dirty dishes and washed them in the bathroom each day.

The next job was to scrape off barnacle residue so the new paint will go on smooth.

While we were working on that, work was started on filling in the unneccessary thru hulls.  Thru hulls are the drains where grey water comes out.

Since we converted to a composting toilet, we did not need the thru hull in the aft head (bathroom)  or a couple other ones.

Less holes in the boat is a good thing!

Brian had met another livaboard couple at the yard to get work done.

Larry and Candy from S/V Saphira.  They were needing to go back to TN for a week to take care of some family business.

They generously gave us the food from their refrigerator so it would not spoil and offered to let us sleep on their boat at night while it was still in the water and hooked up to AC.  We took them up on their generous offer for two nights before their boat got hauled out.

Saturday, August 13

Geri brought the boys down for a visit!

The guys all swam and had fun in the pool.

Geri and I went to the boat to fix lunch and bring to the shelter.

She also brought us a gift of cookies and toiletries. We were able to share with some others in the yard and be stocked for ourselves.

Geri is always so generous and giving. We are truly blessed to have their family as friends.

Sunday, August 14

We started painting the first of two coats on the hull of the boat.

A day or two after we arrived, one of the livaboards at the marina, Larry, lost his pet dog to a stroke or heart attack.

Sunday evening, he and some friends had a musical tribute to her. Larry is the sax player.

Monday. August 15

We finish painting the bottom of the boat with the second coat.

They pull the propeller off and remove the shaft.  There is some drama over finding a replacement propeller. A brand new one would have to be made and take 8-12 weeks and be very expensive. Alan, the yard owner, finds that he has one that is the right size and gives Brian a good deal on it. God is Good!

Tuesday, August 16

Brian moves the jack stands to paint where they were.

Wednesday, August 17

The boys and I go ahead and start the new school year.  It is a little earlier than I had planned, but it gives us something to do.

The rest of the week is spent doing school in the morning and early afternoon, then having lunch and swimming.

At some point in the week Brian ordered a new inexpensive cruising bike off the internet.  It is scheduled for delivery on Monday.  His old bike was getting worn out and needs a new spoke and wheel realignment.

Monday, August 22

We do school in the morning and watch for the UPS truck.  Once it comes, the boys help Brian assemble the new bike.

The rest of the week is spent doing school and finishing work on the boat.

Here are some pictures of the prop before and after painting and a bit of trouble with a sheered bolt on the engine, which Jim worked hard to correct and make right.

Thursday, August 25

 In the afternoon, we are put back in the slings so Brian can paint the bottom of the keel. We spend the night in the slings.

Friday, August 26

It is Brian's Dad's 71 Birthday! Happy Birthday, Dad!

We are put back in the water and Jim and Brian do last minute checks to make sure the engine is how it should be.

By the time we settle up for our stay it is early evening.  Alan says we are welcome to stay over and leave in the morning.  So we enjoy the cool of the pool and do a last load of laundry.

Saturday, August 27

We leave a little before 7am to head up the river to BSC.

Geri and the boys come for another visit. It is a short and sweet visit. They had to get back for another commitment and get Luke to work on time.

I can't say enough what it means to me for Geri to take the time for these visits.

We are planning to go to New Bern tomorrow and get reprovisioned and hang out a few days. Then we will head for the Pamlico Sound and spend the weekend with BSC friends.

After that, we hope to be heading up to the Chesapeake for a few weeks.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Second half of July: Swansboro, NC and Blue Ridge Mountains of NC

Saturday, July 16

Caleb and Nathan returned our Redbox movie. When they got back to the boat, we pulled anchor and headed for Swansboro.  We left about 9:15 and anchored down near the bridge at 12:20pm.

That evening after dinner, we went in search of the Geo Cashe treasure Caleb pulled up on his phone.

Sunday, July 17

We visited a local church in town called One Harbor Church. It was good to be back in church again. On the boat, we usually pull up a sermon to listen to online.  But there is just something about being in church in person, joining the singing, meeting new people, listening to a live message.  We really enjoyed it.

That afternoon, Steve met Brian at the docks and came back to the boat. He rode with us as we moved the boat to anchor closer to their house.

Our boat is in the top left corner of the picture. We cross the ICW and come up the creek to their dock.

  We got the boat anchored and all piled in the dinghy.  It was dead low tide, so the last few yards getting to their dock was spent paddling through the mud in just a few inches of water.

We judge the tide by the level of water on the oyster beds.

We made it. Hopped onto the dock and gave Regina a big hug.

Brian and Regina had worked together at Spirit. She and Steve have become great friends.  We came to spend some time helping them with projects while waiting on parts to come in for our boat.

One of the main projects was for Brian to help get a van up and running.  Steve had bought it from a friend to help her pay her husbands funeral expenses.

That evening, Steve took Brian and the boys clamming nearby.
They came back with several clams and a conch.

Steve taught us how to eat some raw with a shot of lemon juice and hot sauce. They were very tasty!

Monday, July 18

While Steve and Regina were at work, we stayed at the house and did little jobs.

The van got delivered and Brian set to work on it.

We thought he would just need to replace the fuel injectors, but it turned out the replacements were a different style than the originals.

So Brian had to do some research and make some phone calls and finally order adapters.

In the meantime, Steve asked Caleb and I to take the truck to Jacksonville and pick up a hutch he had bought over the weekend to put in the salon at the house.

Caleb and Nathan also organized the tool shed.

Tuesday, July 19

While waiting on the van parts, we continued to work around the house.  Brian did some mowing and weed eating and I worked in the house. 

In the afternoon, we all worked on starting to clear brush from around the edge of the water.

Wednesday, July 20

Steve was off work, so he was at the house to work with Brian and the boys.

They changed the blades and oil in the mower and made a repair to the deck.

On Steve's outboard engine, they replaced the spark plugs and installed a new fuel tank.

The van got a new battery, oil change, and wash.

That afternoon I did a small grocery shop for both of our families at the Piggly Wiggly.

Thursday, July 21

Brian replaced the fuel pump on Grace.

Brian and the boys worked very hard on removing the old lettering off of the van. They did this using a heat gun and scraper.

It was beastly hot, so they made a makeshift covering.

That evening, Brian, Steve, Nathan and Caleb set nets out . Apparently the law is that you can set fishing nets out at sunset, but they have to be retrieved by sun up on the following morning.

We had pizza for dinner and stayed over at the house rather than going back to the boat, since the guys would have to get up so early the next morning.

Friday, July 22

At 6am Caleb and Steve went to retrieve the nets. They had caught 3 flounder.

Steve was working from home that day and only had 1 appointment.  Before the client arrived, he taught Caleb how to throw a cast net.

 Later they went out to give it a try, but did not catch anything.

The rest of the day was spent dismantling a shelving unit from the van and cleaning out the inside.

Steve, Brian and the boys made a bon fire to burn the shelves as well as the remaining brush from around the water that they cut down.

Brian painted the wheels of the van.

That evening, Steve, Regina, and Brian went to go look at a bed set from craigslist.  They did not get it.

When they got home, we had a great dinner of fried flounder, fries, coleslaw and squash.

While eating dinner, we watched one of Regina's favorite movies, The Goonies.

Saturday, July 23

Brian and Steve pressure washed half of their deck.

That afternoon we all piled into the truck and went to some thrift shops.

When we got back, Brian and Steve installed the adapters and got the van running!!

For dinner, we had grilled hamburgers, fries, and Regina's famous homemade pound cake covered in strawberries and vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, July 24

We all attended church together, again at One Harbor Church.  Great service.

Then we drove to Beaufort to look at another bed set from craigslist.  It wasn't the right fit for what they were wanting.

We then went to the Mexican restaurant. When there wasn't that many people inside, we figured we had gotten there after the church lunch rush. After sitting at our table a few minutes, we realized why there were not many customers.   The A/C was on the fritz and it was downright hot in there.

But we were so hungry, we stayed and enjoyed sharing fajita's.

Back at the house, Regina got a call on another bed set in Elizabeth City.

We left the boys at the house to hang out with Erica, Steve and Regina's daughter.  It was going to be a three hour trip each way.

We made it to the house and at first glance the furniture looked like it might work, but upon closer inspection, it was beat up and the owners were not up front about it.

But while we were there we saw this neat building.

In WWII, blimps from this station would patrol the over the waters of the coast searching for German Uboats.

Back on the road coming home,  we began looking for a place to eat a late dinner.  We were near the town of Windsor, NC. Most places were closed, but we found this restaurant that was still open.

They were closing in 20 minutes, but seated us anyway and gave some of the best customer service.

We started with fried pickles.

Then each couple shared a stromboli. 

This was just half of one, and it covered the entire plate.  It was delicious and filling.

We got back to the house  a little after 10pm.  Erica, Dane, and the boys had ordered a pizza and had a fun evening together.

Monday, July 25

This day was spent doing laundry and packing for our camping trip to the mountains.

 Steve and Regina generously loaned us a car and the use of their lot in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Tuesday, July 26

We had the car packed and left the house at 5:40am.  We drove to New Bern to get camping supplies out of our trailer at the club, then put Charlotte, NC into the GPS and headed out.

Ever since we moved to NC over 4 years ago, I have wanted to visit the Billy Graham Library.  We finally had an opportunity and we took advantage of it.  We were not disappointed.

We arrived about 2pm.

We visited the Graham family house first.  It had been moved a few miles from it's original location.

Next we toured the library.

 The tour began with Bessie, the talking cow, telling us how Billy Frank came in to milk the cows every morning and evening at 5:30.

We then went from station to station following Billy Graham's call to be an evangelist, his marriage to Ruth, and life of ministry all over the world for over 60 years.

Ruth died in 2007 and is buried on the grounds.

We left around 4pm and headed the rest of the way up to the mountains.

We arrived at the lot a little after 6pm.  We set up camp in the little shed, Caleb built a fire and  we roasted hot dogs for dinner.

Wednesday, July 27

The view looking out from the shed.

Brian shaving
 More shed pictures

 We drove to West Jefferson and toured the cheese factory.

 Then we drove to Mt.Jefferson.

After driving almost to the top, we parked and followed the trail the rest of the way.

 Back at camp, we went down to the New River and cooled off.

 It is a popular river for tubing gently down with the current.

Just across the road is a small waterfall that feeds into the river.

Back at camp, we all rested before dinner. It rained throughout the night.

Thursday, July 28

We drove to Boone and checked out the town.

We were supposed to visit Jacob at camp on the following day, but since we were already halfway there, we made arrangements to come that day.

Our GPS did not know where Plumtree,NC was, so I was texting Geri and she said to call the camp.  Greg saved the day by giving us directions over the phone.

We finally made it, and it was so great to see Jacob and the Hardee's! 
They fed us lunch and gave us the grand tour of Teen Valley Ranch.

Jacob had planned to get baptized at some point during the week. Since we were coming a day early for a visit, Sheila, one of the directors, got it pulled together so we were able to be there and watch this amazing experience in Jacob's life.

We left TVR with happy hearts and drove back to camp.

Friday, July 29

We needed more ice for the cooler.  The boys decided to hang around camp, so Brian and I got to go on an errand date.

We got the ice. Called our friends in Raleigh to set up a visit with them on our way back, stopped at the Ash County Park and walked the trail, then had lunch at Bojangles.

Back at our camp site, we went hiking and took naps. The boys and I made a final camp fire and just enjoyed being outdoors in the 74 degree weather.

Saturday, July 30

We packed up our camping gear and got the car loaded for the trip home.

 On the way out of the mountains, we drove a few miles on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway.

We made it to Raleigh and the Floyd's house about noon.

We are so thankful for their friendship and wonderful hospitality!  We made sandwiches for lunch, then headed for an afternoon at the pool playing Marco Polo and Sharks and Minnows, then just sitting poolside and chatting.

Back at the house, they ordered pizza while I threw in a load of laundry.  After dinner, we loaded into their Jeep and went to the Neuse Dam and walked a bit on the trail.

 Back at the house, Joni and the boys watched a Start Trek movie.

Sunday, July 31

That morning, we had blueberry waffles, bacon, and juice for breakfast.

Joni and the boys started a second movie and watched a bit before we left to go to the Raleigh Flea Market.  We enjoyed walking all around and even found a few things to buy.

Back at the house, we had leftovers for lunch and the boys finished their movie.

We left a little before 2pm and headed for Grifton for a chance to see Luke and Jacob again, as well as The Hardee's!

We got there about 3:30 and at 4, went to the church ice cream social.

We enjoyed sampling homemade butter pecan, orange pineapple, peach, chocolate, blueberry, and cookie dough vanilla ice cream.

 It was great to catch up with Luke and hear about how life is going for him.

God has really blessed the boys with the opportunities they have been given and the wonderful friends they are staying with.

After the social, we had to say goodbye and continue down the road.

We stopped at the club to unload a few things, then came back to Swansboro and the Parnell's.

That is it for July.  We will be in Swansboro for a while longer, helping the Parnell's with projects.

After that, we will just continue taking things one day at a time waiting to see where the next adventure leads.