Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Geese headed south from Beaufort.
Oriental, NC  35°0248N | 76°6948W

There's an undeniable seduction in living close to the elements, the wind, waves, currents and tides dictating when and where I can go and how long I can stay. It taps into something ancient and primal, stirrings deep in my reptilian brain.

My body is relearning the language of nature in a way that completely sidesteps conscious thought. 

Yesterday,  I felt like someone had dropped a 100-pound pillow on top of me. I just wanted to curl up and take a nap. My brain said, "Need coffee." Nature said, "Storm coming." 

Today I woke to the sound of geese winging their way south and was filled with longing, a long dormant desire to follow them south. How is it my instinct and a goose's instinct would be the same? Because we are both animals, or just that me and my feathered friends have been skyjacked by Jimmy Buffett?

We set out on our continued plod south this morning knowing we were headed into some weather but also knowing there was more coming, and we preferred to sit it out in Beaufort, NC, only 21 miles away.

Crossing the Neuse River in wind blowing 20-25 knots and gusting to 35 knots, little choppy waves tossed us up, down, around in the washtub of shallow water. Some wind, some waves, not enough to keep us in port, not enough to scare us, just enough to make an easy passage of 21 miles seem more like 60.

After a gusty slog down the ICW to Beaufort, Chip executed a masterful 3-point turn pulling into a slip at Beaufort Docks, and I went below to post our arrival on Facebook.

Minutes later, I checked back to find a comment from our friend Jeff White, former DJ at 99.1 The Sound in the Outer Banks, who now lives in California: "Ask for Jeb Brearey. He's the dockmaster, and he also happens to be my uncle."

Didn't the world used to be bigger?

Chatter on the VHF today recommended lying about the number of crew onboard, since Beaufort Docks gives out a free beer token to each crewmember.

"Tell them 8 or 9. You got someone in the engine room, somebody sleeping below. Just don't go over 10, they'll start getting suspicious," heard on Channel 69.

We opted, as usual, for the truth and left with four tokens.

Today, a day without tears, I couldn't help but think it's fortunate that nasty weather came around on our fourth day and not our first. Just as we are getting ourselves together, the weather has started falling apart.

Beaufort, NC  34°42.911N | 76°39.815W

BLOG LOG: Our fellow cruisers Mike & Rebecca on Zero to Cruising got photos of dolphins that we saw a few hours later but once again failed to photograph. Mike also aptly points out that we are in BO-fert, not BUE-fert, which is in South Carolina.

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