Friday, November 13, 2009

Still Waiting on Ida to Exhaust Herself...and New Winter Plans!

The good news is that our new alternator came in - despite the fact that we are out on anchor in Wrightsville Beach, Seapath Yacht Club was nice enough to allow us to have the alternator shipped to them so we just had to dinghy in to get it. That shouldn't have been a big deal but we have been dealing with the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida (I've rarely seen barometric pressure that low!) which has brought us virtually non-stop rain and 20-30 knots of wind.
Our Neighbors in Wrightsville Beach During Ida
On Wednesday Doug and I kept waiting for the rains to let up enough that we could dinghy in to pick up the alternator (even the pelicans were trying to hide from the storm by gathering in the lee of Gypsies!)
The Pelicans in Gypsies' Lee
and by Thursday we were still waiting - finally we just sucked it up, threw on our full foul weather gear and headed over to the marina - we could barely make out the channel to get in. What a truly miserable, wet, cold (you get the picture) albeit fairly short trip!!! Doug then spent Thursday afternoon installing the alternator and we are now good to go....YIPPEE!!!

Now for the bad news, we woke up this morning and it is still blowing 20-30 knots and drizzling - OK it's not the cats and dogs rain of the past several days but it's pretty horrid and cold - besides we have to cross the Cape Fear River (the name seems to say it all!) which would be incredibly ugly in 30 knots of wind!! So we're sitting here in Wrightsville Beach on the hook twiddling our thumbs and listening to the bowling alley sounds of the wind whipped waves crashing against our hull with our boat kitties cuddled around us grinning from ear to ear - they love this!!
Puss Cuddles Up to Mom!
Bootsie Tries to Stay Awake
Our track on our GPS unit looks like a kaleidescope since we've been turning around at the whim of the wind so much!
Our Anchor Track on the GPS at 1/8th of a mile Range
We are getting really, really antsy to be gone though!! We just spoke with Norm and Vicki on Tide Hiker and have plans to meet up with them in a couple days in Georgetown, SC - tomorrow Myrtle Beach and Sunday to Georgetown - then on to Charleston the next day!! At least those are the current plans and hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate - based on our radar view and the internet weather reports, we seem to be on the downside of Ida so we're crossing our fingers that tomorrow looks better! I think it would take a blizzard or other equally horrific weather event to keep us here again tomorrow - we want to be under way and making tracks!

But it's not like we have been total and complete sloths while we have been here - we firmed up our plans for this coming winter! We had tentatively booked a slip for four months in Marathon back at Docksides where we had spent about a month last year but have been worrying a little that we would end up finding jobs in Key West which would be a pain without a car. We just got back in touch with our friends Brett and Jill on Muircu (I'll admit up front, they are snailbotters, rag baggers, wind whiffers...but we love them anyways!) and they mentioned they were planning on spending the winter in a new marina/resort complex on Stock Island right outside of Key West. We called to check it out since it is not yet in any of the guidebooks and it looked great - it has a restaurant/tiki bar, private beach (this especially caught Sun Pig's attention), infinity pool and health club (you can see my priority ranking!) and oh yeah, it's about 5 1/2 miles to Schooner Wharf and 6 miles to Hogs Breath in KW!!! We had earlier checked out prices at the other KW marinas and they were about 3x the price of a slip in Marathon so we were a little skeptical but when we called, Angelo quoted us a price that was only $50 more than Marathon and his included cable so it was really a wash. So while we will miss Marathon and seeing Florida Straits play every Sunday, we are headed to Key West Harbor Yacht Club for the winter!!!! Be careful the information you communicate Brett, you guys now have company for the winter!!!

We are pretty excited about our new plans - if we can't be cruising the Exumas with September Song, Sea Pearl and the gang, I guess a winter in Key West is not such a bad second option!!! Besides getting jobs somewhere, we hope to be able to get over to the Dry Tortugas for a long weekend here and there - we're at a great launching point. AND did we mention we're only about 6 miles from Hogs, Schooners and Irish Kevins??? So we get to see a lot of Scott and Dave as well as Michael McCloud and Bil Krauss who we saw play in Georgetown, SC with Stephanie and Bob on our trip north this year (he starts playing a five month gig at Irish Kevins just about the time we'll get there!) Watch out Michelle - the boat people are really coming to town and they aren't leaving any time soon! For all our cruising friends who swing through the Keys this winter, we'd love to see you - check out our new marina home and maybe we can get a group together for a run to the Dry Tortugas before you head off to the Bahamas or for other far flung ports!!

Click here to see our anchorage in Wrightsville Beach.

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