I haven’t been posting weekly like I try to do, but all is well. I’ve just been a bit unmotivated. Cruising during Covid is not nearly as fun. We keep to ourselves and we limit our outings. We don’t eat out in restaurants, we don’t poke around in shops, and we don’t go to museums. Basically we aren’t any different than people living on land who take this virus seriously, with the exception of the fact that we are sitting on a 30 foot boat instead of in a larger dwelling.
Frankly, during our trip to Connecticut in mid-September for medical appointments we came thisclose to bringing the boat north, putting it on the hard, and just living in a rental for the winter. The Bahamas weren’t looking like a viable option and we couldn’t get excited about spending the winter in Florida.
We actually made a lot of inquiries to various rental properties and we went to see an apartment in West Hartford. At 600 square feet it seemed HUGE! That’s what spending two years on a 30 foot boat will do to your perspective. Ultimately, however, we found we had started looking for academic rentals (which typically run from September to May) a bit too late in the season, so we couldn’t find a place we wanted that fit in our budget.
Secondarily to the rental hurdle, the idea of heading north with the boat in late September/early October felt a bit daunting given that we knew the weather would be turning soon. So we turned our sights towards heading south again for the winter. One thing we know for certain about our future cruising plans: we will definitely be spending next summer on Pegu Club in New England, so if we decide after that to take a break we’ll be in a much better position to make it work.
So when I left off in the last non-budget blog post we were in an anchorage just north of Oriental, NC with VERY poor cell service. After spending a few days watching movies on the laptop and eating popcorn while waiting out a small blow, we moved over to the free dock in Oriental where we spent our permitted 48 hours enjoying the small town atmosphere. We rode the free bicycles to The Piglet (a smaller Piggly Wiggly) to restock groceries, and also stopped at a new place for us – Endurance Seafood – where we picked up fresh-off-the-boat shrimp for $5/pound.
Endurance Seafood makes it sound like an actual business establishment. In reality it was two guys sitting on the front porch of a house with a dry-erase board showing what was available and the price. Adding a bit of local color were two snarling, barking German Shepherds next door ready to tear our legs off if they could just bust through the fence. It was an experience. But the shrimp was great, and we would definitely take our chances with the dogs again in the future!
It’s interesting. When we first stopped in Oriental we liked it, but we were a bit underwhelmed given how much we had heard about it. Bearing in mind that it was less than two months after they had been hit by Hurricane Michael, we gave it another try the following spring and started to understand the love for the place. Now it’s not even a question of whether we’ll stop there. We simply do, and it’s something we very much look forward to.
Next up, a new place for us: New Bern, NC.