Weekend with friends, then alternator death #2   Leave a comment


        I realized the other day that the boat has become my home. That may sound silly – of course it’s my home…or of course a boat could never really be a home – but the feeling snuck up on me. When I’m away from Pirat I find myself missing the bunk Lee and I share, the jam-packed but cozy space we inhabit, and the small pleasures of a relatively simple life.

        We spent the weekend with our friends Sarah and Derek and Derek’s dad, who was visiting for Thanksgiving. The trio ventured across half (maybe more) of North Carolina to meet us for a sail on Saturday. It was a beautiful, sunny, but cold day and we all really enjoyed the sail. After a tasty lunch provided by our visitors, Pirat took us downwind out of Elizabeth City. Eventually we had to turn around, since it would take much longer to sail back upwind. The crew hiked out on the windward rail and Captain Sarah tried her hand at the helm. She did an awesome job and wasn’t at all phased by gusty, shifty breeze.
        Pulling back into the slip wasn’t as easy as Lee and I thought it would be with extra hands. For no particular reason it seemed harder to get all the lines in place on the pilings. When Pirat was safely docked, it was cleanup and move time! The crew from Carrboro got a head start so they could work on dinner when they got home. Lee and I tidied up, picked up some more ice, and hopped in our suburban to drive inland! Oh, did I forget to mention that we rented a suburban? It turned out that renting a car for two days was cheaper than taking the bus one-way back to the boat. When Sarah and I showed up at Enterprise on Saturday morning they didn’t have the compact car I’d reserved. All they had was a suburban (identical to Sarah’s rental suburban she’s taking to Virginia for work). I took the ginormo car for the price of the mini-car. Oh well. I felt like a soccer mom with 12 invisible children in the back!

        In Carrboro, our hosts fed us delicious food, provided comfy couch sleeping arrangements, entertained us with their cat, and gave us a little taste of the neighborhood. We went for a little “aerobic nature walk”, as Sarah likes to call it, then hit up the local bike store, co-op, and delicious Mediterranean restaurant. Sarah and Derek are adventuresome cooks and enjoy the bounty of locally grown food in their area. They prepared flounder from the NC coast for dinner. For breakfast, they dished out homemade bacon and home baked bread. Yum!

        It was so wonderful to spend time with friends. Lee and I don’t have much of a social life on the boat and there are moments when I really, really miss my Denver Anthro crowd.

        Lee and I headed back to the coast on Sunday afternoon. We stopped at Trader Joe’s (yay!), Lowes, and Best Buy on the way. I guess the big car came in handy. At Best Buy, we picked up a replacement camera, since mine has officially drowned. Our new little waterproof digital camcorder is so cute and takes such awesome videos (coming soon)! It’s the most cost-effective option for what we wanted but it doesn’t take particularly good pictures. I guess that’s where the DSLR on my Christmas list comes in…too bad we didn’t have a camera while we were in Carrboro.


        What’s the latest disaster to befall Pirat and her crew? Another alternator meltdown. This time the regulator that tells it how fast to charge the batteries failed. Lee happened to check the voltage while we were motoring this morning and saw that it was way, way too high. He had to disconnect the alternator so it would not fry our batteries. That means we can’t charge things up with the engine, don’t have a wind generator, and can’t expect the solar panel to cover all our energy needs. Fortunately, the company we got the alternator from agreed to send a new one asap. We’re picking it up in Beaufort, NC, which is a couple days away.

Tonight we’re anchored near Belhaven, NC. We’re keeping energy use to an absolute minimum and are pretty confident we’ll make it to Beaufort to get our alternator. What luck we have.

Posted November 29, 2010 by Rachel in Getting started

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