Daily Archives: November 17, 2012

Waiting game

We hightailed it out of Belhaven and its digital isolation for an uneventful motor to Oriental. We were last here during the sweltering week of the 4th of July and enjoyed the small town hospitality and Croakerfest. Now it’s the quiet off-season, and while the people are still friendly, the town seems a little less colorful.

We pulled into the fuel dock and — surprise, surprise — there was a Manta at the adjacent dock. It was Sunshine, whose skipper we’d met at the Annapolis get-together. Mike and Margaret were waiting for a package which arrived as we were fueling up. They disappeared below to replace their water pump, and the next morning I watched them leave the harbor at first light, heading for warmer waters. We will be too, but first there’s the little matter of our mainsail.

We would have preferred to take the sail off in a little less breeze, but we didn’t want to wait for what could be days. So we bundled up and pulled the sail off the boom, trying to flake it carefully on deck while the breeze fought back.



Fighting the wind and the weight of the sail, we couldn’t manage to bag it neatly, but we dumped it and the battens into the dinghy and went ashore.


Our chosen sailmaker met us at the dock to save us a long walk with an awkward bundle. He was able to get the replacement battens ordered and on the truck before the end of the day which will help us a lot, since next week is a holiday. On the other hand, the weather doesn’t look too good for a departure south any time soon, so we might as well enjoy what Oriental has to offer.

This morning we went to the little farmers market along the street in front of the Bean Cafe. There wasn’t much produce, but I did get a couple of turnips, some collards and mustard greens. We’re definitely in the south.


Jack got the story of how Oriental got its name from a local on our way to the cafe for our morning pick-me-up. http://www.towndock.net/about_oriental



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From bad to worse

Belhaven is now definitely on our list of places we’ll never return to. We continued to have no cell service or Internet anywhere.


We took a cold dinghy ride and a cold walk to the local grocery store for some fresh vegetables and to a small lumberyard for lamp oil. We took the groceries back to the boat then went back in and walked the few blocks of downtown where it seemed half the storefronts were empty. We asked around about both cell service and wifi and learned our only option was the public library.


We settled in for a few hours of catching up with the world, but almost immediately Jack got an email from our credit card company with the news that there was suspicious activity on his card. This happened once before but the activity was actually ours and we just had to verify it and the card was reactivated. This time they said they were blocking the use of Jack’s card until he called, but of course we had no cell service.

By the next day when we were finally out of the Belhaven Black Hole Jack called and we learned that within an hour of the two stops we made, the grocery store and the lumberyard, his card was used to charge up almost $400 in Kansas City, KS! Wow. We were lucky the credit card company flagged it, but now the account is canceled and getting a new card is a major pain because it has to go to my sister’s house, then be forwarded to us when we’re in a place for long enough. Thank you, Belhaven.


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