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