Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Laying Up - AYB

Sunrise - Atlantic Yacht Basin

Yes, we finally escaped the current at Morehead City Yacht Basin and made a short day's run to River Dunes Marina in Oriental, NC — though not without incident. A storm followed us almost all the way and finally caught up just before we pulled into River Dunes. Running from inside a protected pilot house heavy rain is never a problem, however lightning is a different story. Waiting out the blinding rain storm before easing into the skinny little creek that leads to the marina, thunder and lightning soon became the issues to deal with.

In all the years and all the miles of doing this, we've never had any problems with lightning; been in plenty of storms, but suffered nothing worse than the anxiety it brings.
Then - a loud bang, a flash, and we realized we'd been hit or almost anyway.

Sonar, chartplotter, and radar screens blinked then rebooted, I turned to head back out to the Neuse River and deeper water, then started working to bring back some electronics. Luckily, we've redundant nav systems on-board and our computer driven system was not affected. Charts and AIS were still running, but we had no depth info.

After a few minutes I had depth coming from sonar, but oddly enough no sonar screen - just the numbers. That was enough to get into the marina so we turned back to the entry point and headed in.
Things could have definitely been worse and we've heard many stories that were. We slowly motored into River Dunes basin and saw a beautiful marina where Rich, the harbormaster, stood waving at us from our dock.
The rain had stopped and the storm moved on. The rest of the night was quiet as I went about going through all the affected systems.

With all the redundancies aboard I was able to put together a working nav system and we pulled out the next morning, heading for Belhaven, NC and River Forest Marina.

Belhaven's another cool little town. The docks at River Forest are old, but the electricity is stable and the depths are good. The dockmaster's name is Henry Boyd III. He and a group of Belhaven citizens bought the marina out of bankruptcy. They're slowly rebuilding the docks, but the lovely old southern manor next door has already been brought back to mint condition. Henry and his crew are very proud of the project and love to talk about it. They also loaned us a golf cart and directions to town for dinner. Spoon River Art Works and Market is a fine restaurant. The local Black Drum was killer. The place was crowded.

That evening we went through another storm, but other than rolling us around for a few minutes there were no problems. We ended the day with a peaceful sunset

The next morning we made way to Coinjock, NC to spend the night. Coinjock is Coinjock. No, we didn't get the steak, but the soft shell craps were very good.

Then, AYB. We always stop here and throw a bit of money at James Taylor's crew. They do good work and this time we may need to take advantage of that.

All in all, as far as storm damage goes, we did okay.
Our main GPS was acting up, but after a reset it came back for the most part. It now shows us running at .05 knots while at the dock, but it's position seems to be okay. We have several ways to get GPS info so that doesn't stop the show.
One of our depth sounder transducers is dead.
Both Raymarine displays are blinky.
Ironically, the Sirius Weather Receiver was fried and has yet to return.
By far the most expensive damage is the KVH Satellite TV dish. It's toast.

I called our insurance company, and inquired about making a claim. They've since sent out a surveyor who thinks the damages are worse than I do. He explained how lightning causes crazy intermittent problems that usually show up at critical times. He's probably correct.

So, here we are, laying up at AYB, waiting to hear back from several folks.

There's good friends tied up just behind us and it has been nice catching up with them.
We've always liked it here. Always little projects to do and AYB has the essential supplies to get them done. The boats that come out of the lock can be interesting to see and the camaraderie amongst the boaters is always enjoyable

We're thinking The Chesapeake Bay will be our next leg, but news of Sea Nettles (Jelly Fish) may change that. The Bay full of Nettles is not uncommon this time of year. They clog sea strainers and stop air conditioning; not good in 90º heat .

And, as they so often are, our plans are still peculating.

Life's good ~