Our Boat Buying Adventure
What's Up, Sailor? Waiting to Leave:
We are waiting to hear about the progress of "Pioneer" up the East coast of the USA. We don't want to leave Lethbridge until we have a rough idea when they will arrive in Oriental. Right now they are halted by severe thunderstorms. Hopefully all will brighten up on Monday. We keep in contact by e-mail and SSB. It's a good opportunity to ask questions about the boat and the cruising lifestyle.
May 4, 2005:"Pioneer" has taken a motoring jog out in the ocean to bypass a closed bridge in Georgia so should arrive in Oriental in about 10 days. Unfortunately, personal matters require the owners to fly home for at least a week - then they can return to Oriental to show "Pioneer". Once we have confirmed this and the date of their return, we will contact our surveyor and the owner of the other boat we are going to see and rearrange our dates. We may just get out to Salt Spring for the Round Salt Spring Race on the May long weekend. We probably won't get an opportunity to crew but at least we can see the race start and volunteer to help with the Friday Nite Chilli Dinner. So, plans are up in the air until we know what is up with our trip to North Carolina.
May 5, 2005:Plans are still up in the air. Don and Becky should have e-mail capabilities today and so we will hear of their progress soon. They should be reaching Charleston SC by today. Looks like we may not have to change the survey date or our departure date. Meanwhile, I am experimenting and working on this website as well as studying for my amateur radio exam basic license. Ron is in charge of music and with the help of "I Tunes" will be able to create some CD's with a mixture of artists and our favourite songs.
We have just heard that Pioneer is progressing well, although the weather is ugly for their trip up the ICW. We intend to head out to NC on May 9th and meet up with them the week of the 16th. We will miss the Round Salt Spring Race, but we would miss it next year anyway, so I guess a year early we can handle! Looks like the survey date and haul-out will go as scheduled.
The Road Trip to the East Coast:
May 10, 2005: Finally we will "hit the road" tomorrow morning early. We had planned to drive south to Montana and then on to South Dakota, but by the morning MT and SD will be well into a major spring snowstorm. If we go via Saskatchewan, we will have sunny skies and miss all the white stuff. No decision to make there!
May 11, 2005: Up at 3 a.m. on the road at 4:45 a.m. Sunny skies throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan! You could see the gray snowy skies to the south of us as we skirted around the leading edge of a nasty spring storm that was dumping snow on our intended route through Montana and South Dakota. Our revised route was through Saskatchewan and down into North Dakota. We had planned to stop for the night in Fargo - having driven 1,412 km.- but decided that we preferred to put more distance between us and the storm. So, now we are on our way to Minneapolis - we could just keep driving all night. Who knows?
May 12th, 2005: Well, we did the impossible we kept on going for 36 hours (1500 miles) until we hit Dayton, Ohio - which is where we are now. Great accommodations with internet access (wireless) and the coupons that you find in the Rest Areas make it very affordable. Just heard that Don and Becky are in Oriental so the meeting will go on as planned. We will get into Maryland tomorrow night and on Saturday we will do some boat browsing in Annapolis. On Monday we take a look at Good Winds and on Wednesday we check out Pioneer.
Oriental at Last!
It has been 10 days since we arrived in Oriental, NC, with stops on the way in Annapolis, MD and Norfolk, VA. The short forms of the various states now seem commonplace to us. Yesterday was the BIG DAY! We reached an agreeable deal with Don and Becky for S/V Pioneer.
Finalizing the deal with the Notary's seal
She really is a beautiful boat and with a few very minor changes, ready to go cruising. We both did our very first ever trip in a bosun's chair up to the very top of the mast. What a thrill! Pioneer passed her survey with flying colours. Our surveyor was outstanding and will be available to help us reacquaint ourselves with Pioneer's systems once we return to the East Coast to get ready for our cruising life.
Judy checks out the teak work on Pioneer
Tomorrow we are planning to move the boat from Oriental to Minnessott Beach where she will spend the next few months under the caring hands of a new friend and fellow CR38 boat owner (Perry and Susan have "Grace" nestled in just 3 slips over). Minnessott has superb hurricane protection so we will be able to keep Pioneer in the water while we are away getting our lives cleared up.
Pioneer passes her survey with "flying colours"
Meanwhile for the last 10 days we have been camping, at the Bay River campground, in our newly purchased Wenger tent. It has not leaked to date and we have endured some very major and prolonged storms since our arrival.
Judy sets up our new home
Judy roasts hot dogs on a chilly/wet night
Last night while we roasted hot dogs on the fire (yummy!), a terrific storm came through and we just had enough time to dive into the tent. An hour and a half later it let up. It took us almost another hour to get the fire going again as the wood and pine cones we were using was a little damp.
We have met some wonderful people while we have been here. Dick and Judy Live in Dover NC and have a boat called St. Jude.
Dick and Judy, s/v St. Jude, enjoy a drink on Pioneer
We helped them work on their boat one day which was fun and productive for all of us. We have been introduced to "low country boil", and a secret rum potion to die for (Dick's recipe). Judy passed her amateur radio technician exams which she wrote in Morehead City, NC .
We plan to head back to Alberta by the end of the week. Just as soon as we get Pioneer safely moored in her hurricane hidey hole. Then comes the big job - sell the house, get rid of the furniture, put some things in storage start planning the cruise and then head back to NC.
Here is Pioneer in all her glory moored at New Sailcraft Services in N.C. We are just waiting for proper depth, current and wind conditions to move her to Minnessott Beach - hopefully on Thursday.
Pioneer moored at Sailcraft Services in Oriental, after the sale
Luckily, we have internet service here - wireless (Thanks Jeffy!) that enables us to keep in touch with back home and friends we have made since arriving. We have found that the USA Today phone card is about as cheap as it gets when making calls in the States and back to Canada.
After we folded up our tent on Friday and headed off to Pioneer, now safely in her own slip at Minnessott Beach, we decided that we should stay for a while and get to know her a little better. That meant crawling into impossible spaces, taking pictures of hidey holes, listing all the sea-cocks (don't want to cause a flood!), and tying down sails. We also webbed her in with many, many lines so that she would ride safely in our absence.
Judy ties down all sails to "hurricane proof" Pioneer
The last thing we did before we left was "swab the decks"! Our new friends, Perry and Susan, who also have a CR38 "Grace", will be looking after Pioneer in our absence. They are just two slips away from us.
The trip home was good except for the rain in Montana. We left Oriental on Tuesday morning and drove straight through until Wednesday evening. Montana really is very beautiful, except when there is a torrential downpour! Arrived in Lethbridge Thursday about 4 p.m. We only got lost once on the trip - we got stuck on the wrong side of the Mississippi River - and there are not a lot of bridges to get to the right side!
Now comes the major job - packing up the house, giving stuff away, getting everything registered (boat, dinghy, radio station license, EPIRB, radar, etc.). Then we have to plan the next year of our life in terms of destinations - we are very tempted to spend some time in Cuba. We have heard great things about it. One of the advantages of being a Canadian. Unfortunately US citizens can't go there (but many still do in a round about way).
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