Thursday 28 Nov, Beaufort NC, day 2: Walk around the town and celebrating US Thanksgiving with Dianne.
As we awake, the wind has swung to the north and abated, as forecasted. Several of the yachts that were at anchor have left, but we will stay one more day.
Our morning is relaxing inside. I don’t even think we got out of our PJs till passed 10am! We have gone from maintenance machines to sloths! But as it’s such a wonderful clear sunny day we soon head off to walk the rest of the town. While yesterday it felt quiet, today, on Thanksgiving day, is absolutely deserted! Just the odd person here and there walking their dog. All places are closed for the day. The town really is quaint and we comment that even 400 years ago, they were clearly planning their towns from scratch, to be organized in a grid pattern. Lovely wide tree lined streets with historic houses one after another.
Back at Cloudy mid-afternoon, we top up the tanks with water and put the safety belly slings on the Highfield – the ones that go from the tips of each davit, under the dinghy and back to the onboard end of the davit. Now we can release a little pressure off the principal davit strops and have full backup to the dinghy security. Normally, when doing passages in the ocean, we would put the dinghy on the foredeck. But as we are just hopping down the coast in 2-day legs, we are pretty comfortable the weather won’t change drastically from forecast, hence the dinghy is safe on davits.
Dianne, the OCC port officer, has very kindly invited us to a thanksgiving dinner at the Celebration Cottage, the restaurant she worked at today, on Atlantic Beach. Once all paying guests have left, the staff and families enjoy a dinner themselves. But, being Thanksgiving neither the local taxi companies nor Uber are available and the only way to get there is for poor Dianne to come get us! These OCC port officers really put out to help us cruisers, and Dianne is no exception. Having been a yacht cruiser herself, she now enjoys being kind hearted to others that pass through Beaufort.
The venue is a wonderful place on the beach and is usually used for weddings. As we arrive the sunset over the ocean is incredible. Hmmm sunset over the ocean on the East coast US, that sounds odd, right? Well, surprisingly, Beaufort beach actually runs east-west, so being winter the sun is setting over the water.
The dinner has less people than we expected. A lot of the staff have headed home, especially the kitchen staff who have been cooking since 3am. 9 turkeys cooked, apparently. Nonetheless the food is delicious and the people quite entertaining. Let’s just say a group of all types on gender and social status 🙂
Completely stuffed with delicious food and wine, Dianne drops us back at Cloudy Bay and we say our thanks and goodbyes.
After a short time we set off to the famous Backstreet Pub, a short walk away. A very authentic local pub, with roaring fireplace that both locals and yacht cruisers attend. As usual in USA bars, people quickly chat to you and enjoy each other’s company in this quite unique atmosphere.
Then, all of a sudden we meet a young couple, Joshua and Sam, whom we had previously met on the island of Saba, back in March. Joshua is Jamaican and Sam from New York. When we met them, they were about to get married and wanted to buy a yacht. Well, here they are in Beaufort, married and cruising south on their newly acquired Catalina 42, from New York to Florida. What a small world. And we hear all about their adventures on their journey down so far – not for the faint hearted. They are brave bringing a new boat south in the winter, and have had some equipment challenges. But they managed to enter the ICW (inter coastal waterway) in Norfolk VA, and will continue south on that till Florida. So they should be safe from now on. Good on them! What a small world.
Back at Cloudy we recheck the weather. Looks like we will have to depart tomorrow unless we want to stay in Beaufort for another week.
Then we notice we have no shore power. Odd. The power is plugged in but not getting to the appliances. Turns out that our isolation transformer, a Mastervolt Gi7, is outputting 260 VAC and not surprisingly the Mastervolt Combi is not happy with this high voltage (should only be 225). The input to the Gi7 is ok at 240 VAC, so why on earth is it stepping it up to 260?
With the manual out we can find no indication of any problem. So an email is written to Mastervolt Tech Support to see what they have to say. Once we are off shore power tomorrow we don’t actually need the Gi7. In-fact, it’s only there anyway to isolate the shore system from the boat system and provide cathodic protection. So we can simply bypass it if need be. As we are not expecting to be on shore power again any time soon, we will put the issue on hold. But yet again, barely a day goes passed when Cloudy doesn’t throw a technical challenge at us 🙁
We then settle into the last luxury of good internet and stream a movie to entertain ourselves. And finally go to bed at midnight, still feeling full from dinner!