As the tug and barge powered up the small creek past our haulout slip, Cathy breathed a sigh of relief that Orion Jr’s short trip this morning was completed just before this massive vessel motored by. Turning her attention to the final details, she grabbed a few items and stowed our lines and fenders. You don’t need those on the trailer.
This was the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s capture, which was duly noted at this year’s Blackbeard Pirate Festival in Hampton. We met up with Adam, Droz and Trinity at the festival and spent the day together. Adam, dressed as Jack Sparrow was recruited to join the Pirate Parade and couldn’t move more than a few feet without being stopped by a someone wanting a picture. We ended the day a little early and retreated to the boat, docked nearby, followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant. Our timing couldn’t have been better, since the heavens opened up just after we made it inside.
It was going to be a slow trip south. Dave had learned quite a bit about our trailer tires after our 2 flats heading north. The trailer tires were rated only for a max speed of 62mph. Rather than push that limit, we opted to take the non-highway route through NC and SC. Even so, it was early on the second day that the tire pressure alarm sounded. The forward passenger side trailer was losing pressure rapidly. We were on a 2-lane road with a sign warning of a soft shoulder. Great. We stopped in the road while Dave walked the shoulder to ensure we wouldn’t sink in.
Once safely on the shoulder, we managed to assess the situation. The tire had blown its valve stem completely out. This tire had only traveled about 300 miles, since it was the original spare. Dave managed to find the valve stem with the tire pressure sensor a few yards behind us. Then we set about changing it. With a few boards under the rear tire, we lifted the flat tire, made the change and were on our way.
A short distance down the road, we pulled into a tire store to have the flat repaired. The repairman quickly replaced the valve stem and said the tire had not been damaged during the incident. After reviewing the other 4 tires, he assured us they looked in good shape. With that assurance, we moved on. There were no more incidents that day as we made our way to Hardeeville SC, just north of Georgia. With only 150 miles left, we decided to take I95 the rest of the way, pulling into Faith mid-day Wednesday, with no more tire issues. Reviewing the travel north and south, all of our flats occurred in NC. So, if we can just stay out of that state . . .
Nah. Don’t think so.
Before leaving Virginia, we both knew that whatever work required to be done on the boat should be done there. Working outside in Florida in June would be brutal. And we were right. It was. It is. After greeting Pastor Barry and Susan, we had a simple task to do the first day before parking the boat – switch the repaired tire for the spare we had mounted back in NC. We moved the boat to the shade and made the switch. And it wiped us out. Drenched in sweat, we spent the rest of the day re-hydrating and planning to do all of our work early in the morning from here on out. You see, when they say, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”, they aren’t kidding. Also, every evening we found ourselves in hour-long torrential thunderstorms.
Over the next few days, we eked out the time in the early morning to switch supplies between the truck, RV and boat, set up the boat cover frame and finally, Monday morning roll the cover onto the boat. Despite the positioning of the mast, it fit fine. Phew! And that was a good thing, too, because the trip south had uncovered another leak. Sigh. Having placed the dinghy transom under the stairs, the water appeared to be coming in by the cockpit table supports, onto the transom and running into the port bench in the Main Saloon. Once we mopped all the water up (and there was a lot), we moved the transom out, taped up the table supports holes and the leak stopped. With the boat cover in place, this should not be an issue anyway.
The Saturday after our arrival, we attended the 95th birthday for one of Faith’s faithful members, Henrietta. A good time was had by all.