No we didn’t rob a bank to pay for our dinner (because a sailboat wouldn’t make the best escape vehicle), and we haven’t run out of sunscreen. We’re just really cold.
For a town we had looked forward to revisiting for months, we really couldn’t wait to get out of Beaufort, NC. Not because we don’t love it there or didn’t have a great time. It is just SO COLD. On our third day in town I hung out on the boat all day, struggling to get warm under layers of clothes and blankets with the heater on. In order to tolerate the journey from Belhaven to Beaufort I had worn four layers of various pant-like items, five layers on top including two fleece jackets, my knit hat, neck gaiter around my face, earmuffs, wool socks and mukluks (my super fancy rubber boots are not warm) and my motorcycle gloves. Yes, motorcycle gloves. For the 397th time I wished I had kept more of my winter clothing. Not because I would be any warmer, but because I’m tired of wearing those same 14 pieces of clothing every single day. Then for the 397th time I reminded myself that I won’t be needing any of it soon anyway because, “It’s going to warm up as soon as we get to…” the Sahara, apparently. I know it was in the 20s in Denver already so I probably shouldn’t be complaining, but if I were in Denver I certainly wouldn’t be living outside in a glorified bathtub.
Somewhere on the Chesapeake I gave up on the layers and layers of clothes and decided
dragging a blanket out to the cockpit would be much more comfortable.
Since Beaufort is a good jumping off point for offshore passages South, many of the people we met had not been taking the inland route but were making much faster progress hopping down the coast. It made us miss actually sailing and the money we could save on fuel by avoiding motoring all day. We had been hoping to leave Beaufort on Tuesday and head to Wrightsville Beach, but one step outside and we knew we had no interest in standing out at the helm for hours on end. We were also toying with the idea of waiting for the right time for a 36 hour sail to Charleston.
Wednesday rolled around and the sun came out. We went outside and turned into popsicles while the good-for-nothing sun laughed a cold breeze in our faces. Standing outside through the night seemed unthinkable, not to mention the probability of getting wet, sleep-deprived, and terrified. No thanks. It would be different if we had an autopilot and/or an enclosed cockpit. But funds aren’t going to stretch far enough to afford us those luxuries for now.
Far from a fully enclosed cockpit, we rigged this make-shift shelter from the rain
out of pieces of our canvas bimini.
After waiting around too long for the right combination of warmth, wind, and waves, we tend to get antsy. It feels as though the right time will never come, and winter will rule the earth! Best to keep moving South however we can.
Cut to Thursday and there’s a small craft advisory offshore with winds out of the Southwest. Guess which direction we need to go? So instead of taking down 200 miles in a day and a half, we find ourselves spending the entire day motoring 21 miles to Swansboro, NC. (Swansboro is only a twenty minute drive from my aunt’s beach house where we spent last Sunday night.) Still, making some kind of progress beats sitting around wondering, when, oh when, will we be warm again?