Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Light Weather, Heavy Boat, Off The Carolina Coast

The Admiral Enjoys The Warmer Atlantic Glow

Crystal Blues is heavy, real heavy. Absolutely stuffed with provisions, fuel, water and of course more than a little grog, she slid away from the dock yesterday after nine days in beautiful Beaufort, North Carolina. We  planned to stop in Beaufort for a week of provisioning, preparing for cruising the Bahamas and Cuba over the next five months.  It was a fine choice.

A Tough Career Choice -So Many Shrimp, So Little Time
Berthed at Homer Smith's Docks & Marina, we found ourselves in a family run marina that is relaxed and low key but with a great location and the support that only a family business can provide.

The berthing rate is only $6.00 per foot per week, including power and water. In US terms this is great value, but the deal gets better when they pass over the marina truck keys so you can do your shopping, then pass over a couple of pounds of fresh shrimp....

In fact the business still buys and processes shrimp and sea food direct from the trawlers, shipping fresh product to markets in the south. Within an hour of arrival I walked out of the marina office to find shrimp processing in full swing - where my questions lead to a quick stint on the production and sorting line.  Never ask questions.

Diane Tetreault (center) With Visiting OCC Cruisers
As members of the Ocean Cruising Club, there is another great bonus to being in Beaufort. Local OCC Port Officer Diane Tetreault is incredibly welcoming and supportive. There were several OCC boats in town, and nothing was too much trouble for Diane, who organised social events and repeatedly helped out with transport when needed. Hats off to Diane!

Amazon Calling
And then there was the shopping...

The admiral, with daily access to the marina truck, ran a fast provisioning schedule that saw Crystal Blues sinking lower into the water each day. Every cupboard and locker was audited and re-stocked, goods rotated, some thrown away and yet more purchased. To all that we added 900 liters of diesel and 900 liters of fresh water. She is now a seriously heavy boat.

We also discovered that Amazon was a great value source for bulk food supplies - tinned butter, milk powder. coffee, tinned foods and the like. All delivered to the marina within 48 hours at great prices.

Beaufort also provided us with another gem - while watching activity in the seafood processing area we met locals Libby and Jack Cox. Libby was up to her elbows in fish sorting at the time, and Jack was working with one of his boats that had just delivered the catch - they harvest bottom fish by line fishing. Next thing we knew they visited Crystal Blues, so we then joined them for Thanks Giving lunch. Libby & Jack are dreaming of a future on a cruising sail boat, so we had a lot to talk about. Friendships are born this way.

Crystal Blues should be in St. Augustine, Florida, by Thursday evening.
The Admiral & I At Dinner With Libby & Jack

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