Saturday, April 2, 2011

“The Secret To My Happiness … ”

Posted: May 12, 3:16 pm | (permalink) | (0 comments)

…according to a post on the Facebook page of my friend Beth Savoca Ditman, “…is knowing the difference between an inconvenience and a tragedy.” Keep talkin’, Beth! We really, really, need this!

We’ve been unable to troubleshoot the depth sensor. Over the weekend, we connected our old display unit to a new sensor (where it worked perfectly) and sent our old display unit to the shop (where it worked perfectly). It looked like we isolated the problem to a connection, which we repaired. The thing was working perfectly at the dock all weekend, but when we left Monday afternoon, it failed again before we went a few hundred yards! We returned to the dock, where it worked perfectly, and prepared to leave again to test it … where it failed AGAIN! The only sure fix we can consider is to haul the boat, rip out the entire depth system and install a new one. Yuck.

Inconvenience, not tragedy. Inconvenience, not tragedy.

I’m trying to look at the bright side of the situation that another friend, Leslie Owen, cynically describes cruising as “fixing your boat in a series of foreign ports.” Even though we’d hoped to be back in Annapolis by now - at least we’re in a safe, interesting, pleasant place. We’ve walked all over the little town of Oriental, NC, which makes me achingly nostalgic for our hailing port, Northport, Michigan … minus the snow. Our walks have uncovered whimsical yard ornaments and magnolia trees in bloom and a wonderful sense of town camaraderie. The town mascot is a dragon - maybe referring the Orient, given the town’s name “Oriental?” (The name actually came from a ship that was wrecked nearby.) Dragon motifs are everywhere. Painted rocks nicknamed “dragon eggs” are displayed on several lawns along with official-looking “Endangered Species Nesting Site- Do Not Disturb” signs. George, one of the folks who worked on our boat, is a fifth-generation resident. He told us stories as he worked on the rudder post, and spoke of the way the town is changing as retirees move in and drive up prices and property taxes and force long-time residents and old ways of life out – a situation familiar to many small communities in the Chesapeake as well. We’re in a boatyard, Deaton Yacht Services, that has been extremely competent and responsive and friendly. It has exceeded all of our expectations, which is dangerous, as we keep adding “one more thing” to do while we’re here anyway. But now, we're keeping our fingers crossed that everything's done and we'll be underway again in the morning.

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Just for fun: a "dragon egg" and a closeup of the sign


Wes has been operating a travel lift for 26 years


This egret lawn ornament was made from a piece of PVC pipe

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