Tuesday, May 4, 2010

LOOKING FOR SIGNS: Headed South Day Six

Coinjock  36°20.276N | 75°57.399W

The end of this trip south was now so close it was making us antsy. So close in fact, that four impatient friends made the short drive from the Outer Banks to Coinjock to welcome us and Good Company to North Carolina.

With only one leg to go, the weather prediction was unsettling, calling for a chance of scattered thunderstorms in the Albemarle Sound, right in our path.

After all the good decisions we had made up to this point, we didn't want to blow it now.

I was feeling a lot of pressure to get to the Outer Banks to deal with the offer on our business, to move our things out of the rental house (already several days overdue) and to manage some freelance deadlines. Feeling pressure to go regardless of weather is not good seamanship.

At 9:00 a.m., still unsure, we began preparations to leave and agreed to watch for signs that we should stay -- or go.

This is a regular practice for us. If we're uncertain, we lay the question out there and wait for direction, which might not be a text message from god, but on the other hand, it's usually clear.

Right away, I went into the bathroom to stow things for the trip. I picked up what I thought was a container of dehumidifying gel. It had done its job and turned into an oily liquid, and as liquids do, went splattering all over the room.

"Is this a sign?" I asked.

"We'll have to see," Chip responded. "That's one strike against leaving." Often, when the signs aren't completely clear, we wait for three strikes.

I continued stowing while Chip went to fuel up and pump out.

A few minutes later, I heard him laughing.

He was working in the cockpit when this boat went by:

See what I mean about clear?

We pulled out 30 minutes behind Follow Me into a day that was overcast but stopped short of being stormy. When we peeled off the ICW at the mouth of the North River, we officially entered home waters. Colington Island, our home on the Outer Banks for 12 years, appeared on the horizon, and our new home, Roanoke Island was right there across the water.

But landmarks on a watery horizon, just like long-planned goals, are always further away than they seem. It took several hours to cross the Albemarle Sound, especially on the safe -- and long -- route toward the southern tip of Roanoke Island and the entrance to the channel that skirts the island.

Hundreds of boats travel the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW), but very few leave it to stop over in Roanoke Island like we were doing. Yet, as we motored toward the entrance of Shallowbag Bay, the radio squawked and I heard:

"Manteo Waterfront, Manteo Waterfront, this is Follow Me."

And we had, all the way from Coinjock.

We tied up in our new slip, tired, relieved, happy and ready for whatever the still-uncertain future might hold. Will we be here for a few weeks, a few months? We don't yet know.

As always, we're waiting for the next sign.

Manteo  35°54.525N | 75°40.119W

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Tammy,
My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
I was looking for blogs about Colington to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
Hope to hear from you!