Last night was quite interesting. We saw some rain, but the real story was the wind. From the time we pulled up to the dock and all through the night the wind blew furiously out of the southwest at 20-30 knots, with gusts over 40 knots (as measured aboard Beatitude). This kept Beatitude pinned and bouncing against the dock all night. It took all the strength we had to adjust the lines and arrange the fenders such that we felt comfortable and secure.
But, like all storms and tempests, this, too, relinquished its unnerving grip. As the new dawn beckoned, the wind subsided and the sun began to play hide and seek through peepholes in the leaden sky. Beatitude did just fine during the night, and her crew enjoyed a restful night’s sleep despite all the bluster outside.
We decided to attend the service at St. Thomas’ Episcopal church in the town of Oriental this morning. Fortunately, the marina has a courtesy van that can be used free-of-charge for up to two hours when needed. It wasn’t in use this morning, so we drove the van into town for morning service. The church was small (like the town) and the edifice was not as beautiful as many we’ve been in lately. The number of people was also smaller than other recent churches, but the liturgy was still powerful, and it was wonderful to worship God.
We had lunch at a nice little restaurant in town called M&M’s. After enjoying some tasty quesadillas, we walked around town for a few minutes. There’s not much to town, so it didn’t take too long to walk around. Oriental, whose population is 900, is named after the Sailing Steamer Oriental, which ran aground off Cape Hatteras in 1862. Apparently, In 1886, the U.S. Postal Service sought to establish a post office in what had been called Smith’s Creek. The postmaster’s wife thought the place needed a better name, so she decided to call the town Oriental after having found the nameplate from the wrecked sailing steamer Oriental on the beaches of the Outer Banks. Oriental is a well-known sailing town, referred to as “The Sailing Capital of the Carolinas.”
After returning to the marina, we spent a refreshing hour or so in the marina pool. We had it all to ourselves. It was wonderful! We then returned to our vessel for the rest of the evening. We’ll have a light dinner and likely watch a movie.
Tomorrow, we plan to continue our passage north. We tentatively plan (since all plans are tentative on a sailboat) to be in Norfolk, VA, by Thursday, July 2, where we’ll spend the 4th of July weekend. It will take us four days to get there. We plan to anchor out each night, so the next post may not be for another four or five days. Our friends, Ken and Carol Krause, cruised the ICW for a couple of years in their trawler. He would end each of his updates with the Spanish phrase, “Como Dios manda,” which translated means (roughly), “As God wills.” I believe he told me this is how Christopher Columbus ended each of his journal entries on his voyages. It may not be a bad way to end mine. So… Como Dios manda.