Thursday, November 02, 2006


Belhaven NC, N 35 32.196 W 76 37.623

I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog about the entertainment. Sailing down the Alligator river, we were passed by a Coast Guard helicopter flying at mast height. A few minutes later there was a large
roar. I quickly pivoted my head and I saw an F18 fighter jet passing only a few hundred feet away at masthead height. I could see the pilot eyeballing Tarwathie through the glass bubble.

For the rest of the morning F18 jets provided continuous entertainment. The must have been from Camp Lejune. They were practicing ground support attacks at the Marine's Practice are in Pamlico Sound. Pairs of F18s would fly out to the Alligaror River, then make a 180 degree turn and fly back to the practice area at treetop height at 400 knots. It was a great show. We saw the sights and sounds of being in a combat zone, but (of course) not the fear.

Last night we stopped at a Skipper Bob recommended anchorage just 30 minutes before dark. I was surprised that we were nearly the only ones there, but my surprise was premature. In the next 30 minutes about 30 other boats came out of the canal and anchored near us.

Coming into Belhaven this morning I was motoring up the channel when we spotted a good dinghy dock. I tried to circle around to see it better and bam - we were aground. Oh no! It has been a long time since we were aground last. I hoped to go a whole year without a grounding. I did not expect a grounding as a present for my birthday (today.) Oh well, I overspeak. We're no longer scared by groundings. It gives us a chance to demonstrate our seamanship. In this case we launched the dinghy, rowed out the Danforth anchor and 150 feet of rode and kedged ourselves off the bottom. The whole operation took less than 15 minutes.

"Are you speaking English?"
I said something this morning that made me realize how far we've descended into cruiser's jargon. I told Libby, "Slimy Grimy the ring around the dink." For the benefit of my landlubber and overseas blog fans, here is the explanation. Slimy Grimy is a cleaning liquid. It is the only thing we've found that easily removes the brown stain that grows around the waterline of Tarwathie when in salt water. The dinghy also had such a brown stain. Dink is sailor's slang for dinghy. Further, the sentence was a throwback to a TV advertizement that was common in the 1970s in the USA. The ad pitched a laundry soap that would remove "ring around the collar." There you have it, idoms and jargon three layers deep in a single sentence, yet Libby understood me perfectly.

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