Listening to "Farther On Down The Road" by Taj Mahal
It's interesting getting a taste of what it will be like to live at anchor. We left the marina in Oriental ten days ago and have been having a lovely time sailing and testing out various systems, however, we do not have our extra solar panels, the shore power cords, or the wind generators operational. This means that we have been relying on the panels on the hard top, which are often shaded by the boom, and infrequent injections of power from the engine. Most of the time we simply try to conserve power and direct usage where it is most needed. Computer charging does not fall very high on this list.
Today, however, has been lovely. Sunny, crisp but mild, and a blazing sun that has allowed our little solar panels to shine...or rather soak up the shine. My computer is humming happily and I'm eager to see what the world has been up to in our absence.
I had the most wonderful time while anchored in West Bay. In general I greatly prefer to live at anchor as opposed to docked in a marina. There is this connection with your surroundings that is somewhat lost once the boat is hobbled to a dock...she can't move freely and the natural rhythm is somewhat stifled. It helped that we woke up to the most magical sight. Calm waters that reflected the sky perfectly, and with a fog that obscured the land and made both Drake and I feel as though Paragon was floating on a cloud. I cannot explain the wonder of our surroundings that morning as I looked in all directions and saw, not water, but sky. Sky everywhere!
The days in West Bay also gave us a bit of time to decompress and change our tempo. We were able to step back and spend some time together before heading on to Ocracoke.
May I just take this moment to say how very much I adore Ocracoke. I have wanted to come here ever since I can remember, though for some reason or another we never made the trip. Now that we are here it is everything I thought it could be and more. I think the fact that it is the off season has even made it better. Many businesses are closed, but those that are open are both glad to see you and have the time to step back and have a chat. The whole village has a relaxed and sleepy atmosphere that is, I'm sure, quite different from the mad house it turns into during the summer tourist season.
Our arrival by sailboat has raised several eyebrows since January is not usually a popular month to hop in a boat and head out to the outer banks for a visit. In fact, we were stopped the other day by a delightful gentleman, Rob, who zipped through town in the vehicle of choice, a golf cart, and told us he wrote The Shipping News for the Ocracoke Current. As he put it, he wrote about interesting people passing through, and just the fact that we were here in January must make us interesting. You can read the article here: http://www.ocracokecurrent.com/53865
Now Drake and I have spent the days working on Paragon and exploring the island. We walked up to the Ocracoke Lighthouse, visited the British Cemetery, purchased some cards at Books To Be Red, walked along the Springer's Point Preserve nature trail, and enjoyed a lovely meal at the Topless Oyster Restaurant. I look forward to checking out more of this lovely island…
|It was as though we were anchored in the sky|
|The fog obscured the land and created this magical illusion|
|Sunrise on the morning we left West Bay for Ocracoke|
|Anchored in Silver Lake on Ocracoke Island|
|The Ocracoke Lighthouse|
|Walking on the nature trail. It's nice to be surrounded by such greenery|
|Dinner and drinks at The Topless Oyster Restaurant|
|Oysters Rockefeller and some Guinness while waiting for dinner|