Festival Season

Festival Season

Spring is here and every small town in the area is having their annual spring festival. Do you want crabcakes at the Soft Shell Crab festival, lunch at the Shrimp and Grits festival, or a few hours on the tarmac as the Marine Core Air Base puts on a show?

“We’re going to stay right here and watch the air show from our pool,” one of the dads at the marina informs me while trying to fill an inflatable pool with water. Skye is inclined to agree this is a good idea. I’m loaded down with produce and meat from our morning foray to the farmer’s market and tell him we’ll be back up after lunch and nap. The Blue Angels show is at 3 and we should be up by then.

Skye goes down for a nap and I work for a while until the rumble of a jet gets too loud to ignore and Skye wants to know what’s going on. She climbs out into the cockpit just in time to see a jet pass by, low and slow, making a pass right over our heads for the air base. A few minutes later, two jets swing by.

The festivals downtown are just as fun. Every restaurant and catering outfit in the area set up tents and try to entice with their best local flavors. A separate section is devoted to the artists that have come in to show their wares. This is the park Skye and I frequently visit for running and playing and she doesn’t understand why she has to stay right next to me during festivals. She wants to run to the playground, not stay and eat more food, listen to a band, and watch the Forest Gump impersonator walk around.

Closer to home, the marina throws a potluck for everyone sitting on the deck watching the airshow. BBQ chicken, hamburgers and hotdogs, salad, coleslaw, two pasta dishes, green beans, and more line up in the lounge and everyone brings their plates outside to enjoy. Skye runs off with Geoff only to come back soaking wet from taking her turn in the inflatable pool (which, apparently, doesn’t inflate as well as it did last summer. The marina parents are going to buy a nicer pool to leave up on the lawn). Soaking wet and happy, she runs around with a hamburger and bubble gun, stopping anytime the planes fly over to express her enthusiasm.

Recently in town were replicas of the Nina and the Pinta, two of the three boats Christopher Columbus came over from Spain in. Big boats, but hardly spacious and even with modern epoxies, incredibly leaky according to the crew. Touring them was fun and gives a real sense of how far boat design has progressed.

We also took a morning off during the week to visit the kazoo factory – the only plastic kazoo maker in the US. Well worth the trip, you learn the history of the kazoo, the surprising number of variations on the instrument, how they’re made, and then you get to assemble and make your own. It’s a mini introduction to manufacturing safety and processes as well as a fun excuse to make noise for the rest of the day. Kazoo duets at lunch, anyone?

Worldschooler Exchange

Worldschooler Exchange

We’re being featured on Worldschooler Exchange this week!

One big thing we work on while traveling is finding other kids to play with. We’re lucky right now that the marina we’re at has other toddlers (plural!!), but sometimes it takes planning to find friends. Facebook groups, the Kids4Sail map, and Worldschooler Exchange are all ways we locate other families traveling through the same region. They also provide support groups that speak specifically to the nomadic parts of our life.

Adding an Engine

Adding an Engine

On our first boat, our engine worked but wasn’t the world’s most reliable. After a few times having to bring the boat around under sail and get a lot of help to back it into a slip, we had the engine rebuilt, but it never ran quite the same.

The boat we started cruising with had a reliable engine, but it burned an insane amount of oil (probably more oil than gas). The back of the boat was always covered in black soot and cleaning it was a pain. The plan was to replace the engine with a new one but that never materialized.

With Brave Dragon, we pulled the engine out right away. We were either going to completely rebuild it or buy a new one. Meanwhile, we used an outboard to push the boat. We bought an almost new engine after Hurricane Matthew (40 hours on the engine, that’s pretty much new) and have been redoing the wiring and prepping to put the engine in. Last weekend, Geoff, with the help of an A-frame and a strong friend, we got the engine on the boat and then down below into the salon. Our next challenge is to move it from the salon floor onto the engine mounts, but we’re having to move more wiring before it can slide in place.

So this week, we’re moving around an engine in the middle of the floor. Geoff is trying to convince Skye that the engine is named Joe. She simply refers to it like I do, as “the engine.” You never know what she’s going to pick up on.

We also completely remeasured the rigging and are replacing most of the standing rigging. The goal is to leave Beaufort at the end of the month with mast up, the bimini and dodger attached (this might be a stretch), and the engine in and running. Still lots of work to do, but certainly it will be nice to be back on the adventure.