Outer Banks Marathon: With a little help from our friends

in Adventure Travel / Life at Sea / Travel Fitness
Whittaker Pointe Marina Oriental NC

I have mentioned before that land schedules do not jive with sail plans. Yet I don’t think we’ve quite internalized this fact because we keep scheduling things like we still live in Manhattan. Luckily, with a little help from the universe (i.e. Facebook), the internet and the kindness of strangers, we’ve found we can sail and make our land schedules work (it just takes some creativity and help from friends).

Before we left New York in October, Ryan and I signed up for the Outer Banks Marathon in North Carolina, not knowing exactly where we’d be in the course of our travels on the weekend of November 11th. It might have been optimistic, but we made the commitment and then decided later to sail as far south as we could and find a way to get to the marathon once we crossed that bridge…or, well, those waters.

But on Thursday night, with the marathon quickly approaching, we worked out if we arrived in Oriental on Saturday, we would be a three-and-a-half-hour drive south of the Outer Banks, where we would need to be before 6 pm Saturday night. And, unfortunately, there didn’t seem to be many options for getting between the two.

So, I posted on our Turf to Surf Facebook Page that I was having trouble figuring out how to get to a car rental (there are none in Oriental) so we could then get to the Outer Banks Marathon. Within minutes, I got a response from Brittany at Windtraveler, who said she’d just emailed one of her blog followers in Oriental to see if they could help out. And help out they did!

It took some impeccable timing, a reliable boat, and a lot of help from two incredibly generous cruisers, Gretchen and Chris (s/v Alchemy) to make this schedule happen (almost) as smoothly as it did:

Saturday 11/11/12

  • 4:00 am – Pulled up anchor in Belham, NC and motor-sailed to Oriental, NC to arrive at marina for 12:00 pm.
  • 1:00 pm – Gretchen and Chris, never having met us before, dropped their boat repairs to pick us up from Whittaker Pointe Marina and entertain us with sailing stories while they drove us to our car rental in New Bern, NC (30 minutes away).
  • 1:30 pm – We headed for Kill Devil Hills, NC in our rental car.
  • 3:00 pm – Stopped at a gas station/diner for hot dogs, burgers and fries, and learned a cute southern term: having your hamburger “dressed” (with lettuce, tomato and mayo).
  • 4:30 pm – Got pulled over and ticketed for speeding. Bummer. Bigger bummer: court date is 1/2/13 (the day after New Year’s!) in Manteo, NC. (Note to self: find NC lawyer to sort this out. And get Ryan to ham up his English accent to the police next time.)
  • 5:45 pm – Arrived to Outer Banks Marathon Expo. Picked up our bibs just before they shut at 6:00 pm. Whew!
  • 6:30 pm – Arrived to hotel in Nags Head, NC. Ate steak. Slept.

Sunday 11/12/12

  • 4:30 am – Woke up to find we hadn’t packed warm enough running clothes for 40-degree temperatures. Why is it so cold here in the south?!
  • 5:00 am – Drove to Manteo, NC (race finish line) to catch 5:45 am shuttle to race start.
  • 7:00 am – Ryan started Outer Banks Half Marathon.
  • 7:30 am – Tasha started Outer Banks Marathon.
  • 9:00 am – Ryan finished Half Marathon, looking strong.
  • 11:50 am – Tasha finished Marathon, hobbling.
  • 1:00 pm – Showered and checked out of hotel. Went for big, wonderful post-marathon lunch at Tortuga’s Lie in Nags Head.
  • 3:00 pm – Drove back to Avis Car Rental in New Bern, NC.
  • 6:30 pm – Gretchen and Chris picked us up from New Bern, bringing us a fresh loaf of bread, which Gretchen made herself (how nice is that?!), and drove us back to our marina in Oriental.
  • 7:00 pm – Had drinks and fresh bread on board Hideaway with Gretchen and Chris. Compared Charlie and Celia to Gretchen and Chris’ cats, Hawkeye and Radar, and wished we could sail together and have kitty play dates.
hideaway turftosurf sailing blog

Gretchen and Chris, hanging out with us in the salon of Hideaway.

And so, thanks to Gretchen and Chris, we are now back in Oriental, reunited with Charlie and Celia. But, as it turns out, we have another land date rushing up on us. On November 16th, our Long Island boat buddies Bill and Grace are flying into Jacksonville, Florida with the plan to sail south with us for a week. (And Ryan and I are hoping this trip will entice them to come cruising with us sooner rather than later, wink, wink).

So, we’re rushing south again, in an effort to get warm and to see how close we can get to Florida before Bill and Grace arrive, though it looks doubtful that we’ll get as far south as Jacksonville. It may take a little more creative solution-sleuthing to make this one work, but I’m sure the universe will comply.

One of these days, we’ll probably have to learn to let go of our land schedules a little more if we hope to lower the revs on our new cruising life. But I guess I’ll just have to add that to my growing list of things we need to learn.

tasha hacker obx marathon

Running the Outer Banks Marathon

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  • Brittany November 12, 2012, 8:38 am

    Yay!! I am so happy to help and even MORE happy it worked out!! I had a hunch Gretchen and Chris were wonderful people and…well…they’re even MORE so!! Congrats on finishing the half/full marathon!! xo

    • Tasha November 12, 2012, 10:01 am

      Thanks, Brittany! It was such an awesome connection…so grateful!

  • alchemy2010 November 12, 2012, 8:23 pm

    We had so much fun meeting you Tasha, and Ryan! You two are like the Superheros of the cruising world…Sail down the East Coast with cold weather and dodging the likes of hurricane Sandy…and running marathons…The two of you are going to have such a great time in the Bahamas or where ever your travels take you. I am so grateful to have met you and so grateful to Brittany for introducing us! Thanks Britt! We got our boat all masked completely this morning and the Awlgrip “Bright Aluminum” was sprayed and we now have a boot stripe!!! s/v Alchemy is going to have a whole new attitude…sparkly! Take care of all of yourselves and hopefully we will see you all out there soon!

    • Tasha November 13, 2012, 9:13 am

      Ha ha! Superheroes, no way! You’re the one keeping the pioneers’ yeast alive! History!

      You guys need to come see us when Alchemy is ready. The bread, by the way, has been incorporated into every single meal we’ve had since you gave it to us – delicious! You’ve shown me why our future boat should have an oven…Thanks so much again for everything! You guys have such a great energy…I hope you get cruising again soon!

  • threeseaurchins November 12, 2012, 9:02 pm

    That story exhausted me just reading it. Hi guys, This is Bettina,Tim’s wife from Oriental. I feel like a hermit. Tim is out meeting all our neighbors while I am in the cabin homeschooling or organizing our new home. Thanks for saying “hi” on our blog. And by the way, congratulations on your marathon. Maybe you guys want to run with me one of these mornings before you leave. Although, I only run about 4 miles. I hope to meet you both in person.

    • Tasha November 13, 2012, 7:40 am

      Hi Bettina!
      Nice to “meet” you! Now I understand why we didn’t see you before…you’re the boat teacher! Wow! That’s amazing!
      We have moved on from Oriental, but we hope to run into you guys again on the way down!

  • Dan N Jaye November 13, 2012, 9:22 am

    Happily, this is the way it often goes in cruising – the lifestyle just seems to attract interesting generous people. BTW, secret hint; Enterprise car rental will pick you up at your marina if you rent from them. Off season, some offices will rent cars for as little as $10/day on weekends. This deal has maintained our sanity for several years of US East Coast cruising.

    • Tasha November 13, 2012, 9:43 am

      Hi Dan n Jaye,
      Thanks for the hint! We knew this fact but Enterprise in New Bern are closed on weekends. And Avis and Budget wouldn’t pick us up! But it was much more fun getting picked up by Gretchen and Chris anyway!

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