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!
- 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.
- 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.
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.