Here is the second and last entry from that trip to Ocracoke. Not sure why I never finished writing. Maybe because I simply couldn’t. But gosh, this is even funnier than the last one! And it makes me want to sail again. NOW.

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351a, July 6, 2008

I am not sure how anyone survived the ships to Roanoke, or the ships to Jamestowne, or the ships to Plymouth. I am not sure how anyone survived sea travel prior to docks and electricity. I will explain how impressed I am with that in a few later paragraphs.

When I last wrote we were under full sail and cruising the Pamlico Sound. We, er, Tim and Mike did a great job getting us across this HUGE body of water. The most exciting adventure was running from a series of storms. I was quite nervous a few times when it seemed we were going nowhere and the storms were going everywhere. But I kept my head down and looked after the children.

About five hours into the Pamilco Sound crossing, Sawyer began to “not feel so good, Mommy.” The boat has been rocking pretty well even with full sail. And of course, we were tilted maybe ten to fifteen degrees so his little body had been fighting that slant for some time. As soon as he made his pronouncement Rebekah Anne and Kelly Mae followed suit. They were all tired and needed to rest and I attempted to bring them below deck to rest them and hydrate them and cool them. It was not excessively hot, but all this salt water can exaggerate the heat.

Kelly Mae rested well but Rebekah Anne and Sawyer were still too charged up to settle down. Then Sawyer HAD to settle down. He had upgraded his pronouncement to Code Yellow: “I am going to be sick, Mommy.” I remembered the best I could from a long time ago and I added ice to a bottle of water, applied it to his neck and came downstairs with him to lay horizontal with the boat and relax so his body would move with the boat rather than against it. He soon dozed off and slept the remaining two hours of the trip having to be wakened when we entered the Ocracoke harbor.

When I returned above deck to check on Rebekah Anne who in the time while I had been settling Sawyer also upgraded her agreed upon pronouncement. She was sound asleep on a seat with Mike (also resting) and fully relaxed allowing her body to also recuperate as she moved with the waves. Reade, who had been fine and often a help on the trip was also asleep on the opposite seat. Kelly Mae was the lone kid and didn’t look well so I brought her below deck as there were no more seats comfortably available and soon after I had an iced water bottle under her neck she, too, was asleep.

When we arrived in the harbor, known as Silver Lake, we set anchor and dinghy-ed ashore in two waves. We began trekking and very quickly Mike determined we needed another form of transport. While I was at the Ocracoke Lighthouse with the children (a good hike with babe on hip!) Mike strolled up on a bike with a trailer behind. He carried Laura Lea and Sawyer with him while the three eldest and I headed back to the Surf Shack to pick up a second bike and trailer for me and the two older girls and a bike for Reade. While there is a helmet law for kids under 16 here, we were assured he would not be cited if he did not wear a helmet. We were not going to give him a choice about a helmet. Out of curiosity, though, I asked Reade if he wanted to wear a helmet and he easily said, “Yes.” Finally, some of that  Safety First stuff I harp about is paying off! “You’ve got to protect your melon!”

We rode over the island and back to Jolly Rogers for dinner. We quickly found a table and sat. And sat. And sat. Mike asked a passing waitress, “Ma’am…” and received a very quick and especially curt reply of, “’I’m not your waitress” at which point we just as quickly and curtly left. We headed to Harold’s Pub at the other end of the village. It would be a thirty to forty minute wait. Not an option – we had five very hungry caterpillars and it was already nearing seven o’clock. So we crossed the street and ate at Jason’s. It was perfect. We sat at the edge at three separate little two tops: Reade and Sawyer, Kelly Mae and Rebekah Anne, Mike, Laura Lea, and me. We ordered a couple of cheese pizzas for the kids with a salad for Kelly Mae and Rebekah Anne. Perfect! I cannot think of a better place or location to have eaten at, especially for that moment in time when we needed good food and good service and we needed them FAST! Mike healthfully chose the chicken Caesar salad wrap and I had a Caesar salad with grilled tuna. YUM!
We hopped back on our bikes, returned them to the Surf Shack and dinghy-ed back to the boat where we enjoyed live music from the shore until after 11p. Despite yet another injury to Sawyer, this time in the nose accidentally hit as Mike was cranking the dinghy outboard. Yes, it bled. Poor kid. That’s three of his nine lives. Despite that minor but upsetting chaos, the kids all settled down easily and happily after some time on deck and a bed night snack. They had had quite an adventure. And for me it was just beginning.

Mike and I both initially dozed off on the deck. The lightning show had been amazing and the thunder was coming closer but we no less fell asleep and later woke to rain. We rained in, “battened down the hatches” and began to settle in to rest ourselves. And the rain has kept coming for over four hours now. I think the boat is drifting some but Mike thinks I am crazy(-er). It is pretty wet in the cabin as the hatches are not leak proof and the stench from all these unbathed and dusty and flatulent bodies is nearly making me a little upset.

Both of these men are pilots. Not just fair-weather pilots, although that’s all that matters, but they are instrument, multi-engine rated pilots. Tim has flown since Vietnam! And Mike is commercially rated! And they build GA parts! HOW COULD THEY NOT CHECK THE WEATHER!?!?!?!

Oh, I know. I was supposed to do it. Please note my sarcasm. I attempted multiple times Friday night to connect to the marina’s WiFi. I set up the free account but had to confirm via email that I am indeed who I am before I can log on to the network. HELLO! It takes an internet connection to receive email! I couldn’t connect to the internet, so I couldn’t confirm my identity. No problem. Mike has broadband on his phone. I set up another account using his work email. When does the email to his phone arrive? This morning. So I confirmed but never went on the network because we had to leave. I assumed that someone listened to or called in for a weather briefing. Apparently I was wrong. So we take off across the largest body of water in North Carolina and some other prestigious notoriety and have no idea what is going to happen.

Oh! That’s where those storms came from. Now I know. Oh! That’s where this rain came from…

I left Alamance County knowing only one thing about the weather – it was going to rain at home. A good chance Friday night and that chance increasing steadily through Monday. I had checked the Oriental, NC weather and knew there was a 40 percent chance of rain each day of the weekend. Well… I was the only one who checked, apparently.

It’s all OK, I guess. I mean, we’re here. We’re not going anywhere until morning, maybe. But in the meantime I am growing an even greater appreciation for those that wanted so badly to come here and learn about a brave new world. I cannot imagine what the ships felt like in high seas with putrid water and rotten food, when there was food and water. No sanitation. No air circulation. UGH! It truly is no wonder more people did not die from dehydration, severe nausea, and disease. This is tough and I am on a luxury boat. With rain dripping down the mast into the cabin…

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