Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Final Countdown

Saturday is the day. THE Day. Saturday morning we'll head out of Beaufort bound for the Turks & Caicos. Were the technology gods smiling upon me your computer would be blasting Asia's "The Final Countdown" right now, but I guess they are busy with something else. Probably a Star Trek conference or something. Anyway, you'll just have to sing it in your head until I can figure out the audio-in-blog thing. The important part is, we're getting ready to leave the onsetting white winter behind in favor of white sandy beaches and rum punches.

Against the Wind...

We arrived in Beaufort almost two weeks ago, the weather deteriorating from the moment we dropped anchor in Town Creek. In short order the winds were gusting well over 30 knots as we were squeezed between Hurricane Noel and a neighboring high pressure system. We abandoned our anchorage in favor of a slip we had reserved at the marina. Murphy came out to help us dock - we recorded the highest gust (40 knots) at just the moment we were docking. Then we went out for a run, getting batted around by all the wind and struggling just to stay on our feet. After that we hopped in the marina loaner car - a fabulously stylish 1984 Mercury Marquis, replete with power windows that don't, and a plush red headliner that hangs down around your ears - to go pick up our rental car. As we were getting blown all over the road over the radio waves comes the sound of Bob Seger's "Against the Wind". Once would have been enough for us to get the message, but just to be sure they played it twice inside of five minutes.

What Can Brown Do for You?

We've been at Town Creek Marina (slogan: "We're the Surliest!") for two weeks in the mad dash to get final preparations in order. I've probably leveled at least an acre of rain forest just in the paper I've used writing and rewriting my to-do lists. And many thanks to my uncle Steve, who is apparently now on the UPS payroll after bringing us somewhere between two and three dozen packages over the course of the last week. Poor guy had no idea what he was getting into when he offered for us to use his address for shipping. I'm not sure what we would have done without him.

Changes in Latitude

With our departure imminent, we've been keeping a weather eye on, well, the weather. Our first forecast from Locus Weather, our routing service, arrived today amid 40 knot winds and temps that dropped to the mid 40's. Fortunately, after this cold front passes we've got a good weather window on Saturday to get across the Gulf Stream and beyond. If the current forecast holds we'll be beam reaching in 20 knot winds from the far side of the stream all the way to the Turks & Caicos. One can only fingers crossed! If all goes to plan the next time you hear from us it will be from the Turks.


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