Belhaven Town Dock
11/15, 999.8, 68/40, NE20-25>E20-25>30>SE/S10-15>SW>W20-25>30, rain/cloudy - Conditions at anchor were reasonable through the night and I slept fairly. Rain began to patter on deck in the wee hours. The last two night I’ve slept with earplugs in to muffle the hum of the wind in the rigging. At 6am the wind picked up and from a touch more easterly, and the rain fell in earnest. Weather radar showed a strong system moving quickly toward us, and the barometer was tanking. Having held on to our $31 by spending the night at anchor, we quickly abandoned our post and made for the town dock. Dobbs landed Grace adeptly, in-between a Beneteau 465 and a Gulfstar ketch. Grace looks like a toy between the two, but we’re quite satisfied with 31 feet. By 8am we had our dock lines squared away, the batteries charging on shore power, and Coquille secured on the foredeck. Murphy got a walk in the rain and then we settled back in to morning coffee. A mid-morning nap was in order. Then, we revisited removing the starter to confirm we’d ordered the right one - we had.
After lunch, we visited the Chamber of Commerce/Tourism Center/Boater’s Lounge and received a warm welcome. The story of Capt. Bill Iler, for whom the lounge is named, is a touching testament to what one person can do to inspire a community. The woman who greeted us was his first mate for the two years from when he arrived in Belhaven on his Trumpy to when he died unexpectedly. Two years! And yet he had a huge impact on improving Belhaven’s self-image.
One of the items in our Welcome Bag was a walking historical trivia tour - this appealed to us. The tour took us around the main blocks of town, visiting community buildings, parks, and businesses to learn bits of history about the town. We talked with shop keepers, citizens, and librarians. The Toy Train display wasn’t yet open, but the fellow setting it up opened the door and invited us in when Dobbs peered in the window. The idea of the trivia tour is brilliant - it got us out interacting with the community. Main Street was closed to vehicle traffic due to wind-driven tidal flooding - the water was up to our boot tops in places. We returned to the Boater’s Lounge to report on our tour and swap books. Then I walked back up to the Municipal Building to pay for our dockage.
As the wind shifted south, warm humid air flowed in. For a brief time, I was in a tank top and bare feet. In the late afternoon we made some business phone calls and read books. As the sun dropped low in the sky, a brisk cool breeze filled in from the west. The sky cleared blue and then was over-run by low clouds scudding by. Brilliant sunlight shot through holes in the cloud cover.
The temperature dropped quickly and the barometer is steady. The sunset was impressive - smoldering pink coals in the blue-gray clouds.
We tucked in below and I made spaghetti for dinner. Now, the wind is shrieking mayhem outside and we’re glad to be dockside.