Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ocrafolk Festival

Door into Summer and Reboot made a long hot boring transit back from Ocracoke Island yesterday.  Once again there was no wind so we motored the entire way.  Just before we reached New Bern the marine warning alarm went off on the Garmin chart plotter. A nasty late afternoon thunderstorm had popped up just north of Pamlico Sound and was headed our way.  Fortunately we got the boats back into their slips before the storm.  Then, as they sometimes do, the storm veered South and missed us completely.  Ed and I took advantage of the pool at the Hilton to cool off and then repaired to Door into Summer where Claudia had made us a very nice dinner.

The Ocrafolk Festival was a lot of fun.  We met our Bomba Shack friends (Leigh and David) and spent most of the weekend visiting the various entertainment stages with them.  They had rented a cottage as Bomba Shack is being repaired but had brought down a 21 foot runabout that they tied up next to Door into Summer.  Ed had expressed an interest in going out the Ocracoke channel into the Atlantic, transiting down to Morehead City, and then back up to Adams Creek and the Neuse River to return to New Bern.  We ran out the channel in the runabout watching depths the entire way.  We agreed that we could most likely make it out during high tide but there were very long stretches of very thin water.  I also was not big on having to steer all the way back up Adams Creek - a 5 or 6 hour stint at the helm without a break.  So it the end we decided to return the way we had come.

On the way in we had been warned about some skinny water and had passed over the shoaling without incident.  We also passed over the same shoal on the way out without difficulty.  Imagine my concern when, after breathing a sigh of relief that the shallows were over my depth gauge read 2 feet below the keel in what was supposed to be 14 feet of water.  My concern was nothing compared to Ed's.  He got down to 6 inches!  Was was even worse was that I was right on top of the track line on the chart plotter from our inbound trip.  The edge of the shoal had shifted about 10 feet during our stay.

The music at the festival was OK with three notable exceptions: Molasses Creek, Beleza Brasil and the Sunday morning gospel sing.  I have noted that many musical groups have one or two good performers and the rest are average.  Molasses Creek is a group where every performer could easily have a solo career.  It was great to listen to them.  Beleza Brasil was one of the first groups we heard. Madeline has the most amazing voice and got all of us shaking our bodies to the music. The Sunday morning gospel sing was great fun.  Picture 300 people you have never met, about 25 folk performers outdoors in a grove of trees.  Then add a gospel sing along.  The most amazing thing to me was that everyone knew the words.  One group that I did not hear perform except for one number Sunday morning was The Steel Wheels.  From the one number I did hear wished I had heard their entire set.

Topping everything off was Lee and David's multiple invitations to eat at their rented cottage.  I saw old friends and made new ones.  Thanks to Lee and David.  Since the festival is a great destination from New Bern we also saw several dock friends from the New Bern Grand Marina.

Sunday night Lee, David and their friend Ellen took the ferry back.  Door into Summer was docked at the National Park Service dock right next to the ferry terminal.  Ed, Claudia and I were sitting on the boat with some friends having a drink when the trio showed up on the top deck of the ferry to wave goodbye.  As the ferry blew its horn (very loud from 50 feet away) and started to back out of the dock one of Door into Summer's other female guests (note, one of the other guests, not Claudia!!!) jumped up on the deck and flashed Lee, David and Ellen --- and of course the 500 other people on the ferry!  We all started laughing.  This was all the encouragement she needed to jump back up on the deck and flash the ferry again.  Which proves that even old people can act like college kids in the right setting.

Fair winds and following seas

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