November 15, 1999 -- A Nice Way to Spend a Birthday

Today was my birthday. Mike started the day by trying to fix me breakfast which was a partial success. This is good for him, since the foods he fixes best are dinner foods! Next we dropped the dinghy in the water and started heading for shore. On the way, we stopped by a boat that had a congregation of dinghies to find out where the dinghy dock was.

As we were tying up, we met the folks off of Indecision and Willet Road Anyway, we stood around talking for a bit relaying the bits of local knowledge that each of us held. We phoned Yvonne, my sister-in-law, then walked to a local grocery store to see what we could get for breakfast.

Yvonne picked us up and we headed back to her place so that we could review mail and the packages that we had shipped from various vendors to Wilmington. The mail package was huge! I guess that is what you get for not picking up mail for a month! I couldn't tell if Yvonne was happier to see us or to be getting her bedroom back!

After spending the afternoon looking through mail, and examining various and sundry minor problems with her computers, we decided that going out to dinner to celebrate my birthday would be nice.

After the kids arrived home we loaded about half of our stuff in the van and headed back to the dinghy dock to drop the stuff off. When we got to the boat, both of us had the feeling that something was wrong, though neither of us could tell precisely what it was. At that point, we glanced out the pilothouse window and everything became clear. We had dragged almost 60 feet! We fired up the engines, and backed down on the anchor to make sure it would hold us. We then headed back to the dinghy dock because there was nothing else we could do at that point other than make sure that our anchor was as set as possible and there was no wind and no wind called for.

All through dinner, we were both slightly fidgety. The meal was enjoyable, and for the most part even the youngest of the children (2 1/2) was well behaved. By the end of dinner, we both felt that we could not linger and had to get back to the boat.

Once back on the boat, we found that the anchor had held nicely, and we had not moved at all! At this point, we decided not to do anything about the anchor till morning. As we settled in to get some sleep , our DGPS started giving alarms because the differential signal kept fading in and out. Finally Mike couldn't stand it anymore and spent a cold night in our main saloon where visibility out was much better so he could check the boats position. I stayed in bed where it was warm because the GPS anchor alarm would wake me there as well as it would wake me in the main saloon.