Apologies for the tardiness of this update! Here's the latest:
At our last check in, in July, we were in Oriental, NC. Oriental is a wonderful village of about 900. There I continued working on a long list of boat projects, taking little time for anything else. In August we went up the Pungo and Alligator Rivers, over the Albemarle Sound to Kitty Hawk, NC. Kitty Hawk is of course the site of the Wright Brothers first flight. It is also the entrance to the Outer Banks, including Cape Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands. It is a wonderful area being spoiled by its own beauty and being over run in the summer months (like Laguna Beach).
We intended to stay there for about a week, so Leigh could visit with her family who vacations there. We tied up at a fellow Gemini (that's the kind of boat we have) owner's place (thank you Richard Hess!) in Colington Harbor. His neighbor Bill, has a garage full of exactly the tools I needed to continue to work on boat projects. We became good friends with everyone, including another neighbor Julie. Colington Harbor is an amazing community. A private residential development of about 1000 homes on the water. Fabulous to dingy around in the evenings. We ended up staying a month. A friend from California, Dennis Moran, joined us there. Dennis is a wonderful chef and did up a fantastic meal to thank everyone when we left.
While staying at Colington Harbor I did get in a few days of truly awesome kite surfing, both ocean and sound side. We explored the famous Outer Banks by rental car. And Leigh spent important time reconnecting with her family. We took everyone (her parents Tom and Teresa, brother Tommy, sister Shannon and her husband Tim) for an afternoon sail (the wind was up!) so they could get some idea of what we're doing.
While in Colington Harbor Leigh got Lasik. Leigh started wearing 'coke bottle' glasses when she was 2 years old, and contacts as a teenager. The Lasik was a terrific success! Life changing in so many ways.
Leaving Colington Harbor we motored to historic Manteo, the site of the very first european outpost in North America. The next day we sailed to a remote anchorage. We had good winds, up to 23 or so, and were going downwind. Following seas, no engine, a few tacks, doing ~7 knots... bliss! The next day was another downwind sail, with stronger winds, to Ocracoke. Very fast! We waited out weather (35 kts, lots of rain) at a dock in Ocracoke for 4 days. We made a break for Oriental and motored down in following seas, rain and low visibility.
In Oriental we prepared for the possibilty of hurricane Javier. Thinking through strategies, taking sails off, etc. We got 15 inches of rain in a few days, and north winds of 25 to 35 adding storm surge of a few feet. This raised the water levels to cover the docks. It was tense but we were fine, mostly staying in the marina's boat house.
Having Dennis aboard is wonderful. An extra set of hands for boat projects, lines, docking, watching for crab pots, yes. He loves to cook and fish, so we're enjoying exquisite meals. His humor and sharing all this with him, the excitement of adventure, is joyous. Thank you Dennis!
After finishing even more boat projects in Oriental, Leigh and I did a road trip north. We went to famed Annapolis and a boat show. Leigh hadn't seen Washington DC so we spent a few days there. A "Million Man March" event was going on and we were in a throng to a few hundred thousand black people.
Next we went further north to the Catskills in NY, to catch some of the fall colors. What a treat! Quiet forests, ablaze with oranges, reds, pinks, violets and yellows. Fabulous. Sailing up the Hudson River has to happen someday!
Next we came down to Manhattan and stayed with my dear friend, Cliff Ryder on his boat. It is a short subway ride from there to Times Square. Of course we got to MOMA and had pizza. I wanted to preview Long Island for a possible sail up to Martha's Vineyard someday, so we saw Atlantic Beach, Jones Beach, the Hamptons and all the way to Montauk. The water is so clean and clear. That trip has to happen!
We came back to Oriental, returned the rental car, and are now starting south to the Bahamas. The weather has changed from 90 degrees and 90% humidity, all the way down to the 40s. We've seen humidity down to 35%! These are the lowest, driest conditions we've had since leaving California in April.
Something has fundamentally shifted. I'm not sure what or how, but things are pervaded with a deeper peace than I've ever felt. This is a little weird, being in such fast changing environments. Deep hurts, burdens, have lifted. Leigh and I are aligned in a fresh way. We're feeling attraction of course, and also preciousness and friendship. People (reflections, of course) are friendlier, more open, and terrifically generous. I am often on the brink of tears, so deeply moved, by people, the things they do, the contributions they're making. I can usually identify a shift as associated with a specific wound, or some process work I've done. Maybe I'll understand what has happened some day. I'll share it if it appears.
It is wonderful to have you in our hearts as we move south. We'd love to hear from you. Send a note!
Brian & Dr. Leigh Jacobs
aboard s/v Presence-ing