Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We drive down the long way, through New Bern to visit our new friends in Stonewall, Doug, Wanda, Newell and the lovely Schooner SarahG.  It looks a lot different from the road and I’m confused by the map and think we’ve missed the turn, but eventually we find it (after passing the now-familiar Quik-Shop) and we hit the end of the road.  There is a chain-link fence, rather serious-looking, and a gate, but the gate is open.  I lean into the windshield and look up and there, clear as day, are the three white-topped masts of SarahG.

Doug comes out with a handful of compost and we follow him out to the pile to see how he does it.  Eric and I both use different methods with varying success and we’re always keen to see others.  Along the way we are distracted by the enormous fig tree, nothing like fresh figs off a tree.  Wanda pours cold sweet white wine (that Jennifer brought last time we were there) into small, etched crystal glasses.  It’s very refreshing.

Eric goes down to SarahG to get Newell and he comes up and we ask him about the boat.  We chat about everything from music to the weather and our past lives.  Turns out Doug and I were in Manhattan at the same time.  Wanda goes into the galley-like kitchen and brings out a plate of Ritz crackers, cream cheese and homemade pepper jelly, which is amazing.  We bemoan the rain, which is preventing Wanda from getting her seeds planted.  Eric watches the time and finally suggests we go to catch the ferry.  It seems all too soon.

The line for the ferry contains two trucks when we get there.  Two more come and that’s it.  Thunder rumbles and the sky flashes over and over.  No more rain falls. A rainbow appears over PCS, the phosphate plant.  I think about our new friend, E.T., and how he might be at work there so late on a Saturday night, Angela and the kids waiting at home, watching TV.

When we’re launching the boat, Conway, who is using his tractor because the truck keys are in the van and the van is in the shop, says, “How ya liking your earmuffs?”  And Eric has to think a minute before he realizes he’s talking about the orange kayaks on either side of Willadine.  “We love them.”  Later in our bunk, the wind is twanging the rigging around and I swear it’s playing a tune.

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