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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Large Packages, and Good Things in 2014 !!

December 25, 2013

by Greg
Oriental, NC

We are thankful for many things.  We are thankful to be alive; we are thankful for you, our friends and family; we are thankful for the people we have met on this journey so far. 

We are thankful to be living and cruising on a sailboat, and we are thankful that that sailboat now has a working engine. 

The package we've been waiting for
This season of course is not about presents, but I have to admit that I was overjoyed to see this large package coming down the driveway.

And here is that large package unwrapped....

Man that's a beautiful engine !
It's taken the past five weeks in Oriental, North Carolina to diagnose the old engine as dead, pull it out, and replace it with a new one. This has been phase five of our engine troubles, (phases here) and we have strong hopes that this is the last phase. The new engine is in the boat, we've done the sea trial, and we believe and hope we are leaving Oriental tomorrow, fingers crossed and Poseidon willing. 

However, it is not without a bit of sadness that we leave this yard.  Funny in life how often something that initially seems an annoyance or worse morphs into something positive. The change is imperceptible at the time, and one only realizes it looking back.  

We will very much miss our friends from the sailing vessel Refuge (blog here). Gunar is a merchant seaman who when not refitting his sailboat for cruising, spends weeks at a time captaining 460' integrated tug-barges through The Great Lakes (wow - see photo).  His wife Jenny works on the boat as well and also takes care of their three kids (ages eight and under) plus a 7-week-old puppy.  (I'll let you decide who has the tougher job.) 

And one more thing - Deaton Yacht Service in Oriental: The work they did repowering our boat was absolutely top notch. Their commitment to high quality work never lets up, and each individual in this yard shares this commitment as well as a positive helpful attitude.  This is a family-owned business whose staff and owners have made us feel like we are part of the their family. They are very good folks, and we will miss them. 

We have not made a practice on this blog of recommending (or criticizing) businesses, but I am making an exception for Deatons: I strongly recommend this yard to any boaters reading this.  If you're heading up or down the coast, it's worth stopping here to have work done. 

The large engine package notwithstanding, we felt like we had a pretty modest Christmas tree going on until the packages from the grandparents showed up.  

But we are taking that beautiful Christmas morning sunbeam as a symbol of what's important and as a good omen for the coming year.

May your 2014 be blessed with joy and peace and prosperity.