30. Why I Went to the Woods, and Why I Came Back

I’m an extrovert. Sure, I need alone time to stay sane, but I also need people. Something I’ve learned about myself since I started cruising, is that I generally don’t like going more than about three days without interacting with others in person. This, more than any limitations of Sylphide’s systems or tank capacities, is what brings be back out of the wilderness most of the time.

On the morning of March 25th, I was up early with another creaky back. It was day three away from humans, and there was no internet or cell service to be had. I was ready to go back to civilization. The ol’ VHF told me that the sunshine wasn’t going to last, and that if I wanted to get across the Albemarle Sound today, I’d have to get my ass in gear. It was going to get sporty later in the day, and having had a nauseating ride on that stretch back in January, I wasn’t interested in a sequel.

The forecast turned out to be accurate. It was a gray, rainy, and generally unpleasant day for sure, but at least the splashy and blowy stuff held off until we’d gotten through the Alligator Bridge and across the sound.

There was a hearty breeze blowing by mid afternoon when Sylphide and I arrived at Coinjock marina. All I had to do was get us even with our desired spot, stop our forward motion, and the wind shoved us into the dock with a thud. Praise be unto the patron saint of aluminum, and tough, low-gloss paint finishes.

I ended up staying at Coinjock for three nights. The dock was largely empty when I first got there, but by the next morning, It had started filling up with like-minded cruisers. It was nice to feel like I was in the suburbs again. I enjoyed the occasional chat with neighbors and passersby, even if it was from a safe distance.

With the lockdown in place, I’d been subjecting myself to more of my own cooking than ever before. I tried to make a burger out of some ‘Beyond Meat’ plant based stuff that I’d been meaning to try. The results were like food, but slightly worse. The next night, I decided to do my part to help keep the marina restaurant afloat. They were still open for takeout, and there was an awkward looking line of folks in front of the place. They looked like an unfinished ‘connect the dots’ puzzle. I took my spot ten feet behind and slightly to the right of the next person, and got myself some fried chicken.

Coinjock was a pretty ideal place to spend a pandemic, really. It’s nowhere near anything else, and there really aren’t many people there. All of my transactions with the dock staff were taken care of with an app on my phone. I didn’t need diesel or a pump out, so no contact there, either. They even had paper towels in the shop, which I ventured into for a few necessities. They asked that customers use gloves they provided while in the store, so I did.

There were two things I wished I’d done when I was in Coinjock last time, and I took care of both this time. I bought some TOE Jam, and I added a Sylphide sticker to the collection on the shop window. I’m part of the club now.

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