J+G Sailing; Smithfield living


It’s a rainy Monday in Smithfield, VA. Originally we planned to start heading south today. But, living by the mercy of the wind and weather you learn to be flexible. Or maybe even more so, you learn to expect things to go astray.
 
For us, the last week has been filled with work, prep, and hospitality.
 
As we made our way here last week, we had no idea where we would stay. Joel was at the helm as I researched and talked back and forth with my sister to make a plan. The local Smithfield marina would not give us a straightforward answer as to if we could stay in one of their slips. So, with no response from the marina I franticly searched Craigslist for a dinghy.  We thought if we could somehow get on land for one night we could get a dinghy and then stay at anchor for the week. Joel called each ad and one by one they told us they’d all been sold.

Navigating the narrow channels of the Pagan river, Joel and I decided to pull into a smallmarina we saw from the water. By land, the marina was still a good 20 minutes from my sisters house. But, we were running out of options. The office was empty and locked. Wondering around, we decided to ask a few fishermen if they had any idea how we could find the marina owners. One man pointed to a house on the hill. Desperate at this point, we walked up to the house. It was empty as well.
Back sitting and waiting on the porch of the empty marina, we got a call from my sister. She had found a couple from her church, the Moore’s, that lived on the water. They graciously offered us their floating dock with depth of 5ft at low tide (we draw 4.3).
We were stoked.
 
Joel and I could not have imagined a better situation. These two sweet strangers embraced us as family. The Moore’s offered us their dock for as long as we needed, free of charge. Mr. Moore showed us the shore power and water hook ups. And, Mrs. Moore offered us a room in their home if needed. They told us of their niece circumnavigating the globe and gave us a tour of their beautiful historic home. It’s truly been a blessing to Moor at the Moore’s. ;)

We are constantly encouraged by the hospitality and care we receive from the body of Christ. [ check out 1 Corinthians 12 for a quick explanation on what "the body of Christ" means] 

Along with the Moore’s, my sister,Rachel, and her husband, Doug, have been a blessing of hospitality. They’ve shared with us a car, a house, and many meals this past week.
 
Joel and Doug have been spending the week working on some home improvements. A big part of our choice to spend time in Smithfield, before heading south, was to help with their house. To say the least, we’ve been living in a construction zone the last week. But, it has been exciting to watch the house come together. Plus, Joel has learned a lot that I’m sure we will use in the future. 

part from the smell of the Smithfield Ham factory that fills the air when the wind blows toward town, we have really enjoyed Smithfield. The little historic town has a lot going on. Joel and I fell in love with the Smithfield Gourmet bakery on Main Street. Joel would tell you that their blueberry and cream cheese filled muffin was the best thing he’s ever had. There are several cute stores to roam through, beautiful historic homes lining the streets and a new Wharf Hill brewery that recently opened. Plus, if you love ham, the restaurant menus are chalk full with it. The town even has it’s own live theater called the Smithfield Little Theatre. We were here for opening day of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” So, of course we all went to see it. It was a great performance and we were laughing the whole time. Props to everyone involved! 

Smithfield Little Theatre


With our time on land this week, we’ve had some opportunities to get a few trip preparations done. Rachel let us borrow her truck and we drove 30 minutes to pick up a dinghy. Having a good dinghy will be crucial for us on our trip. It will be our transportation from the boat to shore for grocery runs, visits with friends, and adventures. I personally am a little worried that the 9ft fiberglass bottom dinghy will be a lot to handle on our 27ft boat. But, Joel is positive we wont regret the purchase. Plus both the dinghy and outboard are solid. Which, we have heard will be great for spear fishing and snorkeling spots in the Bahamas. 

This week also gave Joel and I time to refinish the Teak on our boat. The previous owner let the teak get pretty bad so refinishing has been quite a process. 

 

To Refinish Teak: 

First we stripped the old varnish off of our teak . To do so we heated the varnish with a heat gun. This makes scraping it off much easier. 

Next we scrubbed the teak with cleaning solution (after research Joel chose to use TSP and laundry detergent). 

Then we gave each piece a good sand with the hand sander to smooth out the service and clean off any remaining dirt and grime. 

Once the teak was prepped, we refinished each piece with teak oil. 


It's definitely been a good week in Smithfield but we are excited to hit the road again (well more like hit the waterway again). Tomorrow's forecast is looking promising for fair weather and good wind. It's finally time to start heading south!