the Croaker - Oriental, North Carolina - sailing tales - human connection

We arrived in the delightful town of Oriental, North Carolina two days ago. We were greeted on the dock by friends of friends who scooped us up and took us all to their house for dinner. There we were regaled with sailing tales from around the world. Our hosts were Ann and Neville Clement. 25 years ago, at the age of 47, Ann sailed alone across the Atlantic Ocean, from Rhode Island to Ireland, in a 28 foot Shannon named Peace. (Our boat is a 43 foot Shannon named Deep Peace). We had the delight of meeting Ann and Neville because we were Introduced to them by our friends, Nicola and Marc, who we met in person for the first time just less than a week ago at Dowry Creek Marina. Nicola & Marc are seasoned sailors themselves and they have been very generous with their time and expertise. We have had the great pleasure of their company and mentoring because of my friend and former boss, Brent. Brent kindly introduced Nicola and I to each other, via fb, earlier this year and she has been a wonderful mentor into the sailing / livaboard life ever since. Little did I know, back in 1997, when I applied for a job at the 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Center in Aspen, Colorado and was offered a job by Brent who was the Director at the time, that it would still be impacting my life positively so many years and so many miles away. AND... Ann is very connected here in Oriental. Tonight, our boat, Deep Peace, will be at the center of the New Year's Eve celebration. Our mast is being used for the dropping of the Croaker. I'm not even sure what that means, but stay tuned for photos.... I'm told it's sort of like the equivalent to the Apple in NYC. .....

Update:  the below photo is the Croaker that was lowered from the top of our mast during the last few seconds of 2016:   1/1/17, 8:10 am