Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Atlanta bound

We are at the Wal-Mart in New Bern, North Carolina (map). Having stayed here before, we knew right where to park. Curtis was already waiting for us when we pulled in at 10:45, and we hopped in the car and headed right to Morehead City to look at the 43. The couple who own it are live-aboards, and, amusingly, they are looking to move onto an RV instead. We joked with them about making a trade.

That said, the boat was in just about the same condition as the same model we looked at in Annapolis a week ago, even though the asking price is fully 50% more. To be fair, this boat has stabilizers and comes with more equipment, such as a water maker and a fully equipped tender, which accounts for at least some of the price difference. Still, a lot of work needs to be done.

We had a nice lunch in Morehead City before coming back to New Bern to look at the 48. It is exactly the same layout at the 43, but the additional 3-4' LOA, spread across the entire floor plan, makes the boat feel much larger. It is also a beamier boat. This particular example, a 2004 so 3-4 years younger than the two 43s, was in much better condition. It was also fully equipped just as we'd like it, and "ready to cruise," which would make it just perfect for us if not for the price, nearly double that of the first 43 we saw.

I think we really need to look at a 43 that is a bit newer and in better condition than the two we just saw. While the 48's additional roominess was nice, it's really more boat than we need, and it would seem to us that the appeal of the one we saw had more to do with it being newer and in better condition than the two 43s. Selene made several improvements to all its models in the early part of the decade, such as beefier watertight doors topsides, higher-end materials in the galleys, and generally improved fit and finish throughout.

Curtis dropped us back off here at Wal-Mart around 4:30, just in time to return his rental car and catch his flight. We had lots of time to chat in the car, and now that he's looked at three different Selenes with us, he has a very good idea of where we want to be, so he can keep his ear to the ground. It was a very enjoyable day and we learned a great deal.

After getting the bus squared away for the evening we walked over to Paula's Italian Restaurant, which was as good as we remembered from last visit. We also made a quick stop at Lowe's next door for a couple of essential items. We'll stop inside Wal-Mart this morning before heading out.

From here we are basically heading directly to Atlanta. I had thought we'd be heading straight to the airport, with my plan to spend the night in the long-term lot so Louise could just catch the shuttle bus to the terminal first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, none of the on-airport parking lots at Hartsfield can accommodate Odyssey -- all the entrance booths have low clearance. The woman I spoke to at the office said the highest clearance they had was 12', at the Silver Reserve lot.

I am now scrambling to find alternate arrangements, perhaps along the MARTA line north of the airport. Louise has a very early flight, and needs to be at the terminal around 7am or so. That rules out most of our usual spots, such as Wal-Mart or an Elks lodge, unless she wants a very early, very expensive cab ride or I want to pilot the bus through the curbside motor coach dropoff first thing in the morning.

Studying the parking alternatives will be my chore for this evening. In the meantime, we need to get laundry done, and so will be heading to a laundromat in Goldsboro on our way to I-95 south. I expect to be just over the state line in South Carolina this evening.


  1. ATL reader here: Have you thought about parking at one of the many off-site parking lots on Camp Creek Parkway? Most of them have 24/7 shuttle service to and from the airport (very quick ride) - altho you may run into clearance issues there as well. Otherwise I would suggest the Wallyworld on Ashford-Dunwoody Rd. just north of the Perimeter. It is very close to a MARTA station, altho the train ride to the airport will likely take about an hour (but shouldn't require switching trains at all - straight shot).

  2. Thanks for the suggestions. I am looking now at whether we can park in the College Park or Lakewood MARTA lots. Apparently there are large open lots with a 24-hour time limit, which is more than enough for us to have dinner downtown and then get her to the airport in the morning, but I can't tell if there are restrictions on large vehicles. Any idea?

  3. ATL Reader: I am not sure about overnight parking at MARTA lots, but College Park and Lakewood are not the best of neighborhoods in Atlanta. You would likely be OK, but not sure how you feel about this type of thing. This is why I recommended one of the off-site lots on Camp Creek Parkway - they are fenced and secure.

    Just an FYI.


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