Saturday, June 23, 2007

May 25

May 25. We left the anchorage in Carolina Beach at 0800. After we pulled the anchor we had to head upstream and get a picture of the biggest set of ornamental lawn Flamingos we’ve ever seen. Spectacular.

The trip north was a particularly slow as we are heading north between the mainland and the barrier islands. The problem is that whenever an ambulance heads out onto the barrier island on a call the bridges have to remain closed until the ambulance gets back to the mainland.

It’s never happened to us before but it happened at 2 bridges in a row today. It added at least an hour to our trip today but I guess in the big scheme of things, I’d rather sit and wait for the bridge than be in the back of the ambulance going for the ride.

Our destination for the evening was Swan Point Marina in Sneads Ferry, NC. This is the place we sat for a week while I repaired the broken damper plate on our trip south.

The place is really a no frills kind of place but we stopped in to see our friends, Pat & Eddie who we met there in the fall as they had a mechanical breakdown of their own. They ended up leaving the boat there and driving to their home in Florida for the winter. They were now back putting the finishing touches on the boat so they could resume their trip as well.

After we tied up the boat Christy and the Bedazzles took the courtesy car into town to hit a grocery store while I washed the boat, filled the water tank and did a load of wash in the laundry room/ internet café.

Then the Bedazzles and Pat & Eddie and Christy and I had sundowners on the Veranda. It was a very nice night.

May 26. This morning on the other hand was pretty miserable. There’s some local fishing tournament today so every fisherman in the holler was out to “catch em’ up” as they say. The problem was that the marina has silted in since we were here last, so we were on the outside wall adjacent to the ICW in the deeper water.

At 0430 (4:30am) the first fishing boat went by throwing a huge wake that got us both out of bed. Our fender boards and fenders were holdings us off the wall but getting any more rest was out of the question. It was like a parade as one boat after another came flying past. Finally after I walked the dogs Christy went over to tell the Bedazzles we had to get off the wall so we were going to get underway. We were moving north by 0615.

Our early departure turned out to be a blessing in disguise. We had a long straight run up the Bogue Sound. The Sound is very wide with only a narrow channel up one side of it. Our early start enabled us to ride the tidal push for over 25 miles and with wind on the beam we ran at more than seven knots for over 4 straight hours with no change in course.

Fathers here in North Carolina have found an interesting way of dealing with having their little girls mature into young ladies. You know the time, their bodies start to mature and boys start showing up at the house. Here in NC they drop their daughters off on a sand shallow in the middle of the sound and come back for them after a few years.

We were hoping to get to Beaufort for the night but we got there way to early to stop. So we continued on to Ken and Carol’s house which was only another 20 miles. We were safely tied up behind their house by 1600 hours and were immediately whisked away to a “Pig Pull”. A large portion of the community all brings a dish to share and one of the locals barbecues an entire pig. We just happened by at the right time, holy crap, talk about good eating.

Ken and Carol are leaving soon for a month of cruising with about 30 boats from their local yacht club. It was good to get here in time to see them before they were gone. As usual their hospitality was boundless inspite of their last minute preparations for the big trip.

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