As we pulled in to the dock at Morehead City on Saturday after a long but beautiful day on the water we were greeted by a grinning, friendly familiar face - Norm from Tide Hiker was there to help us with our lines. What a great and always welcome sight that was!! After a quick stow of our gear and covering of the instruments, we walked down the dock for a quick cold beer with Norm and Vicki who had pulled in a day ahead of us. Soon thereafter we walked over to see Lynnie and Rick on Rickshaw - Rickshaw has had quite the facelift with new canvas and an enclosed flybridge and is looking amazing (Lynnie and Rick didn't look too bad either!!)
It was great to see everyone again and as we relaxed and laughed over drinks and apps, we called Bob and Stephanie of September Song who are at their home dock in GA (anxiously awaiting some of their delinquent cruising friends who are way too late getting south!!!) We then headed out to get some pizza across the way - I've never seen pizza disappear that fast before!!!
Doug and I felt like we were back in high school for awhile there as we were drinking Blue Moons out of mason jars!!! (altho in high school it certainly wasn't Blue Moon - it was whatever we could get usually from our parents liquor cabinet or even Boone's Farm - yes admit it, we all drank it!!) While getting together with old friends is always great - this pseudo Bahamas reunion was something special!! We plan to head south with Tide Hiker for a few days but don't know when we'll see Rickshaw again so it was tough to say goodbye the next morning (we left only after Norm had walked over some fried pizza to Gypsies for breakfast - everyone had raved about it and they were right - YUM!) Hopefully we'll see those guys soon - maybe this winter down in the Keys even if by land yacht!!
Sunday we set out with Tide Hiker down through Bogue Sound to an anchorage in Mile Hammock Bay. The trip along the Sound is fairly narrow but beautiful with lots of sandy patches for pelicans, terns, cormorants and egrets to congregate on and sand dunes interspersed with the inlets out to the ocean that can be so treacherous for us where the shoals build up!!
We saw several shrimp boats (one of the first signs we're in the South!!)
and our first pod of dolphins on this southbound trip - we had a group of very playful guys dancing and jumping beside Gypsies in and out of our bow wake for quite awhile until some yahoo flew by us in his camo rent a wreck boat and scared them all away!
We passed through the firing range at Camp LeJeune which thankfully was not active but got to see all the overturned tanks and trucks along the waterway that are used for firing practice.
We headed through the Onslow Beach Swing Bridge which for once was working - we must be living right (although Norm had a slight timing faux pas and missed our opening due to a five minute watch discrepancy.....hate it when that happens)!
We met back up with them in our anchorage at Mile Hammock Bay along with about 30 other boats all headed South!! We sat topsides enjoying the mild weather for a change and were treated to an absolutely amazing sunset as we watched more and more boats fill up our by now shrinking anchorage!!
The next day we let all the sailboats climb over each other to head out first while we enjoyed some breakfast and then leisurely headed out onto the ICW just in time to miss the start of ordinance practice at Camp LeJeune - YIKES!!! We heard the mortar rounds and cannons for miles - very glad we left when we did. After being assured Norm's watch was fixed, Tide Hiker led the way down to Wrightsville Beach through a number of bridges - because of our speed (or lack thereof) it's pretty hard to time a series of bridges with the current so we ended up cooling our heels and waiting around for several of them but Vicki rocked when she talked the Wrightsville Beach bridge tender into holding the bridge open for us - we would have had to wait a whole hour if we missed it!!! This stretch of the ICW is complete with lots of lawn art (do you think the giraffe really increases the salability of this home? if so, maybe we need one for our house in Maine),
wildlife and interesting homes like the shocking pink house we passed which is reported to be the home of a madam of ill repute and home to some pretty impressive swinging parties (too bad we had no time to stop!!!)
The Wrightsville Beach bridge was somewhat of a clusterf___ as there were close to 15 sailboats all waiting to go through and on the other side was a temporarily broken down homemade houseboat - in the middle of a very narrow stretch of water with marinas and large boats on either side!!!
Not wanting to ride up on top of Tide Hiker we had to throw the engines in reverse after running full out to make the bridge for the prior 15 minutes - not pretty!! Anyways, we all successfully maneuvered the bridge and the Earth Ball Green House Abode
and headed up Motts Channel to our anchorage for the night (along with most of those sailboats who of course took all the prime anchoring real estate since we didn't have enough time to pass them - ugh!)
What should have been a fun afternoon in Wrightsville Beach was not to be - unfortunately just as we pulled in and started backing down on our anchor to set it, the starboard alternator seized up and started spewing smoke in the engine room!!! We immediately shut down the engine - luckily we got the anchor set well because the wind was picking up and the forecast was calling for pretty bad weather over the next several days!! Doug knew what it was right away as we had the same thing happen to our port alternator when we were in the Bahamas so he quickly jumped online and called to order a replacement. Unfortunately it would be a couple days to ship - so we are currently stuck in Wrightsville Beach on anchor awaiting the part. Hopefully it should be here on Thursday in time for Doug to put it in so we can be on the road and headed to Myrtle Beach by Friday. We finally convinced Tide Hiker yesterday to head on without us after their repeated offers to sit with us and help - thanks for the offers guys but we'll be up and running again soon hopefully and we'll see you again maybe in Charleston!!!
Not to waste a day just sitting around, we dropped the dink and headed into Wrightsville Beach for a little exploring - we hit the beach although it wasn't nearly as warm or as sunny as it was the last time we were here!!!
In fact it was very overcast and threatening to rain at any moment. We checked out all the surf shops in search of new tevas since I've nearly worn out my two pair but was unsuccessful in that mission - oh well it's not a crisis yet!! We crossed the bridge to at least get some exercise and of course it was when we were on the other side away from town that the skies decided to open up in biblical proportions. Out came our slickers which gave us some relief although we judiciously decided our best bet would be to hit a local joint to get out of the rain - we found Jerry Allens Sports Bar offering $2.50 cheeseburgers and $2 beers - loving it!!
We sat outside under a little roof with some other crazies sipping cold beers, watching the rain stream down and enjoying a juicy burger - when life throws you rain, embrace it we always say...and find the nearest burger/beer joint!!!
Well, it's been pouring rain ever since we left Jerry Allens - seriously how is there more water left up there?? But supposedly they are calling for even more rain through at least Thursday evening - the boat kitties are loving life!!!
I guess if we have to be stuck waiting on the alternator, the fact that the weather sucks (and we probably wouldn't have been moving south anyways) doesn't really bother us all that much. We just heard that our alternator actually shipped Monday evening so should be in today - one of the local marinas agreed to accept it for us (the only problem is that we have to dinghy over to get it...guess we're going to get wet!!!) Depending on when it gets here, maybe we'll get out of here by tomorrow....keep you posted!! Meanwhile we are being entertained by a local pod of dolphins who keep circling our boat doing flips and spins - although they appear to be camera shy showing me only their tails...think they're trying to tell me something??
Click here to see our anchorage in Wrightsville Beach.
Click here to see a map of all the places we have stopped on the ICW this southbound trip.
Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!!!
3 days ago