Here we are anchored near Wrightsville Beach enjoying the sunshine and warm, calm weather–finally! We ended up staying 3 nights in Beaufort. It was just too darned cold and nasty to leave. Not much was open on Sunday so we slept in and ate a wonderful buffet breakfast at the Boardwalk restaurant. In the afternoon, we visited the free museum and learned about local history and wildlife. The most interesting exhibits were paintings of historic boats by a local artist and a map that showed all of the different types of sea beans and where they come from (I would love to get a copy!) It was still gloomy and cold so a walk around the Old Burying Ground was just the thing to do. There were markers dated back to the 1700’s and a guide told the story of the most interesting residents, including Confederate and Union soldiers, sea captains, children and a girl buried in a barrel of rum (she died at sea and her father had promised her mother that she would return to Beaufort.)
On Monday we visited to laundromat and took care of some boat chores. In the afternoon, Larry and Suzi picked us up in a courtesy car from the marina where they had pulled into dock after spending 2 very cold and windy nights at anchor. We managed to find a liquor store and a grocery store before their time was up for the car. They walked back into town and joined us for lunch at the Beaufort Grocery restaurant which, according to Dan and Donna, is the best restaurant in Beaufort. They were right!!
Getting out of our slip on Tuesday was an adventure. We got the dock hands to help us by holding some lines so that Skip could back the boat out against the swift current. From now until we get to Florida we’ll need to contend with swift currents, not always in our favor. Only one bridge today–not too bad. We arrived about 44 miles further south in Mile Hammock bay inside of Camp LeJeune. The anchorage is a dredged area that was used during WWII for marines to train safely away from German U-boats. There is still a lot of activity there. We heard distant booms along with other strange noises and saw smoke rising. Noisey helicopters circled above well into the night. Bailey was not amused. He took a lot of coaxing to finally go potty on deck. There was a beautiful sunset with a fingernail moon in the sky.
Leaving Mile Hammock yesterday, we encountered 3 bridges before arriving in Wrightsville Beach. We made the first bridge at a good time to make the next 2. Since some open on the half-hour and some only on the hour, you can end up spending 1 1/2 hours to go only 5 miles! We also went through a mess of small fishing boats near Swansboro who must have thought all of the fish were hiding in the center of the channel! There weren’t nearly as many boats anchored in Wrightsville Beach as we saw last year. I guess we must still be pretty far ahead of the folks who left after the Annapolis boat show.
We dropped the dinghy for the first time since leaving the bay and ran the motor for a while to get the kinks out. There’s a nice dinghy dock here that’s just 2 blocks from the beach. Bailey got to run and chase his tennis ball–one of his favorite things! This is such a friendly beach town…no excruciating lists of rules on the beach and access to the beach at every street. There aren’t many businesses nearby but there are some places to walk a few miles away (if inclined.)
Larry and Suzi joined us for dinner last night on Moondance where we enjoyed telling sea tales and drinking G&T’s. We slept in this morning and were invited to Kanau for blueberry pancakes – yummy! Bailey took us for another long walk on the beach and now we’re just relaxing…
Tomorrow, we’ll cross the Cape Fear river and stay in Southport. Hope this good weather lasts a few more days…