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Goodbye North Carolina…

What a great state to visit… We’ve seen isolated anchorages, beautiful waterfront homes, and two great towns. We’ll definitely look forward to exploring a bit more on the trip back north, but the theme continues – it’s cold and we want to get south!

Our crossings of the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers were uneventful, but yet the weather pattern continued. Strong wind, in the right direction, bringing with it, however very cold temps. We anchored in the South River and with the extra time we had with the wind at our back, we had time to prepare a boat feast – pan seared then oven roasted pork loin, with apples, onions and stuffing, paired with a delicious bottle of cab! That dinner plus a beautiful anchorage, and spending time with the kids is what this trip is all about.

Our anchorage in the South River.

Sunrise leaving the next morning… While getting up at 5:50 each morning is tough, the sunrises have been spectacular!

Over the radio, “RE Mayo, RE Mayo, we’re a sailboat heading southbound on the ICW and wanted to know if you have any fresh shrimp.” “Southbound Sailboat, RE Mayo, we do have fresh shrimp caught today.” “RE Mayo, Southbound Sailboat, we’ll be there in about 5 minutes to tie up and get some shrimp… standing by channel 16”. I’ve never heard that exchange over the radio… We’ll have to try it on the way North!

Now that’s the way to cross the Neuse River in mid-November!

While anyone can read this… those that do are friends, so we have to share this addendum to the perfect night and perfect anchorage. For those that don’t know, technology has helped cruising sailors in immeasurable ways, one of those ways, is the iPad and the anchor alarm. Simply explained, drop your anchor, determine how much rode you let out, and then draw a circle around your boat on the app, which is a boundary. If your boat goes beyond that boundary, an alarm goes off – meaning you are dragging the anchor! Early in the evening, the captain decided that a worse case scenario anchor review should be conducted, the second mate obliged, but begrudgingly, having full faith in the anchor set. A short 8 hours later, a little after midnight, the alarm went off… this alarm sounds like a combination of a fire alarm and fire truck – you have never heard a sound this loud come out of an iPad! Being woken this way is a shock and adrenaline was running, the captain hit his head upon awakening and we stumbled over each other, got everything set to get the engine started, lift the anchor and regroup – but something wasn’t right – the boat was still in the circle… why did the alarm go off then? A simple answer: the captain tripped over the cord going to bed and unplugged the ipad, so the alarm was letting us know that the battery was dying. The second mate was sure that it was a drill, planned by the captain! Although he assures her that was not his intent, still she’s left wondering…… the captain’s resolution: It’s on the list to send a recommendation for the developer to invent a different alarm for things not involving the boat ending up on the rocks : )

Our next leg really started testing our Navigation – not sure if everyone does it this way, but Becky has assumed the role of navigator, and Chris is at the helm. Each night, we brief our trip for the next day, go to the different websites to see if there are any updated surveys and we add notes toour navigation software with the most recent info. Because of the shoaling that happens at some inlets, the day the chart is published, it is already out of date.

So this is what the Army Corp of Engineers publishes when there is shoaling – without the details, you’ll see that the channel as marked goes from right to left along marker 72, 72A, 72B, and 74, but you’ll also see the big red spot along that channel which is a shallow area we can’t get through, so you have to ignore the channel markers and follow the yellow dots. We look at three to four of these for each day.

Schoolwork continues… but couldn’t turn down working outside on a sunny day!

We finished our day in a North Carolina Camelot – Swansboro. Already decorated for Christmas, we walked “Main Street,” had dinner at the local Pub, Ice Cream and Fudge at the local Candy shop, and then Coffee at the local coffee shop. It was just one of those places you’d never visit, except on a trip like this.

With weather continually shifting the schedule, we have two targets; and one was approaching… Tali’s 8th Birthday. We wanted to be in a Marina and make the day special – and special it was. Tali woke up to help us get off the dock in Swansboro, and was serenaded by 4 gentlemen, from 4 different boats, with “Happy Birthday.” When we arrived in Wrightsville Beach, she had her pick of the Marina Swag (went with a hooded shirt 3 sizes too big, of course). She then picked a restaurant that piqued her fancy-it was sloppy Mexican and we loved every bite of it!! Living on the Jersey Coast, we’re a bit partial to beach communities, but Wrightsville Beach had just the right combination of cheesy and substance – great people, great town! Next day we stayed put – provisioning and laundry day!!! We were also lucky enough to meet up with Becky’s aunt and cousins, who live in the area. We enjoyed a great afternoon with them, sharing a lot of laughs and stories!

Today, we continued further south and stopped in a planned community right off the ICW (St James Plantation). While the marinas are hurting the budget a bit, we’re literally planning the max distance we can cover, with associated tides, currents, and bridges, and finding the closest place – in this part of the ICW, there are very few anchorages. BUT this is our first look at palm trees, we surely are getting closer!

Headed to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Goodbye North Carolina…

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