Thursday, May 17, 2012

Red dirt, green sea.

This week falls in the "you-can't-make-this-up" category.

The carefully planned day designed for Monday from Wrightsville Beach to Beaufort proved very interesting, quite long and over-the-top exhausting. For starters, our marina in Wrightsville Beach was sans power (air conditioning in a thunderstorm,) and as it was UNCW graduation weekend, we were in a noisy spot. Like it could ever happen again, a drunk tried to get on our boat by swimming to it, lowering the ladder- and being caught without pants at 2:45 am by Susan! Nice job, UNC, on your college grads!

It was another early sunrise departure and we successfully made three swing bridges with perfect timing. Skies threatened, winds built to 25 knots so we swapped out the screens for curtains and sailed on. Several sounds were shoaled in but we reached the Moorehead City Bridge in ten hours. The good news is we never ran aground, the bad news is this is a short bridge and we hit it at high tide, 63 feet. Sooo . . . we turned around and cruised for hours until the tide reversed. We snuck under at 64 feet as the winds howled, rain blew and dark settled in. There was a nasty rain as we hit Beaufort Inlet and it was hard to search for our markers to the town docks. It was 8:30 at night and the cruiser in front of us caught our lines. Fourteen hours was just too much in one day.

Rick always says that if something didn't break this week, watch out for next week. He no sooner repeated this phrase when he discovered that our port bow thruster was not working. When we opened the "dry" compartment it was full of water just for starters. We are on day three in Beaufort with plans to be here a few more days until this is resolved. Our mechanic diagnosed our problem and the new "key pad" is on order from West Marine with overnight shipping. In the meantime, if you have followed our weather, you understand this stay would have happened due to a steady string of showers and storms.

How was the free dock and outlet shopping at Barefoot landing? Interesting, but our information was misleading: It was not free, and we spent the evening in good old beach shops and dinner in a tired Greg Norman restaurant. At least it was an easy off the dock in the morning.

About the photos from our docking drama in Georgetown: everyone was afraid we would hit them undocking because docking the night before was a Hail Mary event so all the boats pulled out early to give us free space! Thank you new friends. we reconnected with one boat at Barefoot Landing and the super cruiser is the one who caught our lines in Beaufort. We didn't get the shots we wanted, it's always hard to get a photo docking/undocking

Susan's favorite spot on the ICW is the Waccamaw River. It is eagle nesting season. How do you tell the eagles form the ospreys? Eagles crave the tree top nest sites, ospreys are on the marker posts.

Someone could get very rich by rewriting the Cruising guides so they read from south to north. We must always remember to reverse our reds and greens from the way things are written now!