10 June, 2015
After tying up at Bald Head, we took time for a little nap, then a good boat washdown. Our friend, Betty, who just moved into her house there gave us a call and offered the use of her golf cart for touring the island while she had meetings with some of her contractors. The last time we were here, we had such a good time bike riding, we decided to forego the offer and get some exercise. That evening, Betty picked us up and took us to her new home for a tour and a tasty chicken dinner. Her house was a rental unit for a few years, and she is giving it some much-deserved TLC, and some personal touches. From the work that she’s done already, it’s obvious that she has a vision. I can’t wait to see the final product. After dinner, we took Betty’s “Guest Cart” back to the marina, promising to pick her up in the morning so that she could give Suzanne a tutorial on our owner’s group website. (Betty is the outgoing Webmistress, while the Admiral is picking up those duties for the coming year(s)). We had a raging thunderstorm that evening, and the puddles were plentiful when I rode the 2 miles to pick Betty up in the morning. Back at the ranch, I whipped up breakfast while the ladies got down to business. Including quick breaks for breakfast and coffee cake, they said “Uncle” around 8 hours later. What a trooper! It was so gracious of Betty to give up a day in the middle of the mayhem that occurs when moving into a new house.
Our weather window had slammed shut, so going offshore around Cape Hatteras (The Graveyard of the Atlantic) was out. Looked like it was back up the ICW to Masonboro Inlet, and then coming back in at Morehead City, where we would spend the night at the city marina. Our excitement for the day entailed passing a dredge en route up the ICW with a couple hundred feet of pipe, guided by one large and three small tugs. The 5 minutes it took to pass rated a 5 on the 1-10 pucker meter. After exiting the ICW at Masonboro Inlet, our direct course to Morehead had to be modified to pass outside the safety zone in the ocean outside Camp LeJeune, where the Marines were staging full-scale training involving live fire and landing operations as well as Stinger missile launches, and air support from fighter jets. Unfortunately, we didn’t get much of a show as we were 12 miles offshore. Entering the inlet at Morehead City was interesting, as there was a dredge in the channel, and a temporary channel had been buoyed to the south. What made it interesting was locating small temporary buoys while looking straight into the setting sun, and fighting the raging tidal current. At the city marina, Bill, the Harbormaster, was able to squeeze us in between sportfishing boats that were congregating for the 57th Big Rock Blue Marlin tournament beginning Monday. Big money in fishing, winner could win over $550,000! After 13 ½ hours, we didn’t care how noisy their music was, we conked out until 0700 when we pushed off the dock. Our 13 hour push up the ICW landed us at the Deep Water Point anchorage on the Alligator River, where we arrived and dropped anchor at dark. The following day, 12 hours more put us at Atlantic Yacht Basin, where we would take a day to catch our breath, and get some routine maintenance done. Here, I changed the oil, impellers, and zincs on the motor and generator, as well as spending 3 hours cleaning the bottom of the boat. While we are at A.Y.B., we meet John and Joan, a couple from New York, here on their sailboat. They’ve been here for a week or so, having work done on their engine, and have scoped out a Mexican restaurant which John says is “cheap and good”. We pile into their rental car, and sure enough, the food at El Toro was cheap and good. 2 entrees and a couple beers for $26-Yeah, Baby. The Admiral learned that the lock before Norfolk was closing for the next 2 days to effect repairs. So, the next morning after a scary (not bike friendly) 5 mile ride to the post office, we got off the dock and ran through the lock, stopping at Top Rack Marina 5 miles away.
The next few days are spent just chillin’ and waiting for a weather window to get on up the coast. While we are there, we meet a couple aboard a 46’ Nordhavn trawler, “Mosey On” that is moored next to Alizann. Jim and Coleen are headed home to Block Island, and are waiting for weather as well. Over dinner at the Amber Lantern, we agree to run up the coast together.
-Long Haul on the ‘Morrow