Thursday, August 6, 2015

Beaufort, NC toward home

Beaufort, NC city docks were our next stop. Beaufort is a very quaint fishing town.  Coming down the Intracoastal, the drawbridge is in the process of being replaced with a span with the modern height of 64 feet.  It was interesting to pass the workers constructing the new bridge and call the bridge tender.  Her bridge will be removed in 2 years when the new span to Morehead City is complete.

The waterfront is full of restored buildings that house unique shops, and restaurants.  The dock rail is lined with flour pots, so pretty and welcoming. 


 On signing in with the dock master, we received two wooden nickels.  The wooden nickels can be traded in at the restaurant next door for a beer or wine.  We took the trade.  Our boat looked tiny next to the 80 foot or so vessels that had private crews, etc. 

Beaufort is across from Carrot Island.  Carrot Island is one of the many along the NC coast that has feral ponies. 
The Rachel Carson System that includes Masonboro Island across from us in Wilmington.  The islands in that system do not have any building on them or any automotive access.  They are a special wonder of North Carolina.

We toured the NC Maritime Museum which is very well done for all ages groups.  It had Pirate information as well as an exhibit on the boats and how they were made that included how the Native boats were made from a single log.  The Native secret was to build fires to make the wood easier to hewn out.  John paid particular attention to the anchor exhibit.  He loves our new Rocna anchor.  It is impressive to look at preserved history.  There is a preserved cemetery with markers from the 1700's and marking founders, and Revolution and Civil Wars.  
When John took some downtime, went exploring.  There is a $1 shuttle bus that goes up to the new Marina, that was formerly the old Menhadden fish factory and back around town.  
So many homes and businesses were renovated and marked with the Historical Society Markers. 

And they know how to party too and we listened to the singers from the bar fronts as we snuggled into bed.   Not the party animal I used to be.   There is a wooden boat works on the waterfront where you can watch as the artisans create their wooden boats.  What a talent.

Heading south again we had an interesting day.  When we were coming up from FL a while back, John met a man who had rowed his boat from Africa and was heading up the ICW to NY to bring awareness to World AIDS. Spirit of Malabo.  As we crossed the Bogue Sound we saw the same type of rowboat.  Sure enough, we hailed him on the radio and it was the same man.  We wished him well on is continued journey.

Going through Camp Lejeune north of the Onslow bridge, we discovered what many on the ICW know.  There is a thread the needle area where a barge asked if he could go first and moved to the side....and ran aground!!!  Of course, tide was dropping.  But we have BoatUS and Towboat eventually came and pulled us off.

Back on course, we went through the bridge and headed for Mile Hammock Bay, an excellent anchorage.  Steak grilled on the summer kitchen makes a great meal.  That Rocna anchor holds very nicely and we sleep well with it deployed.

Last day on Sunday, we headed to Wilmington.  The Sunday Summer traffic on the ICW was unceasing.  It was somewhat frightening to see so many who were not paying attention and criss-crossing the channel.  And the winds were high too.  We saw this huge swan on the shore too.

Finally, we passed The Tides Marina and we knew we were home.  Docking at Joyner, we had to make a decision what to take off the boat with us.  Well, we didn't put it on the boat all at once so we decided not to take it off all at once, either.  The boat had proven that we can live on it well and have space for everything and everything in its place.  Ready for the next adventure.