Monday, April 30, 2012

Dowry Creek Marina to Alligator River Marina, NC

Date            April 30, 2012                            
Day             307
Departure    Dowry Creek Marina, Belhaven, NC 7:30 am
Arrival         Alligator River Marina, Columbia, NC 1:25 pm
Miles               49.1
Cumulative   5082.5

A beautiful sunrise for another beautiful day, sunny, clear and warm.

Today we traveled the Alligator River - Pungo River Canal.  This canal is 22 miles long and fairly straight.  Notice the chart below.  The two straight lines going from left to right is the canal; the red shape on the left is us.
 Above is what it looked like on the computer - to the right is what it looked like on the water.  Not much excitement here!

We arrived at our destination early afternoon.  The marina office is in a Shell gas station which also houses a small mini-mart, gift shop and restaurant.  Although the menu offered a variety of items for dinner, we opted to eat on board tonight.  We spent an enjoyable hour or two with Susan and Carolyn on Sojourner, a 36' Selene from Kentucky.

Sea Gate Marina to Dowry Creek Marina, NC

Date            April 29, 2012                            
Day             306
Departure    Sea Gate Marina, Newport, NC 7:05 am
Arrival         Dowry Creek Marina, Belhaven, NC 2:10 pm
Miles               66.2
Cumulative   5033.4

We had planned to make our destination today River Dunes, however, again, plans have been modified!  We decided to continue further and put more miles under the keel as we want to be in Norfolk for the AGLCA Spring Rendezvous on Sunday, May 6th.  As we left Sea Gate Marina on the Adams Creek Canal, we went by this house.  This is really "beach front property"!!  The entire yard was sand!
Traveling across the Neuse River today was much different from the prior day.  The river was much smoother and our ride was very pleasant!
We had a pleasant stay at Dowry Creek Marina. When we arrived, a notice was posted in the office of a "happy hour" get together at 5:30.  Of course we didn't want to miss that!  Back at our dock, we found that the birds had settled in for the night!

A Hurricane Irene Casualty
An Inookshook, are we back in Canada??

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Plans Are Made to Be Changed!

Date            April 28, 2012                            
Day             305
Departure    Morehead City Yacht Basin, Morehead City, NC 8:55 am
Arrival         Sea Gate Marina, Newport, NC 1:20 pm
Miles               10.3
Cumulative   4967.2

Our travel plans for today was to go to River Dunes Marina, which meant traveling across and up the Neuse River.  A short time before we reached the Neuse River, we had a phone call from Summer Wind.  They had docked at Morehead City last night also and left for Oriental, NC about 1 1/2 hours before we did this morning.  They said that traveling across the Neuse River was nasty, waves were 3-4 feet on the nose.  We decided to forego all that fun and stopped at a small marina right off the ICW about 5 miles before we reached the river.  Will try for River Dunes tomorrow!  However, along the way today, I finally caught a dolphin somewhat out of the water, so it wasn't a bad day after all!

I know the picture below is somewhat fuzzy and hard to see, but it was the funniest sight.  It is an Osprey, flying with a load of branches grasped in its feet.  It attempted to land on a red (triangle) channel marker, but was not able to and chose to land on a green (square) marker instead.  There were no other branches on that channel marker, so this fellow is just starting to build its nest!

Here is a view of the Sea Gate Marina's transient dock from our back deck.  Not a lot here, but it is extremely quiet and peaceful, even though it is a stone's through from the ICW.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Marines and Artillery Maneuvers

Date            April 27, 2012                            
Day             304
Departure    Beach House Marina, Surf City, NC  7:15 am
Arrival         Morehead City Yacht Basin, Morehead City, NC 4:10 pm
Miles               57.2
Cumulative   4956.9

The alarm went off at 6:15 am because we knew we had a longer day today and wanted to get going.  The day was sunny and warm and we came upon very few boats.  We did find one house that looked more like it belonged in Key West rather than on the ICW in North Carolina.  Take a look!
After traveling 20 miles, we arrived in the vicinity of Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base around 9:30 am.  The cruising guide indicates that the marines sometimes use the Waterway's southeastern shore for target range.  The artillery maneuvers do not often present a problem, as they are infrequent and generally last only a few hours;  however, when practice is under way, the Marine Corps closes the ICW to all traffic.  Well, we heard some rumbles in the distance that sounded like artillery fire.  You know what they say, "If it weren't for bad luck, we'd have no luck at all!"  The Onslow Beach Bridge, vertical clearance 12', was closed and would not open until 11:30 am.  The bridge operator requested that we drop anchor, us along with the three other boats in the area, and he would call us on the radio when the bridge was about to open.  Below is the view we had for the next two hours! 
We received a radio call at 11:15 that the bridge would open at 11:30.  Hooray!!
Well, no so fast.  We could go through the bridge, but we had to wait until the Navy Patrol boat allowed us to continue on, that was not until 12:00 noon!!
Shortly after noon we were given the OK to proceed, but they requested we go as quickly as possible, as the firing range was going to get "hot" (more gunfire) at 1 pm.  No problem, we're out of here!
We continued the rest of the afternoon, and made it to our final destination for the day, Morehead City Yacht Basin.  The staff was terrific, taking our lines, hooking up the electric etc.  They bent over backwards to ensure our stay with them was enjoyable.  The dockmaster recommended Floyd's 1921 for dinner, it was outstanding.  We may even stop here again on our way south by car, it was that good.  And to top it all off, I was able to take this great sunset right from the boat.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Surf City Here We Come

Date            April 25-26, 2012                            
Day             302-303
Departure    Southport Marina, Southport, NC  7:30 am
Arrival         Beach House Marina, Surf City, NC 2:10 pm                   
Miles               46.1
Cumulative   4899.7

April 25th
You know we're going to Surf City, gonna have some fun...  Reminds me of a song I've heard!!

Today's travel was done mostly in light rain and thankfully light winds.  By the time we arrived at the marina, however, the rain had stopped and the skies had cleared.  There were three bridges we had to go under today and the one we had to wait for (Surf City Bridge) only opened every hour on the hour.  We tried to time it by adjusting our speed so we wouldn't have to wait, but we still had to wait about 15 minutes.  Once we were through this bridge, the marina was just around the corner.

Just before we left Southport, this Egret arrived and was fishing for his breakfast right outside our boat.
Some of the homes along the waterway.

You can tell it's Spring.  Almost all the channel markers on the ICW have an Osprey nest, not unusual.  What is unusual is that each nest is complete with a nesting Osprey!

Early afternoon view from the back deck of  "Erika Lin"
April 26th
Due to the forecasted high winds later today, we decided to stay another day in Surf City.  The marina is just a short two block walk to the beach, so off we went.  The wind was blowing pretty good, gusting to 25 mph and Bob had to hold onto his hat.

These two children were having a great time on the beach (Mom was close by!).

These trees have been shaped over the years by the strong winds that blow in from the ocean.  The ocean (on the left) is not viewable in this picture, the water you see on the right is the ICW.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

North Myrtle Beach, SC to Southport, NC

Date            April 24, 2012                            
Day             301
Departure    Barefoot Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC  7:55 am
Arrival         Southport Marina, Southport, NC 2:00 pm                   
Miles               42.7
Cumulative   4853.6

Due to the windy weather conditions yesterday, we had stayed another day at Barefoot Marina.  So today we got up early for an early start.  The good news is we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.
The bad news is that we had to wait almost an hour for the office to open so we could check out.  The best laid plans...!!

Lockwoods Folly Inlet is one of the inlets that allows you to enter the Intercoastal Waterway from the Atlantic Ocean.  It really was this close!
We took a walk into town for dinner, however, I forgot my camera! Southport features an impressive collection of old homes that have weathered the years extremely well.  Quite a few feature plaques with the date of construction and the family name of the builder.
A view across the marsh in Southport, NC
Pensive Bob
Twilight at Southport Marina

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Walk On The Beach

Date            April 22, 2012                            
Day             299
Departure   No Travel Today
Arrival         Barefoot Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC 10:40 am                   
Miles               00.0
Cumulative   4810.9

The weather report was for a day of rain, so we decided to remain in North Myrtle Beach.  By late-morning, no rain so Lynda went for a bike ride to spend some time at the beach.

It did rain hard in the late afternoon and as I write this tonight, the wind has picked up and is gusting to
15 mph.  Hopefully, it will lie down and tomorrow will once again be a good travel day.  If not, we may remain a third day!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Myrtle Beach, SC to North Myrtle Beach, SC

Date            April 21, 2012                            
Day             298
Departure    Osprey Marina, Myrtle Beach, SC  7:15 am
Arrival         Barefoot Marina, North Myrtle Beach, SC 10:40 am                   
Miles               20.9
Cumulative   4810.9

Up early and heading to Barefoot Marina today.  This marina is where we attended our first AGLCA Rendezvous in April 2010.  Almost two years to the day!  How excited I was then, to actually meet some of the Loopers whose blogs I had been following.  Oh, oh - fog on the river!  Fortunately we don't have a long way to go today and hopefully it will lift soon.
So far, the fog hasn't lifted, but the sun is starting to break through.  You can actually see the reflection of the sun on the water.
The fog has started to lift.  The water is so calm and flat it gives an exact mirror reflection of the house and dock.
Finally,the fog is gone!  These are some of the houses we saw along the waterway, just before we arrived at Barefoot Marina.  After we got settled in our slip, Lynda made a short grocery list and headed off to the grocery store on her bicycle.  All during our journey, we have been very fortunate and have had excellent weather.  The next few days, however, may be a bit rainy, so we have decided to stay here a couple of days.  More pictures will follow, provided the weather is agreeable!

Georgetown, SC to Myrtle Beach, SC

Date            April 20, 2012                            
Day             297
Departure    Harborwalk Marina, Georgetown, SC  7:35 am
Arrival         Osprey Marina, Myrtle Beach, SC 11:20 am                   
Miles               30.7
Cumulative   4790.0

We dropped our lines at Harborwalk Marina and headed down the channel.  We met this ship just before we got to the end of the channel.
What on earth kind of boat is that, we asked each other.  As the boat slowly went by us, the stern came into view and we discovered
that it was a cement transporter!
Along the Waccamaw River there were many old plantation homes, this is just one example.
We arrived at Osprey Marina and around 4:30 pm one of the current residents invited us to the afternoon docktail party.  Of course, we accepted!  Below is Nakita.  She enjoys docktails also.  She loves beer and if you have a bottle in your hand, she will howl softly in front of you until you give her some. 
That is not water in her dish!!
Okay, now how on earth do you turn this thing on??

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charleston, SC to Georgetown, SC

Date            April 19, 2012                            
Day             296
Departure    Charleston City Marina, Charleston, SC  7:35 am
Arrival         Harborwalk Marina, Georgetown, SC  4:10 pm                   
Miles               62.7
Cumulative   4759.3

The weather forecast was for showers then clearing to partly sunny, not so today!  After traveling in rain and drizzle all day, we were glad to arrive at our destination, Georgetown, SC.  Georgetown is the third oldest city in South Carolina, following Charleston and Beaufort.  Georgetown was founded in 1729 and became an official port of entry in 1732.  From the years of early settlement, through the Revolutionary War and up to the onset of the Civil War, Georgetown flourished, primarily thanks to the indigo and rice crops which fueled Georgetown’s commerce.  Today, it is a quiet town with a lovely harbor walk sandwiched in between Front St. (the main street of the town) and the waterfront.  Stores and restaurants are accessible from both Front St. and the harbor walk.  The rain finally stopped and we were able to walk to the River Room for dinner (which had excellent Mud Pie) and then stroll along the harbor walk.
Usually you see signs on the docks along the waterway that say "No Wake".  This home found a different way of asking you to slow down.  The sign on the dock depicts a pair of sunglasses that reads "Join Wake Watchers"!
Front St. -  Looks like Main Street USA
One of the park squares that provides access to "Harbor Walk"
A view of the river (above) and some of the businesses located on the harbor walk,  just steps from the river.