I left Southport Marina after just one night’s stay, and without having come within six feet of anyone, for better or worse. I caught the last of the flood tide up the Cape Fear River, and was shot through Snows Cut like a spicy burrito through a sensitive intestinal tract.
[Insert relevant joke about toilet paper shortage here]
I timed my arrival for the Wrightsville Beach Bridge pretty well, and only had to wait for a couple of minutes with a small parade of other vessels. Between that one and Figure Eight Bridge, I traveled in convoy with a Lagoon Sailing cat. They were a little slower than me, but since I wouldn’t make it in time for the half hour opening, I figured I’d slow down and enjoy being a sailboater for a while.
Turns out, I didn’t have to. The tide was low enough that I was able to sneak under the closed bridge. Neat.
Mom and sister Alison were spending their day texting me pictures of their cats being cute and snuggly. I wanted to contribute to the conversation, but aside from the meat in the refrigerator, the closest thing I had to a cat was my stuffed appendix, so they got this:
The rest of the 45 mile cruise was very pleasant. I spent it periodically checking my sense of smell, and taking my temperature with the laser thermometer in my tool box. Good news, the prognosis is still just a very mild case of hypochondria.
I got to Mile Hammock Bay sometime around four that afternoon. There were already four sailboats anchored there, and I shoehorned myself in between them and the man made part of the harbor. The wind was fairly lively out of the southwest when I arrived, and was supposed to keep up all night. I decided that at least in this position, I wouldn’t have to worry about dragging down into anyone else’s boat. I would only have to think about all of the other boats dragging into me, or if I dragged, ending up high and dry on Camp Lejeune’s boat ramp.
None of those horror stories came to pass, thankfully, and the weather never got any worse. The only thunder I heard was from the Marines blowing shit up. They were pretty busy by the sounds of it. Meanwhile, I tried my damnedest to stink up the anchorage by making a delicious Chicken Tikka Masala. I was so happy with it that I ate it. I also took a picture of it, but I’ll spare you. A wise man once told me that when it comes to blogging, ‘nobody else cares what you eat.’ That night was perfectly clear, and all of the stars were out. I felt very lucky to be where I was.
I woke up the next morning with another sore back, but forgot about it quickly when I poked my head outside. It was magnificent. Flat calm, sunny, dry, and so comfortable. It was so pleasant that a large part of me, I think it was my left leg and both kidneys, wanted to stay for another night. I dragged my feet and made some breakfast, which I ate even slower than usual. I waffled back and forth between staying and going until late morning, when I decided that the weather coming was less pleasant, and that I’d rather be a little farther along when I woke up again. So, I picked up the hook, and set off toward Beaufort.
I’d tried to find some sort of schedule for Camp Lejeune’s explosive hootenannies, but I couldn’t find anything that I could make sense of. I tried calling, but nobody answered. I tried asking the coast guard if they had any information, and they basically said ‘iunno.’ Luckily, there were no festivities that day, and I got through the firing range with no lines and no waiting. Except for Onslow Beach Bridge, which had both.
As promised, I was overtaken by gray, wet, and wind when I started into Bogue Sound. By the time I’d gotten to Morehead City Inlet, it was pretty snotty. Having enjoyed my last night’s anchorage so much, I’d been considering doing it again, but with the shite weather, and with my laundry bag getting full and my refrigerator getting empty, It was time to tie up and plug in.
I decided to try the Morehead City side of town this time. I stayed at the Yacht Basin, where I checked in from a safe distance outside the window at the dockmaster’s office. I borrowed the courtesy car, but took a few minutes to disinfect it first. The grocery store was pretty well picked over by the time I got there, and all of the usual suspects were missing. Produce was low. There wasn’t an avocado, bell pepper, or mango to be found. The meat selection was slim. There were no paper products, which I expected, but there were also no eggs, which I did not. It wasn’t the kind I wanted, but got the last loaf of bread in the store. A lonely looking, slightly squished loaf of store brand light rye. I think I picked the pathetic thing up more out of pity than anything else. Turns out it’s pretty good.
I really can’t complain. I still managed to get more than I needed, and was more than ready for a few nights at anchor, which is where we’re heading next.