The wind was still blowing this morning but not to bad. During the night it had shifted from directly on the starboard side to about 30 degrees off the stern. It had me a little concerned about getting off the dock but I had one of the marina dockhands down next to the boat and essentially backed out into the channel, no problem.
We did not need to wait for any of the bridges today. We passed under 2 that were listed at 12′ clearance but the tide was near low and we had about 18″ of clearance on both the Surf City Bridge and the Onslow Beach Bridge.
We were hailed on the VHF by a boat called Field Trip. We last saw them in St Augustine and first met them in Alton IL on the rivers. I could not raise them on a working channel so Lenore went down to look for their boat card so we could call them on the phone. While Lenore was down below my phone rang and it was Field Trip. They were just leaving Swansboro and I was amazed that we heard them from about 45 miles away. Anyway we talked to them and gave them a few suggestions based on our experience from last year. Hope we catch up with them again.
Traffic was not to bad today, but there were still a lot of small boats and fishermen on the water. The small boats do not really cause a problem but I do need to be aware they are around and make sure I can take evasive action if necessary.
One of the boats we have been kind of traveling with since Georgetown, After Taxes had a problem yesterday. They ran aground on the ICW in the channel but with the assistance of another boat and the rising tide they got off. They came up to the anchorage at Wrightsville Beach where they were anchoring with Linde and Terrapin. After they got the anchor down they went to start the generator and it would not start. They looked into the engine compartment and there was a lot of water sloshing around and the generator was partially under water. They pulled the anchor and went to the closest marina with a lift. The marina put a large pump in the bilge and ran it for a couple hours before they could haul the boat. Apparently they had run aground another time in the not to distant past and since that time they have had some water leakage problems in the bilge but nothing serious. They investigated a number of times but couldn’t find where it was coming from. Well when they ran aground yesterday the crack in the hull worsened to the point that they had all that water in the bilge. They will have repairs made and it will take a week or so (estimated now) and then they will be on their way.
We went by the Camp Lejeune Marine Base. The signs on the ICW say to stop if the lights are flashing because they are taking gunnery practice with live ammo. We were fortunate the lights were not flashing. There were a few signs on the shore telling people to stay out – unexploded ordinance in the area. Pretty effective way to keep people out.
The wind really started to blow once we got within about 5 miles of Swansboro. You could see the whitecaps on the ICW. It made docking very interesting but at least I got to back into the wind to get into the slip. While on the dock I had to leave my cap on the boat because the wind would have taken it off. Probably was blowing 30 mph or more.
Swansboro is the home port for the couple on the boat Journey. We met them in Green Turtle Bay Marina and saw them in Chattanooga last fall. They are actually the harbor hosts and are hosting a dinner tonight at their house. They thought the house would be better because the boats are rocking in the wind.
We plan to stay here 2 days so Candy can get a medicated bath for her skin tomorrow. She has been scratching an awful lot.