Sunday, June 8, 2008

06/09/08 North Carolina

Once more we are leaving people who in a boat instant have become friends you would like to spend more time with, but Hakuna Matata has places to go.
So we cast off our lines...
and keep an eye out for the dredge lines as we leave the basin and
re-enter Little River and the last few miles of South Carolina.

We like passing the big ships at dockside instead of along the waterway.
Here's a yellow boat of a different sort.
who's doing the screaming...motor...or seated guests?

It's another scorcher today, so we travel with the awning up for the 1st time to avoid the extreme temperatures. It was 101 in the cabin before we stopped to buy a fan and rest a couple of days. You can tell by the way the awning is sagging down that there is no breeze at all!! This cuts down on some of the scenic view but we're cool even waiting for bridges to open.
Don't remember these goats in the winter.
I wonder if they bring them over for summer vacationing. See the goat on the left.
He stood on his hind legs to reach the leaves. Guess they keep everything trimmed.
or you can just stack it.

From The Cape Fear River Entrance we get a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean that goes on & on.
We're making good time so we just wave to Southport

Snows Cut
seems to be a popular fishing spot.
You can see the erosion along this stretch.
Bob double checks the depth and bottom with lead line where we anchor at Carolina Beach. If you aren't familiar with a lead line....the piece Bob is holding is made of lead, very heavy, with an indentation on the bottom that will fill up with whatever is down there on the bottom when it's lowered. This way you know what your anchor is in. The attached line is marked to indicate how deep the water is.
Old Fashioned - Still Works!!

Today we go through another of the long narrow sections of the ICW which isn't as narrow as we thought!! Plenty of room for both of us.
In this area there aren't too many anchorages. Once more we head for familiar waters in Mile Hammock Bay. The Waterway Guides tell you this is dredged by the military for use and to be sure and use your anchor light at night due to military maneuvers. Our last stay did have some helicopters overhead during the night. We were not expecting what occurred next...

As we were making our way in, a Coast Guard boat with numerous personnel in military dress manning 2 guns on stern and one on bow met us. They informed us that they would be having maneuvers here into the night and that the wakes could be damaging to our boat if we anchored. At my insistence, Bob turned around. Once we were back in the waterway and had a chance to look at the charts it became evident : it was late in the day, there were no other safe anchorages for us, so we returned, and so did the patrol boat. They requested we anchor as far to the side as possible and we did. There was a 2nd boat that also anchored in the area. The wharf had been transformed into a temporary military base.
Late evening and throughout the night it was as if we were extras in an action movie. There were 2 boats protecting the base from the water and a 3rd boat that would make approaches and be hailed, stopped and/or redirected by the Coast Guard boats. As night fell, there were increased attacks with gun fire (yes blanks), flares and lots of yelling. We actually got accustomed to the activity secure in the knowledge that this was training to help keep our country safe and secure. We confess occasionally during the night we would wake up to what sounded like a real encounter with a boat near us. Somehow it was different and the dialog sounded as if a private boat had actually entered the area and was refusing to do as asked with lots of verbal confrontation. We'd pop our heads out the forward hatch only to realize it was role play....very realistic role playing. Back to bed till another scenario entered our subconscious enough to wake us once more. Needless to say we were a little weary the next morning, but grateful for our overnight anchorage. One of the military craft came alongside just to check on us and say hello, which actually was goodbye as we needed an early start to reach our next destination. As we left the harbor we could hear a new confrontation beginning. We decided our 2 boats probably added a little more reality to their scenarios as they might encounter private boats during any such confrontation.
We marked this as one more of the surprising things you experience along the Waterway.
As we travel the ICW we have heard Navy and Coast boats requesting private crafts change their course due to a military maneuver, or make a course change to remain a requested secure distance from a ship leaving harbor.

Sometimes the waterway in this area is closed due to maneuvers at Camp LeJeune and live fire
across the waters. We appreciate the warning!

We saw what appeared to be targets set up for just such practice. Fortunately we seemed to be ahead of them.

This is Browns Inlet where we went aground going South.
Good passage this time :-)

Hakuna Matata is snuggly tied to the face dock at Moorehead City
during a Fishing Tournament!!
We're traveling again and following the markers and a tug.
This marina has many more boats on land than you would expect this time of year.
We wonder if it is boat storage for people who have gone North for the summer
to return next winter?

Love this place.
I can't imagine ever being in a bad mood here...
unless you are conservative and then you would go mad.
In this stretch you can buy a dock on the ICW.
Seems to be where people park their houseboats.
One was named COMPROMISE.

Our trip through Adams Creek & Canal takes us to the Neuse River
where we turn off into
South River .
We anchor early not too far from a duck blind along with 3 other boats.
We take to our dinghy and go ashore to walk in the water's edge and feel sand in our toes.

It was late...I moved the camera a little...but love the results

Good thing we didn't go swimming yesterday
in the early morning light we see jelly fish!

This is something else you never want to see...
It's our emergency-large bilge pump.
That means we had water coming in from somewhere. Lots of water!
This happened a day after hearing of a couple of boats sinking and several vessels in distress....are we???

I was at the helm and could hear Bob below as he lifted floorboards and tossed things about checking all the below waterline fittings that could create a serious leak. Once he was assured they were fine he started looking elsewhere. It turned out a split engine hose. We shut off the engine and are now adrift in the Neuse River. Me? Now that I know we aren't sinking anytime soon, I'm entertained by the sealife coming around this bobbing along boat.

My live aboard mechanic, Bob, has found the spare parts he needs to make the repair. In no time at all we were starting up the engine and checking to make sure the water was flowing properly. Clean up takes more time than the repair but soon we are ship shape again and on our way. We are now nervously checking the red bilge light almost as often as we watch the depth sounder.

We decide to find a marina for a little relaxing.
Fortunately for us we chose Dowry Creek.

Doesn't this look relaxing?

We're here for a couple of days to work on our

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