Thursday, May 23
It was raining when we left Wrightsville Beach at 5:45 a.m. We had made many preparations expecting mosquitos (put up screens), but what actually happened in the middle of the night was that it rained. We got up and scrambled to close hatches and eisenglass.
Also that morning the aroma from the potty area was getting worse and the leak in the pump would have to be addressed soon. Ralph would have the opportunity to put on his plummer's hat today.
By 7 a.m. the sun came out and began to dry things up. We entered Cape Fear River and began the day with a great breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast with oranges and tomatoes.
After breakfast Ralph refueled the engines. Stephen assisted and Arlene held down the helm. By 9 a.m. Ralph was at work dismantling the leaking pump.
Franci took of the helm and Ralph began work on the leaky pump in head.
Cape Fear River was a ship channel at this point. We saw a barge and large tanker.
We saw pelicans.
Sttephen got action on his trolling rod…..a stick fish.
Arlene helped navigate.
A 9:30 we turned out of the ship channel and into the ICW canal at Southpoint, a very charming community. We especially liked Southpoint because they had lots of sailboats in their marina, a relief after having been several days in areas where powerboats rule.
We passed under several new bridges and by another community called St James, once again with plenty of sailboats. There were still plenty of homes with private docks along the canal, but they were not as opulent as in the Wrightsville Beach area.
By 11 a.m, Stephen took over the helm, Arlene was still helping to navigate. She makes a wonderful assistant. Ralph was still busy at work, by this time trying to reinstall the potty pump. He found this to be the most difficult part and he wrestled with this until noon when he finally reinstalled it in a slightly different angle. The good news was, however, that it worked. We had a head again. Thank you, Ralph.
Stephen got in a little computer time.
By then it was time for lunch…..deli style sandwiches with everything we could find in them.
We passed under the Holden Beach Bridge. We saw shrimp boats and a seafood restaurant at the Holden Beach Marina.
This one's a fixer upper for sure.
Soon we were at Little River where we left North Carolina behind. We were still seeing lots of houses and private docks along the way. We saw several under construction and were impressed with how solid they are built. The are all solid plywood underneath, made to withstand hurricanes no doubt. Three story houses are the most common, with the first floor probably being used as a buffer for storm surges.
We're not sure what these guys are catching along the banks.
In the afternoon the scenery would change a little. There were fewer houses along the canal and we began to see shores covered in shells and shores with rocks.
Arlene called this a boatel.
About 3 o'clock it began to rain again. It was still raining when we passed under the Barefoot Landing Bridge. This was once again a swing bridge but they opened for us upon request, no need to wait. Barefoot Landing is a tourist community that caters to golfers. They have a number of large hotels, at least a dozen golf courses and an area called the Golden Strand with numerous restaurants, bars, stores and live music.
By 5:30 we were racing to make the 6:15 opening if the Socasbe Bridge. After that it was only 20 minutes to our final destination, the Osprey Marina.
The Osprey Marina is a charming little marina, once again a place that Ralph knew about. He has stayed there many times. Although in the guides it says that they do not have transient docks, Ralph called ahead and and they found a spot for us at the end of one if their docks. It was pouring down rain as we docked. They were very welcoming and gave us a little goody bag with crackers, jelly, sweet rolls, pens and note paper, a keychain and a little packet with shampoo, lotion and handy wipes. Their showers had marvelous water pressure, the best shower we've experienced in years. There were two garbage cans on every dock, very convenient. There's even a nearby Italian Restaurant that will come pick you up and return you to your boat after dinner.
This night we chose to have our own Italian dinner on the boat. Arlene had already cooked us Italian sausage with tomato and pesto sauce, zuchinis and mushrooms served over noodles. It was delicious and we got to adorn it with parmesan cheese and some leaves from our pet basil plant.
In the morning there was a beautiful sunrise. Things would soon dry up.
Stephen tried a little fishing.
The Maccamaw River was deserted and peaceful. We felt like we might see Hiawatha pull up in a canoe at any moment.
Ralph tried one more idea for improving the potty repair.
After a great oatmeal breakfast Stephen gave Arlene a few pointers on ukelele.
We were on our way to Georgetown, SC to get fuel, ice and any supplies we might want for the next couple of days. After that, back into the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of days of sailing hopefully. In a couple of days we will be somewhere in Florida. Hooray.
Life is good.
Franci and Stephen