July 12th, 2018
Today was a relatively short 34 mile trip through beautiful North Carolina coastal rivers, inlets and tributaries. This leg also included two bridges that we could not transit without opening and they only open once an hour. The first bridge opens at the top of the hour and the second opens at the half. We were told by the dockmaster at Harbor Village to leave fifteen minutes before the hour and you will arrive in time for the bridge to open the following hour. With that information, we left at 6:45am to catch the 8:00am bridge opening. We were there at 7:20am and had to contend with other boats and a strong current for 40 minutes. I should have plotted it myself and learned from my mistake. We only had to wait 15 minutes for the second bridge 18 miles up river.
After Camp LeJune Bridge (the name should have given this away) we noticed loud “booms”. We were in the area that the marines use for target practice. I remembered reading about this but didn’t realize we were there. We quickly checked the charts to find a number to call or something saying it was okay to transit. Soon after, we saw the sign below and the lights were not flashing. We did have a marine come down to check out the activity on the water. It could have been our very own version of the old Jimmy Buffett song Jamaica Mistaka. (I envision Mike Davis laughing right now!) We must have seemed harmless since the soldier didn’t even have his gun handy.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying the trip watching the wildlife. The weather seemed even more oppressive than the previous days, so Amy and I took turns at the helm from inside the boat. We don’t normally do this since you are inside with the AC on and it seems a little like Mr Toad’s Wild Ride. Everyone needs a cheat day! This was ours.
Our day ended at Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro. Dudley’s is a quick stop that sets us up for our next real destination- Beaufort, NC (pronounced “Bo-fert). Beaufort is one of our top 5 places and we will be staying two days. The marina here in Swansboro is not in the best of shape and it is a fixed dock. As you can see below, we had a few friends waiting for us as we made our approach to the slip.
Once at the dock, we had a severe thunderstorm roll in so we borrowed the courtesy car early and “enjoyed” provisioning at the Wal-Mart. Dudleys & Wal-Mart in the same day… Wow! Must be the luxury part of the trip.
This is why we leave early so we can watch these storms from the dock rather than be caught in the middle of them.
Today is exactly 4 weeks since we started this journey. Thanks for being the virtual support crew. It means so much that you take the time to check on us and we really enjoy the emails and comments.