It is the day after Jessica D Tate Coon's birthday! She is our beautiful, smart, wonderful oldest child.
We spend thanksgiving night and last night in Swansboro, NC. We arrived in Swansboro after a very stressful day on the Bogue Sound. The first part of the trip through Beaufort and Morehead City were fun. Lots to see, surfing with the current doing 7.6 knts we rounded a corner and were greeted by dolphins and pelicans playing in the air/water. We slowed down and just had a moment with our aquatic friends.
We entered the Bogue Sound. Depths dropped to 12 to 15 ft. We were following the magenta line and quickly ran aground. We ungrounded and started again. At this point the current was against us. We bumped. Two sailboat were behind us and asked to pass. We were elated! We could follow them and maybe not bump again. They passed and we noticed they didn't stay on the magenta line, they stayed to the right. I started steering right at the red marks. No more bumping! I was never so glad to get off a body of water. Many of the charted islands were no longer visible in the water. As we progressed south, the islands started appearing, first as a small sand bar, then as dune islands. The dunes were full of bird life. The grasses were swaying in the breeze. It was a perfect sea scape.
We got to Swansboro just as the sun was setting. The current was strong. We anchored just below a bridge. Put the Delta down with 60ft of chain. We took our new Danforth anchor and dropped it off the bow. I made leftover turkey, wild rice and green beans for dinner. I went right to sleep. Matt kept anchor watch. I woke up about 2 am. Matt was still on anchor watch. The current had shifted and we were being held by the Danforth. After about an hour Matt decided the anchors would hold and I went back to sleep. Morning arrived beautiful and sunny. We were planning on traveling about 14 km and putting the hook down in a protected anchorage and getting some rest. First, a stop at the fuel dock. We pulled in behind one of the boats we followed yesterday. Brenda greeted us and said that there was going to be a boat parade tonight and they were staying. I asked the fuel dock attendant and he said they had room if we wanted to stay. I told Matt we were going to stay to see the parade. He said GREAT!
Phil and Jennifer pulled in behind us. They were traveling with Brenda and Bob. Phil and Jennifer have a Nauticat 44 and Brenda and Bob have an S2- 36 ft. The ladies decided to go shopping and the guys tackled Phil's battery problem. Swansboro was all decked out for Christmas. The streets were full of people and cars. The mode was joyous. I found a tobacco store that had a wonderful black raspberry tobacco blend that I bought for Matt. The owner gave each of us ladies a cigar for smoking during the parade.
We had a pot luck dinner on the Nauticat and watched the parade. They had motor boats, fishing boats, party boats and trawlers decorated in lights and music. Santa was on a boat, there was a little Caesars pizza boat (everyone needs a slice), a swan, a coyote baying at the moon. The boats made two passes and the judges picked the winners. Looking at the waterfront, it seemed the whole town was there. Laughter, children and Christmas carols could be heard throughout the crowd. Such a great night.
What I learned:
Stop and enjoy the view
Follow another boat, use your charts, read the guidebooks. Use all tools you can to make your trip easier.
Be flexible. If we had not stayed in Swansboro, we would have missed meeting new friends and a super fun town event.
If you are not enjoying yourself, you might as well go back and live on the dirt. Realize that the water
environment will give you challenges and beauty.