Swimming With Bears

On 5/5 we got up to our coffee and iced tea and started up the ICW to one of our favorite places Myrtle Beach. We stayed again at Barefoot Marina. They have great rates and the dock hands and dock master are great and very helpful.

Since it was Cinco de Mayo, I knew I wanted some good Mexican food. We took an Uber to Margaritas and ate well. It was almost like what we get at home in Chesapeake at 3 Amigos. The only thing missing was the “white” sauce. I have since learned that it is a regional thing. NO ONE outside of Chesapeake seems to know what it is.

We stayed in Myrtle Beach 2 nights and then we headed out on 5/7 for a quick trip to an anchorage near the Cape Fear River. The current runs fast on the river and we wanted to be close enough to make the tide. We anchored near the South Harbor Boat Ramp. That morning we woke to a heavy fog. It lifted before we had to leave but it was beautiful.

We made good time on the river and since it was a nice day we kept going till we got near Camp Lejeune. It was a loud night as the Osprey’s were doing touch and go landings near us.

At our nightly “nav” brief, John took a look at the rest of our course and we decided if the weather held and we did some long days we could make it home for Mother’s Day. That would be one sweet surprise for Frances.

Since we would have to time it just right. John took a tip from our friend Doug Sanderson’s blog. He has the m/v Slow Bells And is doing The Great Loop right now. He puts a waypoint on his navigation software so he knows the time he will make the next bridge. If the bridge only opens at certain times, he knows when he will be at the bridge and can adjust speed accordingly. We have been doing that and it works. Thanks Doug! You saved me again!

After Camp LeJeune we hit an anchorage at Broad Creek. OMG we found the Midges. We got up and they were all over the outside and on the inside. Sooooooooooooo yucky. On our trip down the ICW in November it was cold and we had no bugs to speak of. All winter in the Bahamas we had no bugs. Back in the United States we get “Love” bugs in Florida and Midges in North Carolina. When get home we are going to need to wash the boat.

As we traveled along the Alligator River/Pungo Canal we saw something cool. I am down below and I hear John call me up. “Something is swimming across the rive.” We both walk to the bow and there is a black head with ears swimming across. I said is that a dog? John said no it was a bear. So out came the camera and we were able to get some good photos. Bears, unlike dolphin, like to have their photo taken.

On 5/11 we crossed the sound and tied up at Coinjock Marina it was time for a good long shower and a yummy dinner we don’t have to cook. The next morning we hit Great Bridge in time to tie up at the free dock and Christy is able to pick us up for a surprise Mother’s Day lunch with Frances. It was so good be back home with the family! It is really hard to say just how much we missed them.

After lunch we had time to make it to our summer resting spot, Tidewater Yacht. As we slowly made our way to our slip, our dear friend Ted Haler from m/y Dream On came over to help us tie up. We were able to share a beer and hear all about his mission, dream, goal in life, Warriors in Peace. Check out his Facebook page. He is going to be doing great things for our Veterans.

So our big adventure is over for now and we already making plans for next winter. Still so much to see in the Bahamas that we have to go back. I will blog next an overview of our trip by the numbers.

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