We left Charleston the week before Charleston's annual Tall Ships week. As we were crossing Charleston Harbor, the Pride of Baltimore was sailing in under full sail. Before the week was over they were supposed to be joined a dozen more of these beauties.
When we left Charleston, our friends Dave and Judi Nofs were aboard. We had a cloudy morning when we left Charleston but the rest of the week was gorgeous. We stopped in Georgetown, SC, a charming old town that was an important port in the 19th century. We walked around and enjoyed looking at the well preserved Victorian homes.
From there we went through the nastiest part of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway, a section called the Rock Pile. This is a three mile stretch in Myrtle Beach that was blasted out of rock. If you drift out of the channel, you hit solid granite. We timed our trip to be there at low tide, but I was still a wreck when we finally cleared that area. Just my luck, we came to it while I was driving. But Jim and Dave and Judi all stayed on deck with me and helped me watch for the markers and rocks. In that stretch, four sets of eyes are not too many.
After a night in Myrtle Beach, we crossed into North Carolina and went up the Cape Fear River to Wrightsville Beach, a very busy piece of the waterway. We stayed in a marina on the river and there were boats going up and down the river well into the night and beginning at daybreak the next day. Dave and Judi treated us to dinner ashore and when we got back to the boat we found two couples standing on the dock discussing our boat. So we invited them aboard to see her from the inside. They'd never been on a private boat before and were impressed with all the space and amenities.
Then on to Swansboro, another quaint little coastal fishing village, with military aircraft from the Cherry Point Marine Air Station flying over until sunset.
On Friday, we arrived in Oriental, NC. Oriental is called the sailing capitol of the Carolinas. There are 900 residents and 3,000 boats in Oriental. You'd never know there are that many boats here because they are tucked into marinas in all of the creeks and rivers around the town. Dave and Judi left us Saturday morning. Rob and Carol and their dog Franklin arrived Saturday afternoon and stayed with us until Monday morning.
Monday afternoon our friend Pat Dallas (see the Vero Beach post for info on the Dallases) came to the marina we were in and played pilot to help us move our boat to the dock behind his house. Pat and Almira have graciously invited us to leave our boat at their dock while we go back to Cleveland and Chicago for a couple of weeks. After we got the boat settled in, Almira drove us to New Bern to catch a flight to Miami. We flew down to get our car. All in all, a very busy couple of days.