Camp Lejeune Anchorage

Thursday, December 5

Can you tell I’m playing catch up with the blog? Here’s the deal: We have internet access on the boat but are limited in the amount of information we can upload or download. We try to keep the photos in the blog at a good quality level (have you tried clicking on any of the photos? They get larger so you can see just that on your screen. High resolution, or almost.) Most of the marinas we’ve stayed at “have internet access.” Let me explain. Most of the time “Internet Access” means you can SEE their signal, but either it is so weak you can’t sign on, or it drops almost immediately. So I save it up and send it when I can.

There was still fog as we left Morehead City but not major.Image

This section of the ICW seems to be less picturesque than many others, with many areas of straight channel. Image

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Much of it runs through Camp Lejeune. . . there are periodic closings for a variety of reasons.Image

We arrived fairly early at our chosen anchorage, Mile Hammock Bay, which is actually in Camp Lejeune. It was obvious that some of the people who have access to the base enjoy the leisure activities available in the area.Image

We shared the anchorage with four sail boats, and had a beautiful sunset. Ah-h-h-h-h. . . .Image

Morehead City 12-1-13

Aside

I can’t believe it’s December. Although recent temperatures are definitely in the ballpark, it just doesn’t seem as if that much time has passed. Plus, it’s 51 degrees here, at ten o’clock at night. We’re in Morehead City, North Carolina. So maybe we’re. . . south?

We only traveled about five hours today, from River Dunes almost directly south to Morehead City. We’re pretty much at the Beaufort Inlet.

On the way the electrical system of engines/batteries/charger/alternator seemed to go nuts, with “OVERCHARGED!” in orange showing on the dial. Orange is not good. Red is worse, but orange is as high as it gets on this particular dial. Here’s the picture, showing “normal.”Image

We were getting major OVERCHARGED messages, which means we can burn out the (very expen$ive) batteries. It was sort of a troubleshooting voyage, and when we arrived and the engine room cooled off enough, Hans figure out it was. . . a disconnected wire. We are OKAY! (I lower my head into my hands and shake no. . . then I shake yes. We’re okay.)

Here’s the thing about Morehead City – well, a couple of things. We are in a major waterway, at the mouth of an inlet/outlet to the ocean, where there is industry, including tugs, which are difficult to pass or follow. They leave a very “disturbed” wake, yanking us back and forth in the narrow channel.

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The other thing is that this is where The Dolphins start. Okay, Niya has imprinted her nose on the window since we left Baltimore, looking for The Dolphins. Every day she looks. If I gasp, or say “look” or anything resembling it, she’s there, smearing her nose into the window to get a clear picture.

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We’ve told her it doesn’t happen up north, but she does it anyway. . . waiting. TODAY. . . THE DOLPHINS CAME! She howled, whined, screamed and squealed. I said, “Niya!” and she said “YES!” squealing and howling before she even got out there to see them! They were very busy with their own activities, but there were a lot of them, and she saw them, tried to gather them all to her with her cries. . . and then they were gone. I didn’t get a picture of them or a video, but Niya saw them and was thrilled. There will be more. And she will sing to them, so happy to be part of their pod. . .  Pack. . .  Community.

Wednesday 12/4/13

We are still here in Morehead City. We tried to leave Monday and ten minutes away from the dock the alternator started over charging again. So back we went to the dock. Monday we took the marina rental car ($10 for two hours) and wandered, looking for an alternator repair shop (the owner was at an appointment and wasn’t answering his phone) or a new alternator. It’s taken us several days to resolve this, but the bottom line is we are still here, waiting for a new alternator to arrive.

We have new friends, Shay and Elizabeth, who live here on their boat. Shay and Hans worked for many hours trouble shooting the alternator, to no avail. And our friend Carolyn arrived by car from Maryland. She is here for several days of fishing, and will stay on her Camano in Beaufort. We had a very nice dinner with her in Beaufort, which is a charming town. I have to say, much more interesting than Morehead City. I’m thinking that the next time we pass through we might just go over there. Maybe.

Tomorrow, we’ll leave here. Our new alternator is installed. Tonight, there is fog.Image

 

Belhaven to River Dunes

Tuesday 11-26
We’re in Belhaven. . . a very, VERY small town in the dogleg of the Pungo River. . . Belhaven Waterway Marina The town calls itself the birthplace of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) and they have a celebration in September that brings thousands of boaters. It would be great fun to come and check it out!
We’ve hunkered down here due to “weather.” This is part of THE major storm that disrupted so much of the Thanksgiving travel this year, with ice, snow, heavy rain (VERY heavy rain, we had 2.5” last night) and wind. Mostly in other parts of the country, from Texas to New Hampshire, thankfully, but we are getting our share, and it is NOT BOATING weather.
The wind is really what has pinned us here, as it whips up waves and makes travel difficult, uncomfortable. We are an elephantine, lumbering, rocking-and-rolling trawler. Imagine rolling your living room 15 degrees left. . . pause. . . then 15 degrees to the right. Or 20, 25 degrees. Sometimes there isn’t a pause, sometimes it’s a “snap,” and you are rolling back the other way. Things fall, including things that you were sure were tied down, wedged in, secured. As for us, WE are more fragile than the boat. So we just don’t care to be out in it.Belhaven Marina 2
We came into Belhaven early afternoon Tuesday with winds and waves urging us on. It’s a tiny spot, interesting, friendly. Les the dock master is passionate about wooden boats, their history, construction, preservation, reconstruction, appreciation. And is very happy to talk about it all, with a lot of knowledge and experience.Belhaven Marina
A very bouncy overnight and day, with driving sheets of cold rain coming through periodically. COLD! Les took us to the Food Lion which was a couple of miles away. If the day had not been so nasty (cold, very cold blowing rain!) we would have walked the three blocks up to the local museum. Evidently among other things in their collection there are fleas dressed in wedding attire, and a button collection that boasts 30,000 buttons. I truly regret missing these things. . . they sound as if they make a return trip worthwhile!! (Have I said COLD??)
We decided to go to dinner “in town” which is literally three blocks long, and boasts several restaurants. Our choice was “Spoon River” which gets rave reviews, but we discovered it closed. Almost directly across the street was “The Tavern at Jack’s Neck.” Our decision was made. This is a restaurant built in a space which dates back to the 1930s. Open with a full menu for only three weeks, they were doing a good business on the night before Thanksgiving. The space itself is beautiful, with a variety of rich woods milled locally. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the staff welcoming and attentive. Dinner was not “perfect,” but the experience was, and it too was worth a return visit.
Thursday 11-28
We traveled on Thanksgiving Day down through a canal from the Pungo River to Bay River, passing through an area that was home to some of the local shrimpers. These are huge boats, and I cannot imagine them quietly tied up during the NON-shrimp season, but there they were.Sharon Nicole
Out into the Pamlico Sound and then in to River Dunes. This is a resort about which we have heard rave reviews from everyone. EVERYONE. I don’t think anyone has given it 4 stars. And we agree, it is worth 5 stars. Inexpensive for transient boaters, it’s extremely protected, has floating docks, and the amenities are amazing.River Dunes merge A swimming pool, a clean and incredibly inexpensive laundry, an exercise room with all sorts of major equipment, a beautiful “clubhouse,” with pool table, and free wifi. The showers . . . we have a bathtub on Aqua Vitae, but the showers at River Dunes get bigger raves than anything else about the place, so I had to try. Four small shower heads aimed just above the belly button, and a rain shower above, then you press the button for steam . . . OH MY!River Dunes 4
There is quite a contrast between Belhaven and River Dunes.Contrast
We took the loaner car into Oriental, which is about 6 miles from here, had a disappointing lunch at M & M’s Restaurant, which we had remembered as “good,” bought some cable Hans needed for a repair to one of the engines and back again. Loaner car – wow! Check this out: http://www.riverdunes.com and you’ll see what I’m talking about.River Dunes 3River Dunes 2
Tomorrow we are off to Morehead City, North Carolina. I wouldn’t mind staying here for “the duration,” but onward, ever onward. . . . Our goal is Marathon, Florida. In the Keys. Sometime.