Feb 28, 2018 – Swansboro

 Today is cruising day and it’s a beautiful day for travel. Winds are negligible, the Neuse River is flat and we just have about four things that must get done before we can blow the horn for departure. We need to walk Frankie, load the dinghy onto the sundeck roof, bring the consignment goods (extra upholstery fabric and old toaster oven) over to Island Provisioning Company, and get one last pumpout. So with all that completed and power lines removed from the dock, Tracy handles the lines and I take Kailani out of the slip and head out to cross the Neuse River. Once we are across, we enter Adam’s Creek and suddenly we’re looking at about 15 dolphins playing all around Kailani. I get out the GoPro and start filming from the helm while Tracy walks out onto the bow pulpit and she gets some great footage o f about 6 of them frolicking right ahead of our bow. Nice start to today’s cruise! (See Previous Post- The Day of the Dolphins)= tc

Coming out of Adam’s Creek we’re in the frequently busy harbor port of Morehead City and Beaufort. Today must be an off day as boat traffic is nearly non-existent with the lone exception being a vessel coming in from the ocean and heading south right behind us. Paucity calls us and asks for a slow pass which we are happy to provide and before we’re under the Atlantic City Bridge, Paucity is ahead of us and wakes were kept to a minimum from both vessels.

Once we’re under and through the Atlantic City Bridge, we’re in Bogue Sound, a twenty mile trip through a wide expanse (about 2 miles wide) of water, but it’s imperative to stay between the markers as the water goes down to 1-2 feet deep outside the ICW channel. Apparently, this is also a good environment for frolicking dolphins as we get two dolphins swimming right off the port beam. I must admit my stupidity since I held the GoPro out on the selfie stick for five awesome close-up minutes of dolphin jumping only to realize that the camera wasn’t turned on! Oh well, this was certainly not the last opportunity to film them.

During the trip, I get a phone call from Snag-A-Slip letting us know that the confirmed reservation we had for Topsail Island Marina for Thursday thru Monday to spend time with Lisa and family had to be cancelled because the marina is actually closed between changes of ownership. Teresa at Snag-A Slip was very sorry but she said she would continue to try and locate us a marina suitable for the visit and close to Topsail Beach. We also decided to look thru the guidebooks and references on board and see if we could come up with a location. In the meantime, we’re approaching Swansboro and tonight’s stay at Dudley Marina.

Today’s cruise was 43 nautical miles, scheduled for 5 hours, but it took a little bit longer as there were a few 2 mile long ‘no wake’ zones in Adam’s Creek. We still were docked and all tied up before 4 pm. Dudley Marina had two dock hands waiting for our arrival, tied us up and we hooked up shore power for the overnight. Power here is very good and the internet is very good also.

Once we’re all tied up, Tracy gets into flushing out the fresh water system. Prior to departing Oriental, she had reduced the water tank down past half full and installed a gallon of water holding tank treatment. This was done prior to departure so during the cruise, the treatment would slosh around and get to all the corners of the tank and pipelines. So now that we’re docked, she will empty and fill the water holding tank three times and flush out all the treatment. Once complete, the water out of the faucets looks and tastes good. Nice job, Tracy.

At the same time, I start looking at options for the weekend and after talking to Lisa, we determine that Sneads Ferry is a good place to dock if I can get us a slip. So I call up Swan Point Marina and Jason confirms he has room for us, so we book Thursday thru Monday there. The cruise tomorrow will only be sixteen miles, but we’ll have to deal with three navigational issues. First is that there’s a four mile stretch of this next leg that’s the Camp Lejune Live Firing Range and subject to long term closures (4 hours or so) during live exercises and we won’t know their status until we call them in the morning. The other two issues are shallow water areas due to shoaling at Brown’s Inlet and New River Inlet. With shoaling to deal with it’s best to travel at high to mid tide. So a seemingly quick sixteen mile cruise could be extended by any one or all three of the navigation issues tomorrow. We map out our plan, check the weather, have a simple dinner and we’re asleep by 11 pm.


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