We’re both awakened around 4-5 am with thunderstorms all around us, but they are short lived and by the time I get up to my freshly brewed coffee at 6:30 am the rain, thunder and lightning are all gone and the sun looks like it’s trying to break out. So I’m immediately grateful for the turn around because when I hit the hay last night, I was prepared to rise to thunderstorms with rain and possibly some poor visibility. We definitely have the weather window to make today’s cruise to South Carolina. We set a goal for no later that 10 am departure and we’re getting so good with this process that we’re blowing the departure horn at 9:30 am. We turn to port and leave behind the memories of a great marina coupled with a great service operation associated with them.
Today’s cruise is a simple, four hour trip with five fixed height (65 feet) bridges and three shoaling inlets to be aware of, but we’ve timed the cruise to coincide with high tide so even with any shoaling, the tides will work for us in the skinny water areas of the inlets. My only concern for today is that we still do not have a confirmation yet from Coquina Harbor for a slip this afternoon. So as soon as Tracy returns to the helm from cleaning up the dock lines and fenders, she starts working on the confirmation. Tracy has a Samsung and I have an Apple, but they must work identically, because she is not able to make contact with Coquina Harbor either. We now determine that we must marina shop while underway. It’s definitely doable and not impossible, we just prefer to have this information confirmed prior to leaving a dock. Today, we’ll have to put those skills to the test as Tracy starts researching options. After six different marinas saying they had absolutely no space, she started working backwards from the targeted destination and she was finally able to get a slip at Ocean Isle Marina in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. Did you see that, Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina! Today we were supposed to be out of North Carolina and into South Carolina, but that’s not going to happen. The good news is that we have a confirmation and Tracy says that Alan from the marina sounded extra accommodating and that made her feel good about our destination for the day. The better news is that our fishing licenses that we thought would be of no use to us once we cross the state line, will now be good for one more (at least) day. When Tracy hung up with Alan we were at ICW mile marker 332 and the marina is at mile marker 335 so we didn’t have more that twenty minutes to go before we would see the marina on the starboard side with Alan and Sharron waiting to help us with the lines. We docked at 12:40 pm and the sun was still shining on a day that I expected rain, thunder and poor visibility. However as we would soon find out, the weather was about to change within the next four hours and change severely.
In the meantime, we went up to the office to complete the transient paperwork and we both felt like this marina was extremely comfortable for us and it was very good luck to be here in spite of it not being our first choice today. It’s funny how things work out that way. Initially, we were totally frustrated that we got no response from Coquina Harbor, but if we had, we would have driven right by this gem without ever finding out how special they are here. Then we learned that there were pizza shops that delivered to the marina and we thought, ‘how can it get any better’? So we ordered our pizza and returned to Kailani.
There were some discussions in the office about the impending small craft warnings and that there might be some severs thunderstorms here later this afternoon. These would be nothing compared to the hail and tornadoes forecasted for the areas farther south of us. We hope they do not happen. After our standard fare of meat lovers pizza from Domino’s, Tracy offers to give me my seasonal head and chin grooming. So we rig up the dinghy driver’s stool on the dock and Tracy does her magic with my hair and beard. I’m good for another season. After that we move everything inside Kailani to do Frankie up on the sundeck, but once we start shaving his hair, the thunder starts clapping and it becomes unsafe trying to hold him in one spot with electric shavers so close to his eyes and nose. Oh well, he doesn’t have any dates coming up so we can groom him another day.