The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stuck in Southport...but that's OK

Thursday’s weather was even worse than projected.  The wind howled, and the crews of Once Around, Boreas and cbay did the prudent thing…we stayed in port.  We had planned to visit Bald Head Island using the ferry to get out there, but the inlet was so whipped up, we decided even that wasn't a good call.  So, the Admiral and I had a pretty quiet day.
The wind calmed somewhat on Friday.  cbay departed heading north.  The Admiral had charmed a young guy who worked at the marina into loaning us his car for the day, so we and Boreas’ crew drove the ferry for Bald Head Island.  Julaine and Fred had visited Bald Head Island before, and enjoyed showing Carrie and I around on our rented golf cart.  The Admirals really liked checking out the beach homes.
The harbor at Bald Head Island

The house of the day on Bald Head Island
We found our way to the far end of the island, which is the point of Cape Fear.  Cape Fear came by its name honestly.  It is a mariner’s nightmare. 
If this sign doesn't says it all...

...this photo taken at the point should!

My First Mate got a little carried away with the seagulls...apparently she never saw Alfred Hitchock's, "The Birds"...kinda spooked me, really.
Afterwards we went to the lighthouse (Old Baldy), which stood guard over this coast for many years, starting in 1817.  It is the oldest standing lighthouse in North Carolina.  It is no longer in use, but the view from the top is still pretty spectacular.
"Old Baldy"
A view of the harbor from the top
We returned to our boats after provisioning at (my favorite) Walmart.  I am hoping that is the last Walmart I will visit on this trip…we’ll see.
Saturday we ran another 42 miles up to a marina near Wilmington, NC, called Harbor Village.  It is a great facility and a nice stop, but far from town.  We never left the boat.  But as usual, the sights along the way were entertaining!
Some unexpected barge traffic greeted us early...
This guy passed us!
No comment...
...lots of comment...just kidding...
The house of the day...NOT!
The real house of the day
For you, Nonie
Sunday we cruised to Swansborough, NC, to a marina called Dudley’s.  It is pretty rustic, but the price is right and the people are friendly.  They provided us with a ride into town to have dinner at the Riverside Steak and Seafood.  When you are here you have to stop in, order any meal that comes with a salad, or just order a salad.  No, not for the salad, for the sweet potato muffins!  They are absolutely outrageously tasty.  We ordered a dozen to take back to the boats, and Boreas insisted on taking their half…can you imagine?  Seriously…those muffins are awesome!
Tomorrow, unless we’ve ticked off the boating gods somehow, we will “cross our wake” when we reach Morehead City, a short hop of only 25 miles or so.  We started the Loop there 363 days ago.  My First Mate has been getting kind of nostalgic these past few days.  OK, maybe she's not the only one.  When Sid from Something Special  (who is down in Georgia somewhere) called us a day or two ago to say farewell, she broke into tears.  We are both feeling it…and “it” is hard to explain…maybe I’ll try later…

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