We left Georgetown about 7:15 am today and it was 45 degrees this morning. We are headed to Grand Dunes Marina in Myrtle Beach. It’s about 40 miles today. We tried to make reservations at Osprey Marina and they were full, we called a few others and they were also full so this was our 3 or 4 choice and ordinarily we might not have stayed here simply because the price here is a bit more expensive than most. We have caught up with the great loop crowd of boats and I guess I need to think about reservations about a week out now instead of just a day or two. So I already made reservations for Southport for the next several days after Grand Dunes.

Today we have 6 fixed bridges, which we don’t worry too much about since we just motor right under these with just a quick verification of the water level and the actual height of the bridge. Most are 65 feet and we need about 58 feet to clear so these are straight forward. We also have one swing bridge today. We have to radio to the bridge operator to have the swing bridge opened for us.

Here we are going through:

Grand Dunes is a very upscale area in Myrtle Beach. There are many expensive and lovely looking homes along the ICW in this area.

The marina was very nice and we were along long face dock with one other sailboat. There was some space between us and the other sailboat behind us. Just after we got settled we saw another sailboat entering the harbor and it appeared the dock hands were standing at the ready to have this boat squeeze in between us and the boat behind us. We kept looking at the length of the boat approaching and the length of the open spot on the dock. It looks like it is going to be a tight fit. The sailboat was called Rhapsody in Blue and we heard him on the VHF today in our travels. He pulled in rather well and then the stern of his boat got a bit too close to the boat on the dock behind us. His wife had to push away from the boat behind us and as she did, she reached for the only thing that she could get her hands on which was the boats anchor. As she pushed away the back of the anchor lifted out of the anchor locker and when she let go, it slammed back down and made, I am sure, I loud bang. The owner of the other boat was aboard and down below when he heard the noise and popped his head out to see what was going on. I assured him his boat was fine, it was just his anchor that moved up and down. So all was good and Rhapsody in Blue made in the space with just a foot on either end of his boat.

Along the way to Grand Dunes marina we had a boat pass us and as soon as the boat was along side of us, we were like, ooohhh….what kind of boat is that? We have been thinking about someday when perhaps we might no longer own a sailboat and what we might want to do in the future. We have had thoughts of eventually buying a trawler and taking up the canal systems to Lake Champlain and through the Trent Severn canals into Canada and the trip is not well suited to a sailboat with a mast. The boat that passed us was a Mariner Orient 40. We have never seen one of these boats before. As it turns out they also pulled into the Grand Dunes Marina and we were able to chat with them about their boat. The hull was made in Taiwan and the finished and fitted in the Chesapeake area.

There is a great little restaurant at the marina that we checked out for dinner called the Anchor Cafe at the end of the pier.

We are here for just one night and then we are moving on to Southport tomorrow.

Heading North

We decided that Charleston was as far south as we will go this season and we are headed back north to spend the summer (hurricane season) in the Chesapeake Bay. We left Charleston about 7 am and are headed north back to Georgetown. 58 miles today. Now that it’s not so cold in the morning and evening we are better able to leave earlier and run later in the day and put some more miles on. Not that we are in any hurry. We left Charleston on the Saturday before Easter Sunday and we were able to get one night in Georgetown but we could not get reservations at any marina anywhere close to us for Easter Sunday. We thought we might anchor out in Georgetown however there is some weather coming in for the next day or so as well and we aren’t really excited about being on anchor in high winds. So once we made it into Georgetown to stay Saturday night, we noticed all this dock space at the dry stack marina next door and knowing that it’s Easter weekend, we asked if we could dock there on Sunday night and then Monday night we would move right back to the first marina. They agreed so we moved over there for Sunday evening.

We had a friendly cat come visiting our boat again in Georgetown. She came walking down the dock and climbed right aboard and wanted some love and attention.

The next day the cat came back just as we were leaving the dock to go back to the first marina to spend Monday night. Literally just as we were back away from the dock, the cat jumped aboard the boat and there was a small moment of panic as I scrambled to grab the cat and throw her back on the dock before we got too far away from the dock. She was like “Take me with you!” We were able to get her back on the dock but just barely.

I won’t go into detail about Georgetown again since I just told you all about it in a previous post. We just hung out on the boat in the rain for about half our time here and I made some yummy Shrimp and Corn Chowder.

The looper boats heading north from Georgia and Florida are starting to catch up with us. This is an annual/season migration just like the birds. We are learning that we need to start making marina reservations at least a week in advance right now rather than a day or two in advance. So one day was spend calling ahead to the places we know we want to stop. The weather is starting to become a little bit more predictable so I think it’s getting easier to decide how long we will stay at any given place.

Charleston, SC

We left Georgetown and headed south to anchor just for an overnight in Graham creek just 15 miles away. Again, we didn’t go all the way to Charleston because we had a hard time getting a marina reservation and the soonest we could get into Charleston was the next day. The only thing of not on our way to Graham creek was a unique bridge that we had to go by. It is a pontoon bridge. It quite literally is a pontoon that is floated over the water between the 2 points on land to allow traffic to cross driving on the pontoon. This bridge is not used very frequently and is usually in the open position unless there is a vehicle that needs to cross. Of course when we came upon the bridge it was closed for a dump truck to head across, so we had to wait a few minutes for the truck to cross and for them to float the pontoon out of the way. Here is a photo of the pontoon in the open position.

The next day we were up early and departed for Charleston at about 7:30 am. As we came into the harbor area in Charleston, there were some notable sites. First is the Cooper River Bridge. It’s the 3rd longest cable suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.

Then we sailed right by Fort Sumter. The first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter in 1861.

And finally the historic homes and buildings that line the shore coming into the marina in Charleston.

We plan to stay in Charleston for about a week to explore the city and see all the historic sites while we are here. We pulled into Safe Harbor Charleston Mega Dock and let me tell you, there are some mega boats on the mega dock. I guess I didn’t get many photos of the mega boats because I couldn’t stand back far enough to get it in the photo. The biggest one on the dock is Gallant Lady which is 168 feet long, has a crew of 12 and can accommodate 10 guests. It was listed for sale in 2012 for $49.5 million. Here’s a pic from the interweb.

Clearly they had us park our little boat at the other end of the marina….hahahaha. Once we got settled we decided to walk around downtown from the marina. The marina has a complimentary shuttle van that will take you downtown but we wanted to get a lay of the land and explore the first day on foot.

There were so many amazing and historic homes as we wound our way through the neighborhoods.

We found a great little neighborhood cafe called 60 Bull Street and stopped in to have a bite to eat. Best Shrimp Po’boy sandwich I have ever had. Mark ordered a simple grilled ham and cheese sandwich and he also said it was the best he ever had. Charleston is most definitely a foodie town. The caliber of restaurants and the level of competition here is great, so if you don’t have outstanding food, you will not make it here in Charleston. We walked all the way down to King Street which is a huge shopping district with all the big box stores you would find in any mall. Then we headed over to East Bay Street and Broad Street area to see the famous Rainbow Row. Rainbow Row is a collection of 13 colorful buildings along East Bay Street and the most photographed area in all of Charleston. At the top of the post is Mark and I in front of Rainbow Row.

After we headed back to the boat, as we were walking through the marina we met some other looper boats and stopped to chat. Of course, the chat turned into a looper happy hour on the mega dock with about 6 other boat couples.

The next day we decided to take a Lyft to Mount Pleasant and tour the Boone Hall Plantation. Boone Hall Plantation is America’s oldest working plantation. Today it is still privately owned by a family that lives on the property and works it as a plantation. The plantation dates back to 1681 and was gifted to John Boone and his new wife Elizabeth by Elizabeth’s father. The property is 738 acres. The most prominent feature on the property is the avenue of live oak trees that are planted on either side of the drive as you come up to the plantation house. The oak trees were planted in 1743 by John Boone’s son. These massive live oak trees were featured in movies such as Gone with the Wind, The Notebook, and North and South. They are absolutely amazing!

We toured the plantation house, which is the 3rd house to be built in this location over the years and is not the original house. The current plantation house was built in 1936.

There are large walk through gardens on either side of the house that are very beautiful.

This is the oldest live oak tree on the property and is estimated to be over 650 years old.

We headed back after our tour and ate at the restaurant close to the marina and put our tired feet up for the night.

The next day we took the marina shuttle van into downtown to explore the Charleston City market area. This is a really cool area that has touristy booths for shopping and lots of restaurants and such. We don’t typically buy much in the way of shopping items since we are living on a boat, there is literally no where to put anything that we would buy.

Even though we took the marina shuttle down here and back we still put on 3 miles walking around today. Once we got back to the boat, we had a beer with our boat neighbors on the dock who also own an Island Packet 380, same boat as ours.

The next day was kind of a down day for us and we mostly hung out around the boat. I took a walk to a nail salon and got a pedicure since we were in a city where it was convenient to get one. The wind has been crazy for the last couple of days we have been in Charleston and we have been looking at the forecast. The next day is looking like a good weather window for us to move back north. We had planned to spend a week here but tomorrow looks to be the only good weather day so we are taking the opportunity and we feel like we got to see all the things we wanted to see in Charleston.

As we were settled in to drift off to sleep tonight, we heard some loud booms and bangs. Got up and looked out of the boat and see fireworks off the bow of our boat. How awesome! Fireworks for our last night in Charleston. I guess the fireworks were in celebration of Good Friday!

Georgetown, SC

This picture is the view from our boat at the dock in Georgetown, it was just beautiful!

We left Heritage Plantation marina around 8 am to head over to Georgetown. Not too far to go today, just 10 miles or so to go today. We plan to stay 3 nights in Georgetown because we are not in a hurry and we are always watching the weather and planning where to hang out during the now predictable pattern of weather every 4 – 5 days.

Once we made it to Georgetown and got settled we explored the town. We stayed at Hazzard marina which is just a little farther from town than the town marina in Georgetown. We appreciated the walk however and it’s only about 3/4 of a mile to town through a very pretty historic neighborhood. Georgetown is the 3rd oldest city in South Carolina with Charleston being #1 and Beaufort being #2. Georgetown also has a history rich in the production of rice. In the 1840’s Georgetown produced more than half the total rice crop in the United States. There is even a rice museum in Georgetown.

What I love about these historic towns are the live oak trees and the historic houses.

Here are some more photos from our walk around town.

We stopped and got a bite to eat at a great little sidewalk cafe in town along our walk.

There is also a wooden boardwalk along the waterfront in Georgetown that was awesome to walk along with additional restaurants overlooking the water.

The only downside to Georgetown is there is a paper mill in town. When the wind is blow for the right direction, as it was the day we arrived, the smell from the paper mill can be downright awful! It was windy for 2 days while we were here and I was ready for the wind to stop and change directions.

The next day we were on a mission to head to the grocery store and get some fresh produce and other necessities. The nearest grocery store is a Piggly Wiggly that is 1.5 miles away. We have a great little hand cart that can either be pulled by hand or attached to a bike that we bring to the grocery store. If we need to get heavier items such as beer or water it’s nice not to have to carry that 1.5 miles back to the boat. It was a nice walk there through town and it was nice to stretch our legs. Sometimes when we are on the boat for a couple of days we need a good walk. We were able to find everything we were looking for and like most trips to the grocery store we found a few items we didn’t need as well. We loaded up our cart and made the trek back to the boat.

Now for those of you who wonder what we do all day, it does take all day to shower, get ready, walk to the store, shop, walk back from the store, bring all the stuff on the boat and put all the stuff away.

We stopped to split a burger on the way back from the store. Shopping makes one hungry.

Often on the boat we don’t always have dinner at the appropriate dinner time. Sometime our big meal of the day is what we call Linner, between lunch and dinner. We get to a dock from traveling for the day and park the boat and then we want to explore the town and exploring often includes grabbing a bite to eat at a local place and it usually happens to be 3 – 4 pm when this happens, so we have linner.

It was still really windy all night long and when we woke up the next morning it was 34 degrees! So glad we were at a dock and plugged in so we could run the heat. Brrrr….

Mark spent the day putting on a coat of varnish on the teak while I worked on a blog post and cleaning up. We wandered down to a place called Buzzard’s Roost for dinner and some live music. Nice last night in Georgetown.

Heritage Plantation marina was just an overnight stopping point. Not much of interest here and it’s right in the main channel of the ICW so no real protection at speak of. We stayed here for a couple of reasons. #1 we knew we had some weather coming in and it would likely arrive before we could make it all the way to Georgetown #2 we still had remnants of storms and rain this morning in Osprey which prevented us from leaving really early and #3 we couldn’t get a reservation at Georgetown for tonight. So here we are.

When we pulled up to the marina today the wind and current were quite high as we were coming into the dock. Both the wind and current were flowing in the same direction and at first the dockmaster wanted to put us on the inside of a dock that would have the wind and current push us into the dock. Lucky for us as we approached the dockmaster thought better of the situation and whistled to us and pointed us to the outside slip where we could head up into the wind and current as we were coming in. Much better approach! There was one other traveling boat here with us and the marina was pretty quiet. Nothing much around this marina to go and explore either, so it was a night spent on the boat grilling hamburgers and watching the storms come in in the evening. It was windy and we got some rain but nothing too bad.

On the way to the marina for the night it was just a grey and cloudy day.

The only real thing of interest today were these 2 military looking boats that passed us by today. They looked very stealth. They were painted very flat grey and didn’t show up on radar or AIS. No markings of any kind. They had some sort of jet engine and could go very fast! It literally sounded like a jet on the water and they kicked up a tremendous wake even at a slow speed.

We are excited to move on to Georgetown tomorrow and have heard great things about the town and are looking forward to exploring and visiting.

We finally made it to South Carolina. We travelled today from St James Plantation to Osprey Marina which was only about 24 miles today. However, we had a total of 18 bridges in 24 miles. 14 of them are fixed bridges that are around 65′ tall so those we don’t worry so much about but we also have 4 opening bridges to go through today as well. One of the bridges that opens is a railroad bridge that is usually always open. So I guess we really only have 3 to worry about.

The landscape along our route today is very remote. No colorful house lining the shores. Nothing but moss covered Cypress trees along the banks and some wildlife. Here is a white crane we saw.

The turtles were out sunning themselves on the tree branches in the water all along the shore. There were a lot of turtles.

We made it to Osprey Marina about 12:30 pm and filled up with fuel and emptied our holding tank. We know we have some weather coming so we will stay at Osprey for a couple of nights while we let all the weather pass. We met some great people at Osprey, we met Steve and Pat aboard Calypso and Bob and Kim aboard Benita. We had the 6 of us aboard Painkiller for evening happy hour. Steve and Pat’s boat is parked along this long dock as you enter the marina that is very detached and far from the main area of the marina. There are golf carts parked on either end between this dock and the marina building. People hop in the golf cart to come around to the marina and then go back again and leave the golf cart on either end. Steve and Pat are the second boat in the line of boats here.

Here’s our boat looking from their boat. On the water it’s fairly close together but on land you have to go a long way around. I tell you all this because when Steve and Pat came over for happy hour about 20 mins into our happy hour it started to rain, hard and thunder and lightening. What might have been an hour or so happy hour turned into most of the evening as we enjoyed each others company until the rain let up enough for them to make the trek back to their boat with the golf cart.

The next day we just hung around the boat and took a walk around the marina area. There is really no town or anything close by within walking distance. The most interesting thing we saw was a field of goats along our walk. The evening brought a repeat of the previous evening. Steve and Pat, Bob and Kim and Steve and Pat’s friends Brian and Ellen all joined us for happy hour and of course more rain! This time they were smart enough to bring an umbrella. We all had a great time! Heading out tomorrow for points south.

We left St James Plantation to head south to Lightkeepers marina in North Myrtle Beach today. It’s about 28 miles to travel today. When we woke up to get moving it was 48 degrees this morning. We are only staying one night here before we move on again and continue to head south toward Charleston.

There are so many elaborate docks and colorful homes along the intercoastal waterway.

This is our first glimpse of some sandy stretch of beach that we have seen. This is by the inlet to the Little River.

When we enter a new to us marina, we generally call ahead to see if they can tell us what slip we will be in and have them describe to us which dock, will it be a port tie or a starboard tie to the dock and ensure there will be someone on the dock to catch our lines. We will also look at the marina layout on an app we have called Nebo. It provides a google earth type view of the layout of the marina and the approach so we can ask all the appropriate questions when they are describing where we should go. Here is the view of Lightkeeper’s marina from the Nebo app.

There are actually 3 marinas in this particular basin. The docks that run north/south on the left side is Lightkeeper’s Marina. The docks that run north/south on the right side is Coquina Yacht Club. And the docks that run east/west along the top is Myrtle Beach Yacht Club.

So when I was talking to the guy on the phone to determine which dock we would be going to, he tells me we will be on T dock. I always love it when the marina staff list off a letter like we have a clue where T dock is. Ok, we are looking at your marina map, where would T dock be? He starts listing off letters and tells me that starting from the entrance there is N, O, P, Q, R, S, T docks. The number of letters he is listing off doesn’t seem to equate with the number of docks I see on the map, so I try a different approach. I asked him if T dock is the last north/south running dock. He tells me no, it’s about in the middle. We later learn that yes indeed T dock is the last north/south dock in the basin, just in the middle of the basin but at the end of their portion of the marina. Then he tells me that he will put us on the end of T dock. So, I clarify, do you me at the T head, the very end of the dock? Yes, I am told. I further clarify, do I need to turn down the fairway to get to a slip or are we at the end? He assures me we are at the end. Ok, we think we have a pretty good idea of where we are going. We are coming into the marina and there are docks and boats everywhere and it’s a bit confusing and you can never see any letters or numbers on the docks. We approach the last north/south dock that we think is the T dock and there are 2 large boats on the end of the T dock and no open spot. I see a guy standing on the end of the dock waving to us. This is the right dock but there doesn’t appear to be any room at the end. I tried to hail him again on the VHF to clarify where we are supposed to go. While waiting for him to respond, I see him walk back down the dock away from the end. Where is he going? He doesn’t respond on the VHF and after a few minutes I see him re-emerge almost halfway down the dock on a finger pier and he waves to us. Mark at this point is almost past this turn in to go down this fairway. I alerted him quickly, turn here! He was able to quickly turn down the fairway. Remember the guy told us we didn’t need to turn down a fairway? It’s obvious at this point that the slip we need to be in is halfway down the fairway where he is standing and certainly not at the end of the T dock. We finally pull in and get settled, however this guy gets the prize for worse directions in a marina ever! Sometimes a bit stressful pulling into unfamiliar areas.

Once we docked, there was another sailboat that came in shortly after us and we recognized the boat, as we saw them along the ICW in our travels today. We said hello and started up a conversation with Kathy and Joe and their friend Ray. We chatted about boats for a bit and where we are from. They are local to the area and live a short distance away and this is their home marina. Later, we were getting ready to head to a nearby restaurant for dinner and this restaurant is about 1.5 miles away and we had to walk there. Kathy and Joe were getting ready to head home from the marina and offered to give us a ride and drop us off at the restaurant. Thanks! Very Nice!

We had a bit of a celebration tonight. It’s our 10th anniversary of owning Painkiller and celebrating 2 years of retirement! Loving every minute!

We only have about 18 miles to go today from Carolina Beach to St James Plantation Marina. The marinas address is technically in Southport however it is far out of the town of Southport to the south in an isolated area along the ICW. As I mentioned before we didn’t want the challenge of taking on the currents in the Cape Fear River and we are in desperate need of a washer and dryer. We haven’t done any laundry since we left New Bern and it has been about 2+ weeks. So our mission was to find a good marina with laundry.

We didn’t leave Carolina Beach until about 10 am so we could time the tide and current in the Cape Fear River so we didn’t have a 4 knot opposing current slowing us down. St James Plantation is actually a very nice gated community that has gorgeous homes and happens to have a marina within the community and they also welcome transient boaters. So there is no town here to walk to, it’s very residential and quiet. They were nice enough to put us on the end of one of their docks so it was an easy in and out for us.

Here are some photos of the ICW along our way today. We have just 2 65′ bridges today to go through so no need to have any bridges open, we can just pass on by. It still is a bit freaky to see how close the mast is to the bridge.

We also have to go through an area known as Snow’s cut today. This is really a man made portion of the ICW that has been dug out to make a connection to the Cape Fear River. This section has been known for some significant shoaling and many have grounded in this area. Lucky for us they have just recently dredged this section of the ICW in the last few weeks so we should be good for our depth. Our boat drafts about 4’6″, for a sailboat this is not too bad. Luckily we haven’t run aground yet. (I don’t know if I should put that in writing…)

The rest of our time at St James Plantation was spent walking around, doing laundry, taking showers, etc. There was a great little gift shop/store next to the marina office. Walked in there to have a look around and ended up spending 30 – 45 minutes talking with the guy who owns the place who has sailed up in Alaska, he also has 2 beautiful dogs in the store and spent time petting the dogs. When you have all the time in the world and no agenda it’s really fun to here other peoples stories.

We did some planning as well for the path ahead of us. Our plan is to head as far south as Charleston and then turn around and head north once again to spend the summer in the Chesapeake Bay area. Come fall and cooler weather we will head south once again.

Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach is just north of Wilmington, NC on the ICW. Also just north of the Cape Fear River. We opted to stay here and then on the south side of the Cape Fear River after this to avoid having to head to a marina right on the Cape Fear River. The current on the Cape Fear River can be a bit challenging if you are trying to dock at max flood or max ebb tide. The current runs about 3 – 4 knots. At 4 knots that’s a bit less than 5 miles per hour. Water flowing that quickly can make your boat go in directions that you didn’t intend.

We left Harbor Village Marina about 10 am. We weren’t in any hurry this morning since the mornings are still quite chilly. This morning it’s 48 degrees when we left at 10 am. We only have about 20 miles to go today so not a stressful day. I know what you all are thinking…a stressful day on that water chasing our dreams, how stressful can that be? I guess you are right, we feel very lucky and fortunate to be able to do what we are doing and we are loving everyday on the water.

The ICW is peaceful and tranquil as we watch the houses, wildlife and other boaters pass by. Here are some views from this stretch of the ICW.

We have 2 bridges that we have to have opened for us on our journey today. The first is the Figure 8 Island Bridge which has a closed height of 20′ and the second is the Wrightsville Beach Bridge which has a closed height of 14′. We are about 56′ tall. Both bridges today open on a schedule. The Figure 8 Island Bridge opens on the hour and on the half hour. The Wrightsville Beach Bridge opens on the hour only. These 2 bridges are about an hours distance between the 2 so we want to get to the Figure 8 Island Bridge and go through on the hour so that we can travel an hour to the next bridge and arrive there when the Wrightsville Beach Bridges opens on the hour. If we don’t hit the first bridge on the hour we will have to likely wait 30 mins for the second bridge to open. Waiting at a bridge can be difficult with current, particularly when the current is pushing your boat toward the bridge.

Our timing today was good, we were able to get to the Figure 8 Island Bridge at the top of the hour at about 12 noon. Here’s the Figure 8 Bridge swung open as we were headed through.

We made it timely to the Wrightsville Beach Bridge for the 1 pm opening as well. Sometimes life on a boat is just very satisfying when you have good bridge timing.

We made it to Carolina Beach around 3:30 pm. Here we reserved a mooring ball for the night. Mooring balls are a great alternative to anchoring since generally you are more secure knowing you are tied up to something solid. Mooring balls are also much cheaper than a dock for the night too. A mooring ball here in Carolina Beach is $20 a night.

It was a bit windy today as we were coming into Carolina Beach but both Mark and I were very successful in picking up the mooring ball line and getting all connected. For those unfamiliar, a mooring ball is a large floating ball in the water that is tethered to the bottom generally with chain and concrete. There is a rope on the top of the mooring called the painter that has a big loop in it. The idea is that you maneuver you boat close to the mooring ball while someone on the bow of the boat uses a boat hook to reach and hook the loop of the rope that is attached to the mooring ball. Now this sounds simple enough, however throw in some wind, waves and the boat moving around as you try to grab a loop in a line with a long hook. Mark did a great job getting the boat close to the mooring ball and I was able to hook the line with my boat hook on the first try and get our dock lines around the loop of the rope. Mark and Rose for the win! And what is our prize? A glass of wine in the cockpit you say?

Carolina Beach looks like a great town to explore, however we are tired today and we are only staying one night and moving on tomorrow. It seemed like a lot of work to take the dinghy down and head into town, so we just hung out, had some wine, played some cribbage and made some dinner. We will be headed back through this area when we head north so we might have to stop at Carolina Beach again and do some exploring next time.

Hampstead, NC

Today we are headed Harbor Village Marina in Hampstead, NC. After awhile all these marinas run together in our heads and it doesn’t help when all the names are similar. There are soooo many marinas have use the word Harbor. Harbor Village, Harborside, Harbor Plantation. Oh, and that’s the other term for marinas in this neck of the woods, Plantation. So many Plantations.

We are looking to stay 3 nights here in Harbor Village, there is a low pressure system/cold front coming in that will bring high winds, rain and storms. It seems like we have these cold fronts marching through every 5 – 6 days.

We woke up this morning at anchor still in Mile Hammock Bay before taking off for Harbor Village. It was quite chilly this morning in the upper 30’s and when we are at anchor and not plugged into shore power we don’t have any heat in the boat. Mark was so nice this morning to get up in the cold and start our diesel generator so we could run the heat for a bit to get the chill out of the cabin. We made coffee and that also heats up the cabin a bit with running the stove. The hot coffee warms us up as well! We only have about 20 miles to go today so no need to be in a hurry.

When I called to make reservations at Harbor Village Marina, the lady on the phone was very nice but she was very concerned that we have enough provisions aboard the boat since the marina is in a residential area surrounded by houses with no town, store or restaurant anywhere close by.

When we arrived we found a very nice, clean marina with newer docks. It is one of the best marinas we have encountered so far and the owners were super nice and helpful. Here is a look around:

As we were waiting for the owners to check us in since they were helping to dock another boat, we found a comfortable chair on the deck outside their marina office. We were just sitting looking out at all the boats in the marina. Then one particular boat caught my eye. It was the name of the boat that first got my attention. The name of the boat was “Buttery Nipple”. For those of you unfamiliar, a buttery nipple is a drink made with butterscotch schnapps and bailey’s Irish cream. We had these drinks aboard our friends, Rick and Shauna’s boat. So, seeing the boat name we snapped a picture and sent if off to Rick and Shauna to remember our evening together in Rock Hall, MD having Buttery Nipples.

As we were taking a picture of the boat, Mark looked more closely at the hail port of the boat. The hailing port on the back was St Croix Falls, WI. St Croix Falls, WI is a very small town in western Wisconsin which is about 5 miles from where I grew up and is a very unusual hailing port to find in North Carolina. Also unusual in that St Croix Falls really doesn’t have much in the way of navigable water.

Just then the owner walked up having finished helping the other boat dock. I asked her if she knew who owned the boat Buttery Nipple. She immediately said, That’s my boat! I asked her what she knew of St Croix Falls, WI. Turns out she grew up there! I told her I was from Centuria. No one knows where Centuria is or has ever heard of it. Well, she knew! She told me her family name and I was familiar with the family in the area. She asked if I knew the Quist family, as that was her husbands family. The Quist family owned the local grocery store in Centuria and of course we knew them. It is a really small world when you run into someone from a small town in Wisconsin in North Carolina.

The other couple that came in about the same time we did were also getting checked in, so we introduced ourselves and got chatting with them. We invited Steve and Anne aboard our boat later for a bit of happy hour. They are headed north and are from the Chespeake Bay area. They had been south in Florida so they had lots of great information and recommendations for us heading south. It’s always nice to hear of other people’s experiences and what is good and perhaps not good on the “road” ahead. We had a great evening.

We spent the next couple days just lounging around, playing some cribbage, cooking dinners, doing some blog posts, planning our next stops ahead and making some calls to marinas for reservations. When it wasn’t raining, we took a couple of walks around the area, there are some beautiful homes in the area.

We do really like this marina and may have to stop here again on our way back north.

Next stop Carolina Beach.