Swansboro, NC

We left Beaufort around 8 am this morning. It was 39 degrees! We need to move south! The winds had died down to a reasonable level for us to make our way south to Swansboro. However, before we depart we had to take care of pumping out the head, which is very full. We made our way over to the pump out dock and since it is early in the season, apparently no one has used the pump out all winter. Where do all these people empty their heads? Mike on the dock tried to get the pump out functioning however ultimately he was unable to do so. But we really need our head pumped out. We called around to other marinas in the Beaufort area and apparently no one has a functioning pump out. We finally called ahead to Swansboro to see if we could just pump out there when we arrive. There are 4 marinas in Swansboro and there is only one pump out in the whole town and they have to call the guy to come in to do it. But they seem willing so we took off with a full holding tank to get pumped out in Swansboro.

The route along here is very rural with a few houses scattered along the ICW and the the traffic is very quiet. About halfway through our route to Swansboro we spotted our first dolphin on the ICW. Those dolphin are quick though so no pictures unfortunately.

The wind and current picked up as we came into Swansboro. Our friend Ed texted us that he rode in motorcycle to Swansboro and was waiting on the dock to greet us. How nice! We pulled into the Church Street docks to get our holding tank pumped out. Called the lady at the office and I mentioned I spoke to her earlier in the day about pumping out when we got here. Well….it was a different lady and the first lady didn’t say anything to the second lady about a boat that needs a pump out. At this point I begged. She took pity on me and called a guy to come down to pump us out.

After we got settled, we called Evelyn to have her drive down and come join us and the 4 of us shared dinner aboard Painkiller. So much fun to see them and spend time together again.

It was still pretty cold and the wind was 25 knots gusting to 30. We were supposed to stay at Casper Marina next door to Church Street docks however, we didn’t feel like moving the boat again in this strong wind and very strong current, so we stayed at Church Street for the night.

Shortly after Ed and Evelyn left us to head home, we saw a black cat that came walking down the dock. The cat was walking with purpose and came right over to our boat and climbed aboard and started walking around and checking out the place. I think she was disappointed that we were not a fishing boat. She was very friendly and well fed. As soon as she determined we didn’t have anything for her, she left as quickly as she came.

We also watched this trawler come into the area. He came in when the wind was really up still and the current was strong. He kept heading over to a low fixed bridge and we were all wondering, where the heck is he going? He turned up at the last minute and it was clear he was struggling once he turned against the current to head the other direction. For a few minutes we thought for sure he was going to get swept into the bridge. He gunned the engine and struggled to head up against the current but eventually made his way before he dropped the anchor for the night. Whew! That was stressful just watching. It’s all calm now, but here is the boat.

And here is the bridge

We called it a night and plan to leave in the morning. I fell asleep and was awoken around 12:30 am to the sounds of loud talking/yelling, red flashing lights and a spot light shining in our bedroom window. I got up to see what was going on. Not really sure of what is happening, all I see is a sailboat that appears to be anchored just in front of the big trawler pictured above. I also see a smaller fishing type boat that has red flashing lights and a spot light. They keep circling the sailboat. What are they up to? Thinking the sailboat was anchored, I then noticed that the boat with the red flashing lights was leaving the area but the sailboat started to follow in behind it. At first I thought the boat with the red flashing lights had snagged the sailboat’s anchor and were not towing them out with them. Then I realized, towing….oh….he’s towing the sailboat. They flashed the spot light once again at our boat and it appeared that the boat with the red flashing lights stopped towing the sailboat. He then came along side of him and started to push the sailboat right toward us! That’s when I woke Mark up. You have to see this! I thought they were going to hit our boat. However as they got closer it became apparent that the boat with the red flashing lights was towboat US and they were pushing the sailboat to the dock just ahead of us. Clearly someone on the sailboat is not having a good day and something is wrong that they can’t get to the dock themselves. They got the dock and tied up the boat. The Towboat US boat left and things quieted down for the night so we went back to bed.

In the morning we are headed to Mile Hammock Bay to anchor and I guess when we get up we will have to ask the people on the sailboat what happened.

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