|We leave our anchor on 9/25 at Bond creek after a leisure morning and decide to go to Oriental, a place we have been to many times and love, even though we had planned not to, since we were to hook up with friends near Morehead City, and the weather is perdicted to get nasty. Another nice day of boating, and arrive at the Oriental Hotel docks. Swimming is in order as soon as we dock, then a walk into town. We discover that one of our favorite places, the Inland Water Company is closed for business, since the owners are supposedly going through a divorce. We loved that store and are saddened to see it go, but rumor has it, it may reopen. We then walk to the boater surplus store and John has a blast looking at old stuff and even buying a few things. Ice cream is then the order of the day. We check out the many little shops, including a couple we find on side streets in folks homes. Two days, we decide is in the order of the day, since we are here and wanted to see more. John gives the dingy motor a tune up, its first since 2007. It's not like him to wait so long for things like this. We see no boats all day, other than a few fishingmen.
On 9/27, we leave for a new marina (for us) at Morehead City (called the Yacht Basin), and it sure is a nice place. Walking distance to everything, even though, our normal place is much cheaper when we come through here. We need a marina to stay at since we are visiting friends who live here and our normal place is at a resturant that does not allow this sort of docking (for days). Parked next to us is the boat "Carnivore". some may remember this guy. He is the one who won $1M in a recent mackeral tournement, but was disqualified when it was discovered his fishing partner did not have a valid license(who he did not know, since you are assigned your partner, I think, by the tournement folks). The appeal is now in the courts. The Zaffino's drive from Salisbury to stay at the Hathways for three days. These "old, old friends" John calls them have a great reunion. The Hathways live in Pine Knoll, on Atlantic Beach. They all come to boat for cocktails and then we go to supper, packed in Don's Tahoe with Sam, appropriately (LOL), riding in the back. The next day, Lana makes us a great breakfast, and the the Hathaways take us on a fantastic tour of the island, showing including walk on the beach, finding many shells, even though the rain is terrible, it breaks for us some. Ft. Macon is visited, a drive pass other sights with supper made by Lana that night at their lovely beach home. They plan on moving here permenantly soon from home. We can not thank them enough for their hospitality.
Watching the weather closely, we decide that 9/29 is a go date to start our move back towards home. Sadly, just like the GA trip in the Spring of this year, we do not want to go back, but must, due to those pesky committments - LOL. We figure we have a maximum of 6 days to make a 3 day trip back to our home port, and with the rain in the forecast and high winds of 40 mph (we do not like anything above 15, and generally do not move above 20), we need to make a day, even though it is in heavy rain, to Surf City, and hole up for at least two days. Well, the rain did not stop at all for the 7 hour trip. The winds were great and we time the one bridge nearly perfect, not having to wait hardly at all. A 85 foot boat comes up behind us and asks for a pass, so we let him, but John commnets to him that he will have to wait for a long time when we gets to the bridge, since it only opens on a time basis, not at boater's request. He said he knew, but wanted to make sure he makes it since he is not familiar with the area. When we get to the bridge, there he is, maneuvering his boat in the narrow channel with 2 knot currents, waiting for nearly 30 minutes. We see one other boat today that is as crazy as us, but he only travels about 20 miles, we think. Well, after the trip to the Maritimes last year, this kind of boating is not a big deal for us anymore - LOL. As we pass Bogue Inlet, the waters are ripping, and the currents push us around pretty good. About an hour later, a Coast Guard warning comes over the radio that Bogue Inlet is too dangerous to navigate due to weather. Many more dolphins to see today, something about the rain? Well, Surf City is a nice place to hole up for two days since there are a few things within walking distance, and we liked it so much when here earlier. Too bad they only have three slips for boats here, they could make a ton of money, but there is no more room for docks. Well, the blowing rain (15 inches in three days we hear) causes a leak bahind our refridgerator. Studying this, we discover the steps to the flybridge is where it is coming in at. Since our steps are under cover, this really took the rain a lot to get in. We are not worried about this, a little caulking and we'll be fine. However, at 0300, the CO2 alarm in guest berth goes off. It is wet. The outside berth is wet, oh no, water is everywhere. We take the closet panels off, and it is coming in through there somehow. The porthole seal is broken. John had fixed that last year, and the vibration of the boat had caused it to come loose again. A few screws tightened up, and we are fine. But, once again, it too a lot of blowing rain to get through. There is so much rain, most stores and even the schools are closed. We hope and say a prayer that tomorrow we can move. The winds shook us all night, so we did not get much sleep in addition to the alarm going off (we will have to buy a new one). We are writing this at 6:00 p.m. and the winds have just earlier died down, so we will most likely travel tomorrow, even though the rain is still coming down. Forecast is for it to lessen by 6:00 a.m. Stayed tune for developments. in the meantime, we slog around town in our rain gear today and have a blast getting splashed by cars going by. Played games and caught up on phone calls, etc.