Just Relax travel blog

Harker's Island, Beaufort. Sue looking for creatures that bite - LOL

Harker's Island. They are not sure how horses got here. All are...

Frineds Don & Lana took us to supper and here for drinks....

New Old Glory John installed while underway. Looking for place to properly...

Sue, who hates technology, loves her Kindle. She wished she had it...

We never know what we will see while underway

Missing our "kids", Pia and Jack. Washington, NC is a great exaple...

John loves local history.

Cousiin Linda & Aunt Lily (88) takes us to "Down Main" for...

Aunt Lily spent her wedding night here in 1945. Abandoned now after...


On 4/15, we leave Surf City at 0730 and make the Onslow Bridge opening in the nick of time for it's opening. We decide to go to Beaufort, NC so we can easily use dingy to get to a couple of islands that Sue has been wanting to see. So, Town Creek MArina was our stop since John no longer wants to go to Beaufort Town Docks, if he can help it due to their bad attitude that we receive each visit (many complain about the staff there - gov't workers? - LOL) in addition to the premium price they charge. Well, the winds were way to much to use the dink, but one of the two ferry services was to operate Sunday, so we took it to Harker's Island. The other ferry service shut down due to the high winds, and we did get a little wet going over on the ferry even. But, it was worth the trip. Sue packed a picnic lunch for us, and we enjoyed seeing the wild horses (which we have a painting of that friend Pia painted for us now hanging in our home). Also, the shelling was fantastic, so Sue filled a sack full. We walked all over the island and learn that at one time (over 200 yrs ago, or so) that the small island had over 500 living on it, for whaling and fishing. The horses must have gotten over there back then, but no one knows for sure if that is how they got there. They are wild, so we can not get close. Feeding them, etc. is strictly prohibited. This is yet another island that is re-building itself after man messed it up some. Dunes are huge in places as mother nature takes good care of the island. John informs tourists on the ferry that if he sees anyone littering, that he will shoot them. We get laughs because as people look at him, they say, w"who, him?" - LOL. We see dolphins every day now, including on the ferry. We stay 3 nights here, one extra so we can visit with friends Don & Lana who now live here after retiring from Mooresville. Don & Lana were on our cruise/honeymoon/wedding and have a very special place in our hearts. They take us to local place to eat called "No-Name" and we share home made pizza with egg roll appetizers. We drink German beer to complete the meal. Where else can you get such a mix? Afterwards they take us to a dive for an evening cocktail (see picture) and what a neat place. One of those places you would not venture into by yourself based on its cover. There is a sign: "beer is good for you, I do not know why, it just is" .. or something like that. WE borrow the marina's car for provisioning. The only problem wiht staying here is that the pier's are not conducive for docking a boat like ours, so we have to get on/off from the bow. The marina finds a ladder for us to use which helps. To to it all off, John sits on & breaks our camera. We have a back-up, but it is on its last legs, so we will look for a Best Buy so we can use a gift card that a contract colleague of John's gave him as thanks for a favor John did.

4/18 takes us to an anchorage that we heard was one of the best on the east coast - Campbell Creek. It was. Many crap pots to maneuver around to find a spot where we would not snag one, but easily found. It is a few miles off the ICW. AFter we settle in, get out the Scrabble game for evening sunset on the flybridge, here comes a Coast Guard boat. "What the...?" John says. They board us for inspection. Since we have been boarded many times, we were prepared and had all paperwork, safety items all out for them. We passed just fine. However, while John is taking the CG captain around the boat for inspections, Sue get's to hang out with the other guys on the boat. They are all young, buff and in their Coastie shorts. She hated to see them go. But seriously, they are very professional, & we welcome the good job they do. We find out that they are not allowed any leave for the Summer months. They knew we were up this creek because they had seen us enter earlier that afternoon - we were amazed they found us. Te winds were a little high for our liking, but once evening set in, the night was perfect with the windows all open letting in a nice cool breeze. We watch a movie and hit the hay early. We delayed leaving the next morning so we could enjoy coffee and a few crosswords and Sudoku's.

Then onto Washington, NC called "Little Washington" by locals. This is the first town in the USA that was named for our first president. John's cousin Linda who is his age lives here and we always wanted to boat to here - settling in at the town docks, John's cousin and aunt (Lily), his mom's sister, visit us. We have a very good long visit and then eat out for more visits. John had learned that Linda and her mom did not have one artifact from her mom's side of the family since Lily moved here in 1945, leaving her family back north. We bring Linda an old chair that belong to Lily's aunt that dates back to the 1800's. It is important that family have something of ancestors, John thinks, and Linda loved having it. We also see a commercial pier that an old friend back on Lake Norman built here recently.

4/20 brings us down the Pamilco River, barely making it to the railroad bridge in time thanks to the bridge tender. The bridge, like most railroad bridges, are not manned full time. At 0700, a man comes to our boat on the docks and see's us milling around and asks us if we are about to leave. We said yes, and he said he will got ot the bridge and hold it open for us a little longer so we do not have to wait. Otherwise, we'd have at least an hour wait. How nice of him, we think and say. Windy today, but not so bad that we can not enjoy the trip to Dowry Creek, just north of Belhaven, NC. We decide to go here because of people we met on the Great Loop in 2006/07 were working here. It was great to see John & Linda, Canadians who come here every year for months to help the owner out who suddenly lost her husband a few years ago. We are currently here as we write this for two days now. We have not decided to leave tomorrow or not due to high winds. Some boats left here for points north, but when they got to the Alligator River Bridge, found it to be closed due to high winds. Well, most came back this afternoon to Dowry Creek since there are no marinas between here and there (it takes 4.5 hrs to get there, one way). We are glad we stayed, so tonight, we will be at the evening cocktail hour with snacks that they do here every night and get to visit with john and Linda some more. Today, we did some minor chores: hung a towel rack, laundry, balance check books, borrowed car for provisions, dusted, installed a new stereo speaker (old one broke), and of course the mandatory Suduko's. Sue is ahead right now, 16-14 on this trip. By the way, Sue broke her Scrabble record with 418 pts. She bought a game that can be played while underway. Also, the auto-headsets we bought each other for Christmas work great too for docking. They are hands free - we sure wished we had them years ago. Stay tuned and keep those prayers coming as we decide whether to leave tomorrow or not. Wont have updates until we get to Norfolk, probably, about a week from now.



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