Someone call Guinness…

…because we have done it again and this may be a record. More on this later, but let’s catch up on the day.

We had expected the winds to die down by this morning so we were up before 0700 but it was still blowing strong. So we ate breakfast and I went back to bed while Jan read the USA Today. She does not often get a paper and savors it when she does.

It took until after noon before we could consider moving out of the slip and I was antsy sure nuff. We still had wind gusting but it seemed manageable. Our plan was to stop at the fuel dock on the way out and fill up. This we managed to do but it was dicey. Took a little over 115 gallons. When we pulled out there was a brief encounter with the dock leaving a black streak about six feet long which we did not know until we reached our destination. Luckily it was a surface rub against the rubber edge of the dock and would polish off.

 
 
Up the Cape Fear River where there was fairly heavy boat traffic. As we neared the turn off to the ICW and the Snow Cut we knew it was going to be narrow and shallow as all the books warmed us. That is when a totally impatient jerk in a big boat just could not hold himself back any more and gunned it past us to try and be first into the cut.

I had been monitoring a barge(pictured above) that was coming out of the Cut with two tugs pulling it in tandem. The jerk roared around the barge and was gone but created a lot of turbulence for us and the barge. I had to slow down due to the waves and it caused us to met the barge right at the turn. Still no problem because I could ease by on the outside and turn sharp into his wake and remain in the channel. At least that was the plan until I came around and started to turn. Suddenly we were faced with a serious problem. This barge for some strange reason was towing two huge partially submerged hoses nearly 200 feet long and I was going to run over them!

 
 
 
 
So I quickly turned away thus leaving the channel in the worst possible location. In a split second we were hitting the bottom many times. I could not pull back on the throttles because we would surely stick. So I just kept going. Jan must have thought I needed help because she reached to pull back the throttles not realizing that would finish us. You see it was dead high tide and if you stick at high tide there is not ever going to be any higher water to float you off. I stopped her and we kept churning up mud for another 100 feet but we never stopped moving. Thank goodness.

We made it back to deeper water and felt no adverse vibrations. Of course there was no place today to run fast so we only know that there are no vibrations at 1200 rpms or less. I even put the earplugs in and went into the engine room to look for any visible vibration. Keep your fingers crossed that we got lucky today.

 
 
Because of the late departure today we could only cover a limited distance and our original destination was scrapped. Thus we ended up at Wrightsville Beach a place we had intended to bypass since we stopped here with Ken and Darcy Searl in 2005 and did not require a second look.

While I am on the subject I must say that from here to Elizabeth City we will be bypassing many interesting sights because we have already seen them. Thus you will not get a guided tour of Oracoake Island where all the people just disappeared nor a visit to Kitty Hawk where the Wright brothers took the first flight. So if you were getting all excited about seeing us standing on the flight path, I took all those pictures years ago.

 
 
 
 
We walked down the road to Bailey Channel Pub for a simple meal and met two school teachers trying to learn how to play a ring toss game. Earlier I had witnessed a young fellow hit it 5 out of 10 times with four in a row. So I introduced them as the Dan Cupid in me took over. I am sad to say that he was a good teacher but a poor lover and did not capitalize on the opportunity I gave him.

Tomorrow is another travel day as we are making up time.

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