Blues Skies & Sunshine over North Carolina

A selfie of a happy cruising couple - on the move again!

A selfie of a happy cruising couple – on the move again.

 

Six days of watchin’ and waitin’ for Joaquin in Oriental left us itching to move again. We departed from our favorite underwater dock, and I do mean favorite, because that dock was a safe haven for Kindred Spirit in threatening weather. We are very grateful to Tom and Joyce for sharing their North Carolina location with us in our time need.

 

After the cloudy, rainy, and dismal weather for most of the past two weeks, THE SUN WAS SHINING AND THE SKIES WERE BLUE AGAIN!!!!!! WooHoo!!

It was a short day of travel, just 3 hours, from Oriental to Morehead City, crossing the Neuse River and then into Adams Creek and the Adams Creek Canal (yup, another canal.)

Another canal.

Another canal, but a pleasant sunny day.

HGTV for birds: Left pic is condo living on the waterfront Right pic is single home, country style surrounded by water

HGTV for birds:
Left photo is condo living on the waterfront
Right photo is single home, cottage style surrounded by water

Dolphins! It still surprises us to see dolphins in inland waterways. And it never bores us.

Dolphins! It still surprises us to see dolphins in inland waterways. And it never bores us.

Towards the end of Adams Creek Canal we were greeted by Don on Obsession, an Eagle 40. Al and Don “met” and became digital friends on the website Trawler Forum When Don found this Eagle 40 in Branford, CT and traveled north to see it, Al eagerly volunteered to join him for a first look at it. Now that we were in his home waters, Don brought Obsession out to meet Kindred Spirit, on the water. 🙂

Obsession traveled with us for a few miles. Al and I both agree that we still think the Eagle 40 is one of the handsomest trawlers made.

Obsession traveled with us for a few miles. Al and I both agree that we still think the Eagle 40 is one of the handsomest trawlers made.

Don drove over later to visit us in Morehead City. The two Captains are enjoying a beer and boat talk. It just happened to be Don's birthday!

Don drove over later to visit us in Morehead City. Two captains, relaxing and ruminating about boats. It was Don’s birthday, too – sure hope it was a great one!

One of the photos that Don snapped of Kindred Spirit.

One of the photos that Don snapped of Kindred Spirit. Who can resist a photo of their boat underway? Not us! We think she is pretty handsome as well. 🙂

After Don turned back to his marina, we continued on to Morehead City. One of the deepest ports on the US East Coast, the Port of Morehead City is a busy commercial waterfront.

Matching "candy-striped" tugs waiting for a call to duty.

Matching “candy-striped” tugs waiting for a call to duty.

As we rounded the turn to go in front of the State Port Terminal, there was a large military ship at the dock, with a guard boat passing back and forth along side. Don get too close!

As we rounded the turn to go in front of the State Port Terminal, there was a large military ship at the dock, with a guard boat passing back and forth along side. Don’t  get too close!

We no sooner passed by the ship when a tug and barge came around the next corner -- slow down and wait for it to pass by in front of us!

We no sooner passed by the ship when a tug and barge came around the next corner — slow down and wait for it to pass by in front of us!

Ahh, Morehead City waterfront.

Ahh, Morehead City waterfront ahead.

On our first trip, we spent a few days in Beaufort, NC at the Town Creek Marina. This time we joined Cutting Class in Morehead City, on the other side of the Newport River from Beaufort. I read somewhere that sailors go to Beaufort and powerboats go to Morehead City so I guess we did this right. That stereotype doesn’t seem to hold any more, there were rag tops and stinkpots in both cities.

Sanitary Fish Market - The word "sanitary" makes you ponder just how it got that name. Are there other places that are "unsanitary fish markets?"

Sanitary Fish Market, established 1938

Sanitary Fish Market is a waterfront restaurant with a dock for $25 per night if you eat a meal (or $1 per foot if you don’t.) We had a nice little lunch there to go with our dockage.

I found myself pondering the origin of the name, “Sanitary Fish Market“. It almost implies that there may be others that are not sanitary. Ugh. My curiosity drove me to  their website. Sure enough, as the first waterfront restaurant in Morehead City, the “building’s proprietor stipulated that the building had to be kept very clean. To show compliance with the cleanliness requirement and to let the public know that it was a very clean place suitable for a family dinner, they named it the Sanitary Fish Market. ……Most fish markets at the time were always dirty, so Captain Tony and Captain Ted called it the Sanitary because they wanted people to know it was clean.” And my curiosity was satisfied.

Morehead City is more utilitarian than historical Beaufort, but it has a few shops and restaurants and gave our legs a nice chance to stretch and walk.

The things that caught my eye —

THese

These fish relief sculptures were spaced throughout the sidewalks of Morehead City. I appreciate a city with an aesthetic sense.

A town that caters to canines in a nautical way.

A town that caters to canines in a nautical way. Cleats for leashes?

The blue marlin statue stands as a tribute to the town’s fishing heritage.

The blue marlin statue stands as a tribute to the town’s fishing heritage.

The "Train Depot" established 1857

The 1905 Morehead City Train Depot was recently renovated. It houses the offices for the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association and can be rented for special events.

Now this was a surprise to me - trains run right down the middle of the main street, between the two lanes of cars!

Now this was a surprise to me – trains run right down the middle of the main street, between the two lanes of cars!

Boat transoms as interior furnishings. Will Al want to do this in our house???? Top photo - a bar in the Sanitary Fish Market restaurant Bottom photo - candy display in the ice cream shop

Boat transoms as interior furnishings. Will Al want to do this in our house????
Top photo – a bar in the Sanitary Fish Market restaurant
Bottom photo – candy display in the ice cream shop was once a bed. Cool!

Our late lunch left us satisfied and full, so dinner was a walk to the ice cream shop. Be honest, haven’t you ever had ice cream for dinner? The owner told us we should sit on his “happy bench” outside and he would take our picture there.

Eating ice cream on the "happy bench."

Eating ice cream on the “happy bench.”

We decided on an offshore run from Beaufort to Wrightsville Beach to avoid three bridges, two swing and one bascule, that require timing to make the openings. It was also going to be a pretty good day to be offshore. The 70-mile trip would take about 10 hours so we needed an early start.

As I prepared our coffee and breakfast around 5:45 am, the "waning crescent moon" was visible in the dark early morning sky.

As I prepared our coffee and breakfast around 5:45 am, the “waning crescent moon” was visible in the dark early morning sky.

The fishing charter boats leave early!

The fishing charter boats leave early!

This is us leaving Morehead City (Thanks, Cutting Class!). If you look closely you can see us and our running lights.

This is Kindred Spirit leaving Morehead City (Thanks, Cutting Class!). If you look closely you can see us and our running lights.

The Beaufort Inlet is well-lit and easy to follow. We waited until there was light, around 6:30 am.

A warship was patiently waiting for us little boats to leave the inlet before it entered.

A warship was patiently waiting for us little boats to leave the inlet before it entered.

The warship passes behind us, in silhouette.

The warship passes behind us, in silhouette.

Cutting Class took photos of us leaving the inlet —

TOP - It may look as though Capt Al was playing chicken with a warship, but that was not the case! BOTTOM - Kindred Spirit with the sun rising behind.

TOP – It may look as though Capt Al was playing chicken with a warship, but that was not the case! BOTTOM – Kindred Spirit with the sun rising behind.

It was a long day, but a good one. The seas were only 1.5 feet and spaced nicely apart, and the breeze was light. We saw a pair of dolphins playing in our wake and a flying fish hop above the water surface right in front of our bow. Did not get photos of either. 🙁

With autopilot, the Captain can relax and just keep a watch on the surroundings.

With autopilot, the Captain can relax and just keep a watch on the surroundings. Notice the sweatshirt and jeans -it was a chilly morning.

With autopilot and an open sea with nothing around for miles, we can both relax on the bow. What a great place that is ! And the interior helm controls are only steps away.

With autopilot and an open sea with nothing around for miles, we can both relax on the bow. What a great place that is ! And the interior helm controls are only steps away.

 As we ran parallel offshore to Camp LeJeune and Mile Hammock Bay off the ICW, we saw another military vessel in the distance, an aircraft carrier.

 

An aircraft carrier in the distance. Lots of action going on out there. We could hear the ship warn small pleasure craft to stay away.

An aircraft carrier in the distance. Lots of action going on out there. We could hear the ship warn small pleasure craft to stay away.

With my little zoom lens I was able to get this photo - you can actually see the choppers and planes sitting on the deck.

With my little zoom lens I was able to get this photo – you can actually see the choppers (left) and planes (right) sitting on the deck.

All in all, this was a sparkling day!

A beautiful day, full of sunshine and blue sparkling water.

A beautiful day, full of sunshine and blue sparkling water. What a nice change from the tannin colored waters and brown-toned water from the rains. Love this!

We both agreed that departing from Beaufort Inlet and entering Masonboro Inlet were the two easiest inlets we have traversed on either trip so far.

Entering Masonboro Inlet

Entering Masonboro Inlet, hang a right and head into Wrightsville Beach.

Wrightsville Beach - a seaside town.

Wrightsville Beach – a seaside town.

Time to relax for a bit. We really need to slow down and smell the salt air.

One thought on “Blues Skies & Sunshine over North Carolina

  1. What a wonderful outside passage — love that sparkling water! Do be careful as you continue south, as evidently the flood waters from central South Carolina have still not reached the ICW and coast.
    LOVE following your blog, thanks for sharing. 😀

    Peggy

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