North Carolina Beach Towns – Wrightsville & Carolina Beach

Back in 2013, Wrightsville Beach was a low point for me on the trip south. I was so eager to reach a beach, and Wrightsville Beach turned out to underwhelming and disappointing. It was also late October, which may account for the “closed” feeling. Even so, we still managed to find a few things to catch our interest. Now in 2015, we decided to give Wrightsville Beach another try, especially since it is a convenient stopping point after an outside run for Beaufort.

The weather was once again overcast and grayish, and would eventually morph into downpours during our second night here. Somehow we managed to take a walk on the beach, a walk across the causeway bridge, and find time for boat chores. Remember, we have to slow down, so we stayed for 3 nights, anchored in Motts Channel, off the causeway bridge.

There she is, Kindred Spirit, anchored in Motts Channel. WE had a good view of her as we walked over the causeway bridge.

There she is, Kindred Spirit, anchored in Motts Channel. WE had a good view of her as we walked over the causeway bridge.

There were a few hours of pleasant weather on the beach for a good walk.

There were a few hours of pleasant weather on the beach for a good walk.

The beach was covered in fine, polished shells, more orange tones than the beaches at home.

The beach was covered in fine, polished shells, more orange and gray tones than the beaches at home. The purple shades of the “wampum” shells are very deep.

Pelicans are such cool birds. Fascinating to watch them soar and dive straight into he water for a catch. What a wing span!

Pelicans are such cool birds. Fascinating to watch them soar and dive straight into he water for a catch. What a wing span!

Sunset over Wrightsville Beach on our first evening here.

Sunset over Wrightsville Beach on our first evening here.

The second night brought stormy clouds over our heads.

The second night brought stormy clouds over our heads.

And then it just got seriously dark.......... followed by down[ours of rain all night long. But, hey, we're used to that by now, right?

And then it just got seriously dark………. followed by down[ours of rain all night long. But, hey, we’re used to that by now, right?

On the stormiest night, we opted to watch one of our old dvds. What better choice than the 1998 Message in a Bottle with Robin Wright, Kevin Costner, and Paul Newman (the best part of the movie!). It’s a little sappy and sentimental, as most Nicholas Sparks books are, but there was sailing and a message in a bottle. That’s enough to please any cruiser. Sparks set the novel in Wrightsville, although reality certainly looked different than his ideal version of the town. The movie claimed to be on the Outer Banks in North Carolina, but was filmed in Maine. Now that we have spent time in both coastal regions, we can readily see that there is little resemblance. I guess movie makers don’t count on anyone noticing?????

Movie night on Kindred Spirit. Using our drop-down tv. See the message in the bottle that she picked up?

Movie night on Kindred Spirit. Using our drop-down tv. See  the bottle in her hands?

On one of our strolls around, we saw this outside of a local bar. I’ve included it as part of my continuing search for the curious and odd.

Shoes hanging on a palm tree outside of a bar. Any thoughts on why? Must be a local tradition of some sort.

Shoes hanging on a palm tree outside of a bar. Any thoughts on why? Must be a local tradition of some sort.

We did stumble upon a new find – “Loops”, a homemade donut shop, run by Wilmington natives and brothers, Colby and Dylan Dominick, both just college kids. We enjoyed chatting with one of them (was it Colby or Dylan? Don’t know!) while enjoying our fresh donuts and coffee. The donuts were excellent!

Loops, the new handmade donut shop.

Loops, the new handmade donut shop.

Final decision? Wrightsville Beach redeemed itself – a much better visit than two years ago. We enjoyed our “down time” here.

Then off we went to another North Carolina Beach town, Carolina Beach, just 12 miles farther down the ICW. The next three photos really do show how the North Carolina coastline is different than the Maine coastline. Just saying.

The "intersection" of the channel leaving Wrightsville Beach and the ICW - turn left to go south!

The “intersection” of the channel leaving Wrightsville Beach and the ICW – turn left to go south!

Marsh lands of North Carolina, along the ICW

Marsh lands of North Carolina, along the ICW.

If you look closely, you can just see the ocean surf beyond the barrier island.

If you look closely, you can just see the ocean surf beyond the barrier island.

It was an easy 2-hour trip from Wrightsville Beach to Carolina Beach. Cutting Class had gone on ahead of us and were already there.

We could see Cutting Class in the Carolina Bech mooring field.

We could see Cutting Class in the Carolina Beach mooring field.

That evening we had our last happy hour with Dan and Marcia They will be moving on ahead, while we stay slow, for now. for a while, possibly until Thanksgiving.

Our last happy hour with Dan and Marcia They will be moving on ahead, while we stay slow, for now. We may not meet up again until Thanksgiving.

We explored the town of Carolina Beach, but there really wasn’t much to see or do. There was a lot of construction which seems to have disrupted the flow around town. Regardless, we have been getting plenty of exercise in the form of walks, walks on the beach, walks around towns, walks to the grocery stores…..

There is nice boardwalk along the beach fro a short distance. The commemorative fish were a nice twist on the commemorative bricks used to fund new walkways.

There is nice boardwalk along the beach for a short distance. The fish embedded in the boards were a nice twist on the commemorative bricks used to fund new walkways.

Enjoying the swing on the boardwalk.

Enjoying the swing on the boardwalk.

More birds to watch, on pilings, the docks, and on the beach.

More birds to watch, on pilings, the docks, and on the beach.

Speaking of birds...... Our mast may be short and sail-less, but these crows enjoyed sitting there all the same. Had to shoo them off every morning! Is this a "crows nest"?

Speaking of birds…… Our mast may be short and sail-less, but these crows enjoyed sitting there all the same. Had to shoo them off every morning! Is this a “crows nest”?

Our first "redbox" movie! Have seen these in grocery stores at home, but never tired one. For $1.61 we had some entertainment for the evening. TV reception isn't very good at all.

Our first “redbox” movie! Have seen these in grocery stores at home, but never tried one. For $1.61 we had some entertainment for the evening. TV reception isn’t very good at all.

The beach was very nice, especially once the sun came out to stay and play for awhile.

Carolina Beach

Carolina Beach

Only Al would notice that these are old Christmas trees buried in the sand along the beach.To prevent erosion?

Only Al would notice that these are old Christmas trees buried in the sand along the beach.To prevent erosion?

I know, not the prettiest sight, but it is meant to keep things looking prettier. We wondered if there is a connection between the butt problem and North Carolina's tobacco history????

I know, not the prettiest sight, but it is meant to keep things looking prettier. We wondered if there is a connection between the butt problem and North Carolina’s tobacco history????

As we sat on the beach, on a very windy afternoon, we watched draggers trawling for fish back and forth.

As we sat on the beach, on a very windy afternoon, we watched draggers trawling for fish back and forth.

Dragger with his nets out, and fish following. The original "trawler."

Dragger with his nets out, and fish following. The original “trawler.”

A beach combing success! Our first sea glass on this trip. And they are nice pieces, too.

A beach combing success! Our first sea glass on this trip – nice greenish blue pieces, too.

Playful clouds in the sunset - a fish chasing a small bait fish. Do you see it, too?

Playful clouds in the sunset – a fish chasing a small bait fish. Do you see it, too?

Carolina Beach reflections in the stare on a very very still evening.

Carolina Beach reflections in the water on a very, very still evening.

After spending almost a week in these two beach towns, it is time to move on again. The beaches are lovely here, but the towns seem like they haven’t reached their full potential, especially when one considers this natural beauty of the beaches. I found myself thinking about Watch Hill, Block Island, the Vineyard and Nantucket, and missing them.

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