Last night was the coldest yet, so we opted to spend the day here in the friendly E-city. As we motored up the ICW yesterday, we passed the Coast Guard air station and saw several aircraft buzzing about, and there was a definite sense of pride. That feeling continued as we visited the local museum which has a whole CG wing and we got to watch the footage from one of the rescue helicopters during their mission to save the crew of the Bounty. It was strange, as we hadn't heard of the tragedy until we arrived in the virgin islands, we left the US in the wake of Sandy. And now we're back, and two years of history has happened. Where did the time go? And did I mention it's cold?!
The marina in Charleston had strong current (almost 3 knots!) so we slept until slack and then moored up, took showers and Kathy arrived in time for the fun. We toured Charleston and ate some ridiculously good food. We were so stuffed we didn't need to eat again until we arrived at the Cape Fear River. That trip was light winds, but a nice if a bit chilly overnight with a few dolphin visits.
We had to get in before a front came through, and we just made it to a safe berth in Wrightsville Beach. It started raining right after Kellee got back from a shoreside seafood place with yummy mahi tacos. Crazy lightening and thunderstorms overnight but it cleared enough the next day to venture over to Wilmington by taxi.
Wilmington was a cool town to explore, we had a delicious lunch by the river and inadvertently walked into the middle of a street filming a scene for "Max Steel". It was cool to watch the whole production for a few minutes, so we'll keep an eye out for when that movie comes out, maybe we'll see ourselves walking on the street!
We headed offshore again to Morehead City and that trip was wind-less, 60 mind numbing miles of motoring. Not what the wind forecast and we got in later than planned so it was dark and the current was strong, so we opted to anchor until morning instead of finding a pier. We had officially come full circle, back to familiar ground and there was a sense of accomplishment and also of anticipation. Another milestone achieved.
Unfortunately, since Morehead City, we have motored 150 statute miles up the ICW with not a lot of wind, lots of crab pots and one night with a swarm of mosquitoes that left their little sperm dots of blue on EVERY surface and forced us to do a scrub down when we stopped for fuel in the small town of Belhaven. This inland stretch of the ICW is not the way we came down and other than the drone of the motor, have enjoyed the rivers and swamps of coastal North Carolina. We even passed CG Station Hobucken, which neither of us had ever heard of, and saw the crew out wrangling a tree out of the middle of the river to keep the waterway clear.
We arrived in Elizabeth City under darkening skies and ordered Papa Johns Pizza delivery to the dock just as the rain started. I swear, pizza never tasted so good. Today we biked the town and met a new friend, Ron, who has followed our journey on our blog and videos; he stopped by to say hello and deliver some delicious brownies and hopes to have his own Pacific Seacraft one day soon.
Tomorrow we enter the Dismal Swamp, another new stretch of territory that sounds ominous but looks pretty, and should be in Norfolk in a few days. We're looking forward to seeing the Coles again, it seems like our rendezvous in Grenada was so long ago!