Monday, May 3, 2010

Mile Markers promise home soon

Mile Marker 200 on the ICW
The ICW in North Carolina has mile marker signs indicating the miles to Norfolk. That is real incentive for us to tackle some longer motor-sailing days. This voyage has been terrific, but it's feeling great to be getting closer to home. Only about 180 more miles, so less than a week to go! Key West, by the way, was at Mile Marker 1250.

After leaving Surf City, we had great southwest winds and were able to use those big white things on our boat. With the sails up and a current that was with us for a change, we were flying to Morehead City at 6-7 knots all day. We had stayed in Beaufort, the cutesy touristy town with lots of fine restaurants and bistros, on the way down and opted for a change this time because we had two pounds of shrimp that needed to be consumed soon.

Would you dine at an Unsanitary Restaurant?
Morehead City is a major NC port city and a sport-fishing mecca. Not too many sailboats in the Morehead City Yachtbasin marina. But the town is famous for its "boat to table" seafood restaurants. Where else would a restaurant called “Sanitary Restaurant and Fishmarket” be a big success since 1938?

Sanitary landfill is a misnomer as well!

The “Reelin’ for Research” fishing tournament and fundraiser for the children's hospital was ending, and the testosterone-laden fishing crews were heading in with their wahoo and dolphin. Lots of hoopin’ and hollerin’ on the docks as they weighed their catches. Little kids got into the act too.

Wow, that's an impressive catch.
There were a few open antique stores and gift shops within walking distance of the marina, so I had enough to keep me happy as Pete took a long walk.

There’s still a lot of nasty looking orange and red “stuff” on the radar heading our way (caused tornados in Arkansas and flooding in Tennessee) and the winds were very favorable, so we bypassed Oriental yesterday, instead anchoring much farther north in Campbell Creek last night.

Record-breaking highs yesterday along eastern North Carolina and an approaching front encouraged us to think marina for tonight. The 15 knot breezes kept us cool in our anchorage last night. But AC tonight will be even better.

I spotted Bum’s Rest with the binoculars and radioed them as they were heading to Oriental. We met them last January before they headed to the Bahamas with Sheet Music, and have been following each other on our mutual blogs since then. “It’s a small world after all” on the water. Perhaps we'll meet up farther north. We're planning on taking the Dismal Swamp route home--if there's enough water in it.

Examples of upcycling
We stayed in Dowry Creek Marina in Belhaven, on the advice of Stu and Claudia. What a nice place. I loved the upcycled items that showed real creativity. Have you ever seen such a large hummingbird feeder? And what a great use for old Crocs!

We reserved their loaner car to go into Belhaven's "downtown" after we got barnacles off the dinghy (sounds like a nasty venereal disease, doesn't it?)

Just got back after a 30 minute drive in which we saw only one interesting sight: an old guy on a bike that was too small, peddling slow past the huge newly-plowed fields with his knees out at about a 45 degree angle from the bike. Belhaven has one nice little restaurant, Fish Hooks, where we enjoyed a tasty dinner last October. But it's the definitive sleepy little NC town. No, not town; how about village or hamlet?

Had to get back to the marina anyway for showers and the dock happy hour at 5:30. Jeez, it's hot today.

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