Monday, April 21, 2008

My Birthday

Myrtle Beach to Wrightsville Beach Days 167 – 168

April 19

Aground Again
We left the Coquina Yacht Club at 8:50AM to time the 10AM hourly opening of the Sunset Pontoon Bridge. Our first skinny water concern for the day was Lockwoods Folly Inlet. Bob called ahead to ask TowBoat US for the latest conditions as we neared the inlet at noon, two hours before low tide. They told him to stay mid-channel, slightly favoring R36. He did, and DeLaMer took a nose dive into a 4’7” shoal mid-channel! Bob powered off once again into deeper water on the “red side” and called TowBoat US back to update them! TowBoat US simply said the shoal wasn’t there yesterday; must’ve formed overnight…

Cape Fear River
The Cape Fear River is a force to be reckoned with. We entered it 45 minutes ahead of low tide; our speed over ground dropped from 9.4 to 4.3 mph. The winds were blowing 15-20 kts against the current giving us 2-3 foot following seas – very choppy...

Twice in One Day!
Traveling on Saturday, we encountered lots of power boats with no etiquette with regard to their wakes! Carolina Beach Inlet, according to the Waterway Guide and Skipper Bob, is notoriously skinny. As we approached, Bob called TowBoat US, again, for current info. Having none, they suggested he call the dredge working in the area on VHF. We did -- they didn’t respond. As we reached R2, just before the inlet, a large motorboat, with an equally large wake, roared by putting us momentarily aground at 4’1” as he took our water. A small powerboat named “Bite Me” had been following us for several miles. Having had enough grounding for one day, I called the captain and asked if he had local knowledge of the inlet. He did and even agreed to lead the way; one of the many considerate and helpful power boaters.

Wrightsville Beach - A Happy Ending
We arrived shortly after 5PM, and Andy was waiting for us at the dock. We spent a great evening with Barbara and Andy. After enjoying a glass of wine overlooking their spectacular view of the ocean, we dined at Brasserie DeSol. A great way to end the day!

April 20th - My 65th Birthday
I had a super birthday! Andy loaned us his car. Bob and I toured the battleship USS North Carolina, had lunch at a romantic restaurant on a private balcony, celebrated our engagement, six years ago today at a Luau in Maui,
and took the Trolley Tour of downtown Wilmington.
The USS North Carolina, commissioned in 1940, was the most decorated battleship in the fleet. It spent 40 months in combat, fighting in every major battle of the Pacific. Of the 2,339 men aboard, only 10 were lost in battle.
I was utterly amazed at the number of guns it carried and its size. In addition to being a battleship, it was a self-sufficient city with everything from an ice cream parlor to a medical laboratory.

When we arrived at Barbara and Andy’s for dinner, they surprised me with a birthday cake. The boys had put three candles on it -- one for each of them, and they were a great help in blowing them out! It was a wonderful birthday.

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