Camp Lejeune Anchorage to Southport, NC

We are up especially early this morning - 6am- before it is even light out. The sunrise is out of our reach today, the cloud cover is so heavy. It is gloomy, cold and windy.

The only other "beings" we see so far are the pelicans doing a little fishing for breakfast...

We see no one else even thinking about leaving the anchorage just yet.... lazy bums!

We have an unusually long day ahead of us and have to work around 3 bridge openings on the way. The first one is the critical one, so we plan our speed and timing to be sure to get there well in time. Now that we have daylight savings back on, our days are much shorter and 4pm is about the latest we are comfortable coming in at the end of the day.

We see some friends along the way once again today.... they're still shy but getting better.  There were about 8 or 10 of them but only one let me tak her picture. They actually followed in our bow wake for a bit.

Here we are passing through North Topsail Beach. On one side we have this view....

and to our right, we have this view... it's quite entertaining..... this particular bright pink house way out on the point we remember well from our journey north. It is kind on unforgettable.

 

The fall colors are still evident from time to time. This was a nice stretch...

and this one too....

 The 1st bridge we come to is the critical one. This is the Surf City Bridge and it is a swing bridge. WE made it in plenty of time.

Interestingly, today is the first time we are starting to see the birds nests on the tops of markers as we did in the spring. No birds, but lots of nests.

We run across this seriously giant house which is for sale right on the ICW in Hampstead, NC. Imagine the asking price? (even in this market?)

The next bridge we need to pass under is also a swing bridge but we discover that its' current vertical clearance is 23' and all we need is 18'. So, if we lower our antennas (easy) we can pass under with comfortable clearance.(we did just fine)

As we approach Wrightsville Beach we see even more giant houses. These are everywhere we look!

Today has  been a day of many, many slowdowns. We thought it would be from the bridges, but no, no, no. It has been from shoaling time after time. It must have been from the storms that have blown through here recently. We'd be moving right along and then, wham, 2ft....1.8...1.2... eeek! We have heard many a call out on the radio today to TowBoat US. One poor boat we heard had to call for assistance 2 days in a row. At least this seriously shallow area is more permanent and someone has a sense of humor about it.  I remember this one from the trip last spring as well. This picture was taken right off our port rail and is only maybe 30 feet out of the "channel".

The last bridge we encounter is the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. It is the last one for the day. We were very lucky to have made it to an opening an entire hour earlier than we expected to. That makes our final arrival that much sooner- yes! It's been a long and cold day out here. And, for poor Bruce, very stressful! It's been llike driving I95 in rush hour with one eye shut.... not good, people!

Last, but not least, we arrive at our home for the night - Deep Point Marina in Southport, NC. But first, we had to share the entry channel with a big one coming out....Almost there.....

Aaah, in for the night. It's been a long day and we are glad to be safely docked and resting for a while. Tomorrow, finally, SOUTH Carolina....maybe it'll be warmer....