Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cape Fear and Southport, NC

There are many cruisers who hate the Intra-coastal waterway.  They hate being 'slave to the wheel' (on the ocean, you can turn on the auto-pilot and just sit back and relax) and they claim that they can get there a lot faster because they don't have to stop at night.  However,  I insist that they are missing a lot of great scenery, plus I feel that once you're on the boat, you're already where you're going.  Also,we like to sleep at night and we like to meet people along the way.  Now I will get off of my soapbox and continue with the pictures.

Here is seagull number 150 - at his post.

And seagull 151 - falling asleep at his post.  A court martial offense.

We saw a house that looked like Darth Vader.

And generic scenery.  Pretty even when there is nothing of interest.

Because of the marsh along the sides of the canal, some of the piers are enormously long.  Some could reach halfway across the lake we started our sailing careers on.

After Snow's Cut we enter the Cape Fear River where we see a shrimp boat with his nets down.

The shrimp boats always attract opportunistic birds.  We were surprised there weren't more by this one.

This is Miss Betty, and she's at anchor it turns out, which may explain the lack of birds.

We thought it was nice to look at so we took another picture. You decide - if you don't like it, don't look at it.  I've always maintained that this blog offers you the opportunity of not reading or not looking and we won't feel hurt.  But if you really, really like it, let us know.  (Send money.)

We saw a really big ship.  So big that we had to take several pictures of it just to fit it all in.

Big bow wave.

An anchor so big it would sink us!

This is another ship - this is the Golden Charlotte - in case you can't read.

There's the whole thing - it's bigger than a bread box.

and there's NO SMOKING

We arrived at Southport - near the mouth of the Cape Fear River and pulled into the FREE dock (one of my favorite words - free, not dock) at the Yacht Basin Provision Company

They have Yachts, Basins, Provisions, Swordfish, Charters, Supplies and Advice

a whole bunch of real nice guys who will help you dock your boat - which they did.  The bartender lady invented a new drink and had us try it.  We liked it and when she asked what it should be called we told her it should be called the "Saltwater Suzi"  So when we come back north next spring, we'll stop in and order one.

We joined this group and had margaritas and solved all of the world's major problems.  What an amazing braintrust you can find at a local bar.  The guy down at the end had driven 500 miles just to have a drink here.  I don't think he stopped at one.  Neither did we.

At no additional charge, they send  out a service to clean the crumbs off your boat lest they fall overboard and pollute our waters.

You can tell I didn't get my camera out enough at this stop cause I included two pictures of the crumb service guy, just to fill up space.  We all have quotas, you know.

If you read the Wrightsville portion of this blog, you saw her brother and I promised you then that if I saw a pirate wench, you'd get to see a picture.  She is actually hanging from a piling in the slip next to our boat.

This is our boat -  in case you didn't believe me - and on the other side of the slip next to our boat is the pirate wench of the previous picture.  You can't quite see her in this photo so you'll just have to take my word for it which I believe should suffice as proof enough.

While all this  exciting stuff was happening, pelicans flew overhead, completely oblivious to everything.

An alligator got loose right next door to the restaurant and created quite a stir, and a lot of commotion, and jostling and pushing and stuff until someone pointed out that it was stuffed.  Being stuffed seemed like a good idea to me so we had dinner there.  Conch fritters - mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

A shark was also spotted - but after the alligator fiasco, no one seemed as concerned.

Did I tell you about the pirate wench?

and the real neat shop with all kinds of boaty stuff hanging on it.  But it was closed.

Another pelican flew over.  And a big dark cloud came in, and it rained real hard, and thundered and lightninged and they had to put the awnings down on the restaurant.  And that was about it.

But before the storm - you don't care if these are out of order do you? - we took a walk around Southport.  We saw another pelican.  He was manning his post.

Oh, here's another storm picture.  This is what Southport, NC looks like when it's raining.

Like many southern towns along the waterway, Southport has many beautiful old homes.

And beautiful old trees.  These are Live Oaks.

And beautiful old people walking along beautiful old beaches who probably get really wet when it rains like it did about 10 minutes after this photo was taken.  It may have been half an hour.  You don't really care if I'm accurate about this stuff.  You didn't even seem to mind that I had the photos out of order.

This is James - he was a patron at the restaurant where we were docked.  He said his Dad, Richard,  is dockmaster at Boot Key Harbor Marina in Marathon, Florida.  He called his Dad and introduced us on the phone.  We're going to stay there awhile this winter and James says Richard will take good care of us if he puts in a good word, and he would put in a good word if he could stand at our helm while we took his picture and post it on the blog.  James, here it is.  And we hope your hangover wasn't too bad.

Stay tuned for stunning photos and more really inane verbiage of our trip from Southport down the Waccamaw and on to Charleston, SC.  It's warm where we are.  I was topless most of the day.  Suzi wanted me to tell you that it wasn't she who is writing this.  At first I thought she wanted to make sure I got all the credit.  Then, I got to thinking that she wanted to make sure that I got all the blame.  But then she told me she wanted everyone to know that it was me who was topless, not her.

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