LAT: N 34° 12.4'
LON: W 77° 48.0'
50s-60s, mostly cloudy, drizzly, winds NE 10-15 kts
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825 - Departing our lovely anchorage in the grey morning.
906 - Inside from Topsail Beach.
1030 - Patiently waiting for the Figure Eight Bridge to open for us.
1110 - Stopped at Wrightsville Bridge, we have missed the on the hour opening.
1202 - Just passed the bridge after waiting an hour.
1301 - After a few tries in not so good holding we anchor north of R "14" in Wrightsville.
Arggg me maties, would ye like to partake of my peecaaan piieee?
A Sporting Day
Burning It Off and Packing It In
Guest Editor- A Turkey
It was a grey but pleasant morning in our marsh anchorage. We had a short day of about 20 miles and two bridges to make it to our pre-planned rendezvous with "Celebrate" at Wrightsville Beach. Many boaters were not on the water for this Thanksgiving day off, but we still saw a lot of folks out enjoying their holiday. One kayaker surprised us early on when he paddled up and asked us if he could surf our wake. We wished him a happy thanksgiving and told him to go right ahead. We are more than happy to oblige anyone (or any dolphin) wanting to use our wasted energy.
Our first bridge was a swing bridge and opened on the hour and the half hour. We waited for the 10:30 opening. There was a sign (an oversized ruler sticking in the water) at the water level to show that the bridge had 20 feet of clearance. Thinking Slowly's mast went to 21 feet, we waited for the bridge to open. After 8 minutes of waiting the bridge started to open. On our way through we thanked the bridge keeper on the radio and wished him a happy holiday. Unfortunately, he was not in the friendly spirit and instead of a "you're welcome" we got told that we were not 21 feet tall and that we need to throw out our old ruler. It wasn't that the sign read 20 feet that made his remarks completely unnecessary, nor was it that we wanted to make sure it wasn't a close call, it was mostly that the bridge is supposed to open on the hour and half hour. And there was no traffic. But we ignored his comment and took our time going under his bridge. [Hey, are you talking about me? -Ed.]
On the short jaunt over to the next bridge we had another show of physical activity when we cruised past a pair of wake boarders, (which is similar to waterskiing). We were surprised that they were practicing so close to other boats but it was fun to watch him jumping the wakes of the boat pulling him. Unfortunately since we didn't get through the Figure Eight Bridge on the half hour we missed the Wrightsville Bridge opening by a few minutes and had to spin circles and pace up and down the channel for an hour checking out the wildlife around us. Our destination was just on the other side. We got in touch with Andrea and Chuck on "Celebrate" and they were on the opposite side of the bridge getting ready to anchor themselves.
After passing through the bridge we made a quick left into the narrow channel that led us past the big beach houses and marinas of Wrightsville and into the anchorage. It took us a few tries to get a good hook which usually doesn't happen. We moved from space to space, always trying to keep a good distance from the other boats, mostly because we don't have much experience with anchoring in close quarters. "Celebrate" called us and told us we should anchor next to them, reminding us to let out a lot of line when the holding isn't great because the angle helps the anchor dig in to the bottom. They gave us reassurance that we could anchor there even though we were going to be closer than we were used to. Everything worked out well and it was nice to know we wouldn't have to row far.
We set to work baking. There were two pies to make in three hours so we worked together in the small space, chopping the pecans, slicing the ginger and putting things away right after they were used. We then awaited the results. The pecan was the first out. It looked a little dark, but smelled great and we hoped for the best. The moment the pumpkin pie was out we wrapped them up and rowed ourselves over to "Celebrate" (pun intended).
Chuck and Andrea spoiled us with a set table (candles and all!) and a fantastic dinner. It was great to be able to spend time with them, and to spend time with other people on Thanksgiving. Two birds with one turkey. We all stayed up past our bedtime and after having tried both pies, which turned out quite well, and digesting awhile, we rowed the short distance back to Slowly. We soon fell asleep after having a very nice holiday.
Holiday pies aboard? How do they do that? Our small four burner stove and oven receives daily use. We have increasingly been trying our hand at baking aboard. The stove runs on a propane tank which is stored safely on the flybridge. Between the propane tank and the oven is a shut-off valve in the ceiling of the galley. We always keep this off when the oven is off just in case the old oven were to ever leak gas, or if one of the knobs was accidently turned. Since the gas is always off, we have to relight it every time we use it. We used to have a little electric spark maker, but now we use one of the flint devices used to start blow torches. It works great and needs no batteries.
Animal of the Day
The Great Egret, Casmerodius albus, is a large white heron with a yellow bill and black legs. When one sees them feeding they seem to scope out the next step head first and then take a step so their body can catch up. We have been seeing many Great Egrets on the banks of the ICW. They look both cute and odd when they fly, with their neck scrunched up and their legs sticking straight out.
Thanksgiving aboard "Celebrate"! We had a complete and delicious dinner (turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, veggies, sweet potatoes...) cooked by Andrea and a couple of pies (pecan and pumpkin) we baked for dessert.
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