LAT: N 33° 55.1'
LON: W 78° 01.5'
smiling on slowly
|Saturday, December 4, 2004
Simply the Best
740 - Took off from Southport.
810 - In the Cape Fear River.
900 - About to cut through Snows Cut.
1109 - Sitting In front of the Wrightsville Beach Bridge.
1202 - Just passed the bridge.
1417 - At anchor in Sloop Pt.
Arggg me maties, aye can see me loverly self in that thar water.
Snooping Around Sloop Pt.
The Anchorage Does Us Good Once Again
Babar - Guest Editor
We departed Southport in the morning, and headed north on the Cape Fear river. There we saw a large dredge operation. Amidst morning espresso drinks and fried egg bagel sandwiches, it took us a minute to decide which way to go around it. The ICW breaks off from the river at Snow's Cut which has good current cutting through it. It appears to be getting wider because the banks are littered with fallen trees.
When we negotiate currents, or confusion sections, it requires a lot of attention. Luckily, there is lots of time when the driving is mellow enough that we can drive with our feet. Speaking of paying attention, we forgot that we had two bridge openings to make today and we arrived 5 minutes late for our first one! We had to wait for an hour for the next opening. Luckily, in Wrightsville beach there are a bunch of docks, so we just tied up for a bit. The funny part was when we left, Tim made a poor decision on which line to let go of first. We had two spring lines, and we let go of the bow spring first, with a current coming towards us. The result was that quite suddenly, with Hannah standing on the dock, the bow peeled off the dock and Slowly was getting spun around with her aft spring line still hooked to the dock. This made her pivot point at the back of the boat, and Tim couldn't get things back to how they were. A few moments of high anxiety later, the solution was to let Slowly spin the rest of the way around, and let out the line enough so that it didn't get dropped into the props. It's hard to describe, but as we entertained the bridge tender, we were reminded how quickly and unexpectedly things can go cuckoo on a boat. In the end, Slowly didn't crash, the dock line didn't get fouled in the props, and Tim picked up Hannah in time to make the bridge opening!
Half an hour later, we made the Figure 8 bridge and we were done with bridges for the day. Not long after our second bridge, we got our first taste of fame. We got a call on the radio from a boat Mary-Ann, which we think might be this boat. The captain asked us if we were the same Slowly that he had read about in Passagemaker last month. It was fun and funny to be "recognized" and we felt proud as they encouraged us about getting out here at our age. Young cruisers are out around, but we are definitely the minority. Having pulled it off ourselves, it's not clear to us why this is the case. There are lots of ways to make boating cheaper and most of those go along nicely with the kind of tolerance to discomfort that is commonly found amongst folks our age. In other words, if you've never slept on egyptian cotton, you just don't know what your missing, so no big deal!
Our day concluded in the Sloop point anchorage, our first stop on this cruise where we had stopped before. Again, it was beautiful. It's interesting to be in a location that feels so remote, yet so surrounded by development. In every direction we see marsh filled with birds and life, and just past this buffer, in every direction is someone's house. It's like being in a thousand backyards all at once. At night, it makes a contiguous ring of lights on the horizon, and we hear all the dogs barking, and kids yelling in the backyard. Boats offer a rare opportunity to view the world from just the right distance where you can still see everything, but you aren't in it. It's a lot like those precious few minutes when taking off or landing in an airplane when all the houses and cars look like perfect little toys.
Click on any photo to see it big!
Oddities on the water.
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