We made it through all 4 bridges. Turned out I could just squeak by under the 3rd bridge, so no waiting there. The schedule was such that I just missed the last bridge, Wrightsville Beach, by 5 minutes and so had to go slowly up and down the river for a half mile north of the bridge until it opened at 5 PM.
Fortunately we were not bored. The coast guard called on the radio and requested to board us for a routine check. They ran their boat up beside ours and three guys got off onto the swim platform and came up. They checked this and that, and after some digging we found where we put our boat registration which they wanted to see. They even have a special engineer who checks the boat plumbing, tracing all the pipes and hoses, to see that things don’t go where they shouldn’t.
We came out fine. We had everything we should have on the boat and the plumbing was OK. They gave us a document with a number we can give to prevent subsequent boardings if we meet up with them in the future. They finished 5 minutes before the scheduled bridge opening which I was not going to miss, Coast Guard or no, so they stayed on board until we docked at the Bridge Tender marina just on the other side of the bridge. They got off, posed for a picture, and were picked up by their boat at the dock.
Coast guard guys and some of movie crew’s trucks & trailers
Wilmington with a population of over 100,000 is by far the largest North Carolina city we have been in. Just across the river where we are docked is Wrightsville Beach, an ocean side suburb. We’ve decided not to stop every time along the way, and will not stop for extra days here. Besides, we have to clear our dock space here because tomorrow morning the male lead in the new Nicholas Sparks movie “The Choice” will sail in and get off his boat where we are docked. The production crews have parked all their trucks, generator trailers and other equipment just a few doors down from our marina.
So tomorrow early we are off to Barefoot Landing marina in Myrtle Beach SC, which Sue tells me is a big tourist and vacation area. I think we may stop for a few days there.