Our Longest Day

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Fishing boat just below Beaufort NC

This is our third day since Sharon and Paul left us in the wee hours of the morning in Chesapeake, VA, just below Norfolk.

I was up at 4:45 and we left at first light, which occurs around 5:45 now. This will be getting later each day because summer is ending and also because we’re going south. From Whitaker Point Marina we crossed the Neuse River and took the canal south down to Beaufort/Morehead City. There the ICW stays close to the coast for the 80 miles to Wrightsville Beach NC. In all we went from mile 181 to 283, by far our longest day trip on the ICW.

Some bridges made it longer. As we approached the Carolina Coastal RR bridge just above Morehead City I noticed it was stopped at only partway up. I thought I could make it under. It is normally open except for a rare train. Just as we got to it it lowered the rest of the way right in front of us. On the radio the bridge tender said they were doing maintenance which hopefully would take an hour and a half, but who knows?

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We raced to the bridge. By the time the other boats got through it was too late to close it for us.

We decided to backtrack 2 miles and take the alternate channel that goes to Beaufort. This is longer and has a bridge that opens only every half hour. We’ve been through this bridge before. If we hurried (which in our boat is 11.5 mph instead of 10) to that bridge we would be about 3 minutes late for the 8:30 opening. I called and explained, but the bridge tender just said if I wasn’t there when she opened I would just wait another half hour. We made it because the opening starts at the exact time and boats going the other way took up enough time for us to get there for our turn.

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Nothing like the trees along the ICW in North Carolina

After that there were two on the hour bridges about two hours and ten minutes apart. At least they were not having live fire as we passed by Camp Lejeune.

We got into Bridge Tender Marina just south of the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge right after its 7 PM opening.

 

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