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Dreamboat 2011-12 Cruise
Magical Mystery Tour
Written by the Guest Crewmember:
04/29/2012, New Bern, NC

This is my last night on what has been a very peaceful and relaxing vacation on Dreamboat for the last 5 days. I feel very lucky to be able to do this cruise and very thankful the Captain and the Admiral welcomed me aboard.
We have motored up a good stretch of the ICW and I have seen many interesting sights and beautiful scenery. I never realized North Carolina had so much undeveloped coastline which we paralleled on our trip for many miles. Often you could see the breakers in the ocean as we passed inlets and narrow stretches, and you realized you were really traveling on the edge of the land as close to the sea as you can travel without entering the ocean. The wildlife was abundant, dolphins popping up in groups of 3 sometimes, and pelicans, ducks, and shorebirds diving for fish. Those poor fish!
Along the way I enjoyed looking at all the really great houses, and docks on steroids. Many are built with decks from the ground to the roof (even the docks have two levels!). The towns we visited along the way have great views of the nature that surrounds them and much history to share, just a short walk around a town and you find out many interesting things about the area.
My highlight was our stop in Beaufort NC, a great town dock area put us close to restaurants and shops and it is where we saw a terrific Maritime Museum that houses, among many items, some artifacts that are suspected to be from Blackbeard's Pirate ship - the Queen Anne's Revenge, from 1718, that was found in 1996, just outside of Beaufort inlet in 25 feet of water! To look at a few cannon and many other items recovered from the wreck site, that were used almost 300 years ago by the notorious pirate, just really seemed to be mind boggling.
Another history tour in New Bern NC today included a 300 year old colonial governor's mansion in New Bern NC and the actual pharmacy where Pepsi-Cola was invented. More cool stuff and old buildings that are different from my surrounds in south jersey.

Lazy days on a boat is just what the doctor ordered for me, and all good things must come to an end.....unless you are retired like Bruce and Jill and you can just sail on until you feel like stopping..... anywhere you want..... day by day. (Must be nice!).
It was also very enlightening to see just what they have been doing since last October! The ICW is actually a real chore as far as navigation, and they basically report to work now as they cast off until you anchor at the end the leg for the day. Buoys, and channel markers and shoals, and crab traps, fishing boats, and even freighters and barges make for a lot of paying attention required! Not to mention the bridges!...But it is usually in great surrounds so it is not so bad, just much more than you can realize unless you experience it .

Tomorrow I head home in a backwards kind of way via Myrtle Beach, and I thank the Skipper and Maryann for letting Gilligan tag along!

I suggest everyone get out and do some kind of an adventure like this as often as you can in your life.

04/30/2012 | Faye
Glad you enjoyed yourself Gary
Another nice day on ICW
34 42.977'N:076 39.933'W
04/28/2012, Beaufort, NC (Bow-fort as opposed to the same spelling for Bew-fort in SC)

We awoke this morning in the anchorage at Mile Hammock to discover that 3 of the 4 other boats had already departed, and the 4th was leaving. The 4th called us to let us know that the Marines were closing down the next 5 mile stretch of the ICW from starting at 8am for live artillery fire practice. We got the anchor up and were underway in time to make the 8 am opening of the bridge just north of our anchorage. After we got through, we came to a military patrol boat with a red flag and a sign that indicated that the ICW was closed. We hailed them on the radio and they advised that the ICW was still open for passage at that time. We thanked them and proceeded through to the other end of the restricted area where we passed another patrol boat which was stopping boats coming in from that end. We waved to them and went happily on our way. Later we did hear military warships on the radio so we were glad to be out of the target practice area. The rest of the day was spent traveling through the back side of the North Carolina barrier islands. The west side of the ICW was pretty much developed with a wide variety of house styles from new mansions to very modest houses. The majority of the houses that had boats at their docks had small to medium outboard motorboats including a number of Carolina Skiff brand and similar shallow water fishing boats. We arrived at and went under a bridge just before Morehead City and had to pool the collective brain power of The Admiral, The Captain, and the guest Crewmember, Gary, to sort out which channel to take of two very similarly marked channels that went in different directions on the other side of the bridge. The one we collectively picked did turn out to be the correct choice, and we motored through the Morehead City big ship terminal area and out the channel towards the ocean until we arrived at the turn that led us into Beaufort City harbor and the Beaufort Town Docks Marina. The picture above is our view of this nice little city from Dreamboat. Tomorrow we plan to head up Adams Creek into the Neuse River and up to the city of New Bern, NC. The Captain

Trial by Drawbridge
04/27/2012, Camp LeJeune Beach, NC

When we left Dockside this morning we had to go through one drawbridge immediately that opens only on the hour. The next drawbridge was 5 miles away and it opens on the half hour. Really pushing it we can go 9.5 mph or so, but we were at the front of the line through the first bridge so we put the throttle all the way down. There was a trawler in front of us a little bit so we thought the drawbridge would open for him, giving us just enough time to catch up. However, when we were three minutes from the bridge one minute before the half hour, we heard the trawler call the bridge to say that he was just short enough that he did not need an opening. The bridges have to open exactly on their scheduled time so that meant since we were three minutes away he could not open for us. We got to try to stay in one place for a half hour until the top of the hour for him to open for us. The next bridge was 18 miles further away but opened on the hour. Although we could do the 18 miles in about 2-1/4 hours that meant that we would miss the opening two hours away by about 15 minutes and the next opening would be still 45 more minutes away. Our only choice was to slow down and stretch our travel time for the 18 miles to three hours. We made that with time to spare and continued on towards our destination. As were were getting close we had to travel through a section that made a sharp left angle turn, went about a half mile, made a turn back parallel to our original course, made another sharp angle right, and then turned back on our original heading. Just before we got to that section, a large power yacht blew by us without slowing down as he should to not wake us badly. When we got to the second sharp turn we saw he had missed the turn and run straight off into the mud and was sitting pretty much out of the water. To make his mistake even worse, the tide had just started going out so here he was aground, and was going to wait at least 12 hours to even get back to the same tide level he ran aground at. Even at that it was going to take some real tow boat work to get him off. Just a reminder that haste makes waste, and in this case probably cost a lot of boat bucks! We continued on and arrived at our planned destination which is a very nice harbor made by the marines to provide landing craft training at Camp LeJeune. Most of the time it is empty except for the boats traveling the that stop by overnight. We are anchored here with four other boats toinight. The above picture is from our boat looking out the well marked entrance from the ICW. Tomorrow we travel to Beaufort, NC just in time for a wine and cheese festival! The Captain.

Sunny Windy Start, Rainy Finish
04/26/2012, Wrightsville Beach, NC

This morning was bright and clear but the winds were blowing 15 to 20 mph at 8am. Fortunately, our course today was such that the winds were behind us all day, so it was a help, not a hindrance. Of course it made docking a challenge, but we are now well practiced at docking in all kinds of conditions so we docked safely. The stop the admiral did not want to miss was only about 4 hours away so we arrived there by noon. That was good because the winds blew gusts as high as 29 mph much of the afternoon while we were safely tied to the dock. It is one of four marinas that line the two sides of the ICW channel just south of the Wrightsville Beach drawbridge. The bridge only opens once an hour on the hour which results in a lot of interesting boat traffic to watch as they maneuver to stay in line waiting for the bridge in the narrow channel between the marinas, complicated by the wind and the current both pushing the boats towards the bridge today, and by the boats pulling into and out of the four marinas. As we sat in the restaurant at a second floor window overlooking the marina a rainstorm rolled through with moderate rain but a show of lightning that was really something to see. Our destination tomorrow is the anchorage in Mile Hammock Bay on the edge of the Camp Lejeune Marine Base. The Captain
Dockside Marina was a scheduled stop for me because of its being the favorite place of my former principal at Mansion Ave. School. He just loves it here and even gave me a t-shirt from the marina for a retirement gift. We tried to stop here on the way down but, since we were coming through on a weekend, it was almost impossible to see the dock because of all the boat traffic. We couldn't have hoped to dock here. Instead, this time we came through during the week and secured our overnight docking space with no problem. We spent a peaceful day walking around the neighborhood and sitting in the cockpit watching the boats, and then Bruce's brother took us out to a delicious dinner at Dockside. We sat in the upstairs dining room and had a gorgeous view of our boat, the ICW, the barrier island, and the sporadic lightning in the clouds. The Admiral

04/26/2012 | Faye
I always loved NC. There was so much to see and the people were smart and friendly
Rainy Start, Sunny Finish
04/25/2012, Southport, NC

I was up early this morning to ride with the assistant dockmaster to the airport to pick up my brother Gary so he can get a taste of the ICW. We've been traveling for over 2200 miles down and this far back. We've got about 450 to go and he will be with us for about 180 of that. After Gary arrived at the boat we sat about an hour until the light rain quit and the weather radar showed the rain had moved out of our path. Today we traveled north from Myrtle Beach across the border into North Carolina. Today was a very interesting day with a variety of waterfront houses and docks along the way. We also passed by three ocean inlets, which involve tricky currents but beautiful views out into the ocean. We also encountered an Army Corp of Engineers dredge where the ICW crossed the Shallotte Inlet channel. They turned out the inlet and started setting up to dredge the inlet while we continued north on the ICW. We also passed a Casino boat getting ready to head out the Little River Inlet to the 3 mile line so the passengers could do a little gambling. As we motored north the sun eventually came out and we began shedding our rain gear and even our sweatshirts as the air warmed up. We got to Southport with enough afternoon left to walk into town, past a large number of houses with historical signs on them dating the houses back to the late 1800's, through quaint downtown and down Main Street to the waterfront where the above seagull was enjoying the view. Main Street ends at the ICW where the Cape Fear River goes off to the north towards Wilmington, NC and to the east out past Bald Head Island and into the Atlantic Ocean. Tomorrow we have a short day up the ICW to Dockside Marina in Wrightsville Beach. The Captain

04/25/2012 | Chris
Love the gull picture! Hi Gary, haven't seen you for a long time. Have a fun time together!
04/26/2012 | Faye
Welcome, Gary. The love of your life is "the sea." Name that tune.
Myrtle Beach end to end
04/24/2012, Little River, SC

This morning we left our very pleasant dock at Osprey Marina (see picture) which is on the southern end of Myrtle Beach. We motored out way north for 28 miles through canals through the Myrtle Beach golf communities, Both built, partially built but stopped, and unbuilt - an education on the housing crash. One community had at least a mile of bulkhead on the ICW with some nice docks and a large boat ramp, nicely graded and level land, and about 10 houses facing the ICW spread out over that mile where clearly they had planned closely spaced houses for that whole mile. We had to navigate three swing bridges. A local tour boat passed us that looked like a miniature river boat. WE passed one golf course that straddles the ICW had has an aerial cable car for the golfers to get from one side to the other. We are docked in Lightkeepers Marina on the very north end of Myrtle Beach, SC. Four miles after we leave here tomorrow we cross into North Carolina. My brother Gary is joining us tomorrow morning and will travel with us through Sunday. The Captain

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Bruce & Jill
Who: Bruce & Jill
Port: Kent Island, Chester, Maryland, USA
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