Friday the storm was battering places well north of Myrtle Beach and we had exactly zero interest in staying any longer. So off we went.
In fact, everybody who’s anybody was underway after being stuck in whatever place they chose for shelter. Loopers lined the ICW as far as Nebo could see.
First up for us was passing two boats that make up what they say is “South Carolina’s only casino.”
It’s a bit odd, though, because The Big M Casino and The Big M Casino II hail from Fort Myers. We figure they’re up here only because Rick and Mary refused dockage.
Anyway, we made it to Southport. North Carolina Looper royalty Robert Creech hailed us as we passed C-Life just before we reached Safe Harbor. We once spent a great evening on his front porch swapping Loop stories. He and his huge bunch docked for lunch a bit later, but we were too busy trying to coax power out of the new pedestals to chat much.
The helpful dock guys put us outside, which was great because that way we could enjoy tremendous wakes from all the boats driven by people who were way late for very important appointments so couldn’t afford to slow down.
All things being equal, we try not to travel on Saturdays because Saturdays typically are when people who shouldn’t go boating go boating. We’d rather have their wake hit us than their boat hit us. But it’s okay, because that means on Saturdays we get to do other stuff that’s even more fun. Like scooter around pretty Southport neighborhoods.
This Saturday, we also got word that the Italian place has great food but doesn’t take reservations. Doug walked up a half-hour before they opened to check it out. Good thing, because the line was absurd.
The food indeed was excellent, although there’s a good argument that neither of us needed pie.
After the unnecessary pie, how about a couple episodes of Suits? Pops got us hooked on the series, which is quite entertaining but without a doubt the most preposterous show about attorneys ever contrived. Even though they’re just actors pretending to be lawyers, after every show we almost feel obligated to report all of them for gross ethical violations. (Not Rachel though, in part because she’s a paralegal and in part because for now at least she’s British royalty and may have some sort of immunity.)
This morning we awoke to a fifteen-knot wind pinning us to the dock. With Coconuts still about ten feet behind us. A cool maneuver with a dockhand holding a bow line while we swung the stern out into the wind and the current, however, did the trick nicely, although sadly it’s not memorialized in photos.
Smooth cruising up to Wrightsville Beach, past stuff we noted in the blog last time but aren’t recycling here. Instead, here are range lights on the Cape Fear River, marking the entrance to Snow’s Cut.
Back in the day—before an odd little Intel employee named Ted Hoff invented the microprocessors which ultimately begat electronic chartplotters—range lights undoubtedly were quite useful. You line them up visually for the safe direction of travel. Now they’re like those old pop-out cigarette lighters in cars. Unusual, useful to a very small set of people, and something very few people will notice missing when they’re gone.
Just past Snow’s Cut, rain started coming in through the screen and landing, among other places, on Oscar’s head. He didn’t seem bothered.
Tonight we’re in Wrightsville Beach, home of the Carolina Yacht Club, which dates to 1887 and claims to be the oldest yacht club in the United States. Maybe we’d have stayed there just to say we did, but we once docked for a few days at the oldest yacht club in ALL OF THE AMERICAS. The Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron predated Wrightsville Beach’s club by about fifty years. So we’re staying at Seapath.
Although the Heat Index today was just a few degrees short of boiling water, we took off for a four-mile hike around the beach. It’s a pretty nice beach, and a bunch of people were out enjoying it.
We’d been told not to expect much from Wrightsville Beach, but frankly we’re wishing we could stay an extra day or two.
Hey, here’s an unexpected little something for us to file away for use on a metaphorical rainy day. Mallory and Shannon have become good enough friends with the Andy Eriks family to get invited to the Change of Command Ceremony AND the after-party last Friday.
Captain Eriks is leaving his Hawaii post to take over as Chief of Coast Guard Aviation Forces. So that makes him a big deal, and—although he has absolutely no idea who we are—we’re not above fraudulent name-dropping if we ever need to light a fire under a recalcitrant Coastie. After all, what’s the point of even having kids if you can’t take advantage of their friends’ parents?