Sunday, October 13
Loud music accompanied our arrival at Dudley’s Marina in Swansboro North Carolina late Sunday afternoon. “It’s the annual Mullet Festival!” the dockhand informed as he caught our lines. Chas and I couldn’t wait to see a festival of southern guys sporting mullet hair styles. Or was it all about the fish?
We scurried across the bridge into town, but everything was just closing up. A friendly patron of the local watering hole informed us “You didn’t really miss anything. No hair, no fish!” It was mostly a festival comprised of junk food and crafts. Darn!
Our plan was to rent a car Monday in Swansboro, drive back to Great Bridge for our Jeep, then follow each other to Chas’s home in Sanford for a brief layover. Gary and I were happy for the opportunity to see our wonderful Daughter-in-law Kerry and our “grand dogs” Maggie, Bell, and Gracie. It took us a while to warm up to the newest addition to the family, Sonic the Hedgehog. Still not so sure about Sonic….
Wednesday we departed Swansboro for an anchorage near Camp Lejeune. All evening we could hear the very nearby helicopters doing take-off and landing exercises. Chas fell asleep feeling as though he was back in Iraq or Afghanistan.
A stop in Southport North Carolina is always a favorite, but we made it a short one in order to take advantage of favorable conditions out on the Atlantic. Captain Gary and Chas were confident we could do a comfortable overnighter, maybe even two, and make it all the way to St. Augustine on the outside. That would be a dream come true!
Their confidence was contagious. The seas were calm, winds light and variable. I pictured Mother Nature thumbing through her logbook of cruisers. “Hmmmmm…looks like I was pretty rough on Tessa last spring. Maybe it’s time to cut them a break.” And she most certainly did.
Storms built first to starboard along the coast, then later to port out at sea. Chas took a picture of the storms surrounding Tessa, with sun breaking through straight ahead, right on our course. After the first uneventful overnighter, Gary and Chas presented several options where we could go inside….or keep going on the Atlantic. My new best friend Mother Nature was cooperating, so I was all about continuing outside to avoid the South Carolina and Georgia Intracoastal hassles. My dream of St. Augustine was slowly becoming reality.
We felt absolutely victorious tied up to the St. Augustine Municipal Marina dock! Even though there are many miles ahead of us, we are finally back in FLORIDA.
Monday, Chas flew back to North Carolina for a job interview, so Gary and I have been on our own since then. I sure miss hearing them talk (aka argue and debate) electronics and Perkins issues for hours in the cockpit, while all I had to do was read and relax. But as long as my bff MN and I continue to feel the love, we will be fine. Next stop Miami this weekend of October 26/27. South Florida turquoise waters are beckoning!