Friday, June 28, 2013

Wilmington, NC

As we were walking around Wilmington the other night, the Coast Guard vessel Diligence that had been at sea for three months came up the river. Their families were waiting for them at the dock. It was fun to see the kids so happy to see their dads (we only happened to see the dads).

As the Coast Guard cutter approached downtown, a man turned to his little girl and said (insert southern drawl here), "Look honey, they're gonna open that bridge just for that one boat." Matt told him that they opened it for us earlier in the day and it made us feel a little guilty to stop all that traffic (a four-lane US highway). The man said, "No way. I wouldn't feel bad at all. That would be so cool!" Yeah, I guess it was (sorry Wilmington commuters).

Cape Fear Memorial Bridge with a temporarily
 interrupted Andrew Jackson Highway.
We like Wilmington a lot. It is historical like Charleston but with a more relaxed, alternative vibe and more affordable. There are a lot of restaurants here for the size of the town--really good ones too. We need to get out of here before we blow our whole budget.

Being at the City docks is sort of like living in a fish bowl. Just about everyone that walks past along the River Walk takes a look and many stop to look at the boat. The people are very friendly but Matt is having trouble getting any work done because so many people want to chat. Someone even took a flash picture that got Conrad's attention as he tried to sleep. It's a far cry from the privacy and solitude of anchoring. 

Due to the high tides and the big rainfalls lately, there are a lot of big logs floating down the river. It's hard to tell but the thing in the photo above is a good sized tree that was hitting the back of our boat (Matt heard the banging and Conrad saw the steering wheel moving) until Matt knocked it loose and it floated underneath. Earlier in the day, a worker from one of the barges down the river came running over and asked to come aboard so he could retrieve the gaff (now floating merrily down the river) he had been using to push logs away from the barge.

We got our new freezer controller and it seems to be working well, probably because Matt bought another huge bag of dry ice. We took the day to visit the battleship that is across the river from our dock. We will make our way back down the river tomorrow and then start back up the coast.

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