We checked out marinas in the area. We are closer to the coast and the ICW in Wrightsville Beach, so the marinas are more expensive. So we checked out marinas in Wilmington and decided to go to Cape Fear Marina. They also have a boat yard if we need to have work done on the boat. We have friends from Charleston that are there right now. And we have friends from Marathon that are considering heading there next week. Such a small world.
We spent some time this morning talking to the insurance company and sending in the claims form. So we didn’t leave our anchorage until about 11:00 am. We had to back track about 10 miles (2 hours) south on the ICW. Then we headed north on the Cape Fear river about 10 miles into Wilmington. This marina is on the north side of the historic downtown area. There is one draw bridge right before the marina that only opens at 10:00 and 2:00 between 6 am and 6 pm. Well with the insurance business this morning, we missed the 2:00 opening. We arrived at 3:15, bummer. Our marina had said they would still meet us at the dock after 6:00 if that happened, even though they close at 5:00. I’m sure it has happened before. We asked our marina about tying up somewhere to have something to eat. They suggested we contact the municipal dock’s dock master to see if we could tie up while we went into town. We did, and they were very accommodating. We walked a few blocks and found a fun diner and had great hamburgers.
While waiting for our burgers, we heard “our song” and started holding hands. The waitress noticed and thought it was so cute. We told her how the first time we had heard this song was on our first date, Black Water by the Doobie Brothers. Then we realized that it will be 40 years since our first date on 10-31-2014. She went all mushy and said she hoped she and her boyfriend would be celebrating their 40th anniversary someday. So we told her we have been married almost 37 years and now live on a sailboat. She couldn’t believe it because it is her dream to live on a boat. We really made her day. We gave her inspiration.
We made it back to the boat and through the bridge and were docked by about 6:30 pm. Our friends, Alex and Seng and Kiya met us at the dock. That was a first, to have friends greet you at the dock. They left for dinner and we spent time getting the boat settled. First we positioned the boat to steady it against current from 2 directions. The tide changes the current. So you have to run lines accordingly. Then we hooked up to the shore power, which involved moving the boat again to get the power cords to reach. Then we shut the hatches and turned on the air conditioning. I filled our water tanks while Dave put out extra zincs to protect our boat from stray currents in the marina. Marinas are hard on boats. They are actually safer when we are anchored by ourselves. Besides the electrical current, you can bang against the docks in high winds. We have fenders, but they can’t protect everything. Also, if your boat is rocking side to side, your mast can hit the mast of the adjacent boat if you don't stagger them in the slips.
I am reading a book that has excerpts from the log book of a couple that built their own boat in retirement and sailed form South Carolina to Maine and back. The author was a writer, so his entries are descriptive and philosophical. Here is a quote from it that hit home this week.
“A lot of people wanted something else, or didn’t have good enough luck to acquire a cottage, a fireplace, or a boat. That doesn’t mean such things are bad. Sort of a movable place is my boat. She’s individual, she’s a place that gives the world significance for me. Of course I love her good qualities, her ability to fight to windward when the going is tough. But I have a certain fondness even for her faults.”
And we will repair these “faults” and continue our adventure. We may be in Wilmington for a while, but we will make the most of it.