We are yet again at the courtesy dock in Oriental, NC. Or ONC, as we've often heard it referred to. They've even got those little white oval stickers with "ONC" in the center plastered everywhere. Cars, telephone poles, store windows, small dogs, you name it. We spent enough time here on our way south it almost feels like home. Right now, we're sucking up the air conditioning at The Bean. Hot does not begin to describe the last few days/weeks. Daily highs in the 90's, humidity near 150% and it has been unrelenting even as we head North! I personally find it mildly amusing that we've put up with our carry-on air conditioning cluttering our deck and obstructing our vision this whole time, and have yet to use it once. Then again, that would require shore power, which requires a dock, which we haven't done since... well, the last time we were here in Oriental. In any case, we've managed to survive with a fan and judicious use of curtains and awnings. Yeah, it's hot in the cabin, as you can see from the thermometer.
BUT... we've been meeting a few of our old ONC friends as we head north! We met up with Jim, Beth, and Cameron of Wild Haggis in Bull Creek. They shared with us a delicious meal of chicken, wild rice, and green beans. Oh, and COLD drinks. People just don't understand how amazing that is to us right now. Anyway, we had a lovely evening with them in one of our favorite anchorages, then headed North the next morning.
Next up was Calabash Creek, just south of the North/South Carolina Border. We watched some absolutely amazing thunderstorms pass by (and overhead) just after dark. Unfortunately, this translates to no sleep for us, with that big metal stick running down the center of the boat and all. Oh, and I found all the leaks in the boat. ALL of them. Somehow, the rain and wind combined just perfectly to exploit leaks we've never had in heavy seas and rain before. As you can see below, the V-Berth was unusable that night.
Then a long day of traveling, and we were in Wrightsville Beach. We had not planned on spending more than a night here, but some more ONC friends Dick and Jackie) just happened to be headed to Wilmington the next day, so we arranged to have dinner with them. The delay was more than worth it. We spent all day at the beach, then had a wonderful dinner that evening. It was excellent to catch up with everyone over these last few days.
The next few days were uneventful. Just a lot of cut channel and motoring. We're taking today to relax and effect some small sail repairs while we have the convenience of a dock, then we're headed North again. And, what you've all been waiting for - last night's sunset. Or, the clouds above the sunset: