Sunday, August 3, 2014

Road trip to North Carolina

Why would anyone rent a car for a week, drive 2000 miles in the most congested part of the country (I95) and spend $500 to achieve this goal?
  1. Because they are out of their mind - possibly  
  2. Because they love driving in a crappy rental - nope
  3. Because they like to be part of a crazy, busy driving culture – no, thanks!!!
  4. Because they want to find a good reason to go back to living on a boat (by being annoyed and frustrated in heavy traffic, on land) – it certainly helps
  5. Because they want to meet up with their best cruising friends they hadn’t seen in 2.5 years – that’s right!

Some friends are worth the “trouble” of a recovering cancer patient and his tired, but loving caretaker wife, especially when said friends are called Sim and Rosie. Loyal blog readers might remember this lovely British pair from our years in the Eastern Caribbean, where they joined us on many social and active occasions and where their monohull Alianna and our catamaran Irie bobbed peacefully alongside, making the pretty bays look even prettier. During those last 2.5 years of close, but virtual friendship, Alianna was sold and Wandering Star acquired, and Sim and Rosie decided to (temporarily) leave their favorite Caribbean cruising playground to head north and haul their steel sailboat near Beaufort in North Carolina. Yep, that Beaufort, NC, that is located 900 miles from Newburyport, MA.

Mark and I left on Saturday, July 26th for the long drive south and stopped a couple of times to get there and to get back (see next blog). At Bock Marine, Sim and Rosie greeted us with open arms and massive smiles, before giving us an outside and inside tour of Wandering Star’s roomy and comfortable living quarters. They were happy to take a few days off from boat chores and hang out with us before digging into the bigger projects. Over the span of one afternoon and two full days, we explored the neighborhood, managed two hikes in Croatan National Forest, and spent an evening out in town. Our hosts were very hospitable and generous, providing all the meals and treating us to a sumptuous, special and memorable dinner in cute little Beaufort. Mark and I savored the good company and plain old fun. It felt great to be laughing again and to catch up on each other’s adventures and stories. Rosie and I enjoyed non-stop talking, and the guys had a good time as well… as long as they were at a safe distance from our endless chatter!

Bock Marine

The boat that inspired Peter Benchley to write "Jaws"

Approaching thunderstorm near the yard
Beautiful food and yummy drinks... Cheers!

And great people - Picnic before the hike

Good exercise and "almost" getting lost in the forest

Nice view along the trail in Croatan NF

Dead trees, driftwood and an osprey's nest - Rosie's favorites!

The joys of a freezer

Rosie and Ali, comfy at home
                      The second hike was cut short, because of the many flies - Swat away, Sim!

Croatan National Forest
This cute house drew our attention in Beaufort. It is called the Fish House and one of its owners currently wrote a book about it.

Inside the Fish House, where owner "James Brown" showed us around

Rosie in front of the Fish House

The peaceful ICW (Intracoastal waterway) in Beaufort

The guys... always waiting for the girls!

Church in Beaufort

Liesbet and Rosie (always) ready for good food

Goofing off in a souvenir store in Beaufort

Captain Sim

Two best friends in ... Beaufort, NC, USA!!

No comments: