Atlantic Beaches and Mini-Anchorages (in Topsail Beach, NC)

Travel days ideally start at sunrise (easy enough with the built-in baby alarm who sleeps 6-6 almost no matter what).

Jolly jumping is nearly always part of the journey.

Please note the first photographic evidence of FOUR teeth (ouch!)

This stretch of the ICW includes Camp Lejeune (a military base) where there’s a firing range that crosses the water. They weren’t doing any live firings while we went through, but we still heard nearly constant explosions. Zephyr stayed down below, just in case.

There’s also been lots of evidence of Hurricane Florence’s wrath, like this sailboat in the forrest!

We found a little nook to anchor in for the night… it’s funny because it looks like there would be all sorts of spots to choose from, but we draw 5’6” so actually finding a nook with more than 6’ of water can be a challenge!

The fun part about this spot (8’ of water) was that Active Captain (the sailor review site) had mentioned that a couple roads dead-end at the shore, so you can land your dinghy and walk across to the Atlantic Ocean side of the beach.

Which was… AMAZING:

Zephyr obviously tried to eat the sand. I thought we should let him try a little (school of hard knocks over here) but Jon stepped in and saved him from the inevitable tummy ache 😉

These are the days we dreamed of!

– The Brio Trio 😉

“It just goes down and down” (in Swansboro, NC)

Morehead City was a weird place. A friend described it as like a carnival town when the carnival is closed, and that felt kind of right.

But we made friends with our Lyft driver, Alex. When he realized we lived on a boat (“with the baby!?”) and we realized he’d never been on a sailboat, we invited him in for a tour.

He came down the companionway stairs and exclaimed, “it just goes down and down!” Which is true and also not that obvious from the outside, I suppose 🙂

He was also impressed that we had a kitchen (“even with an oven!”) and he left muttering about how excited he was to tell his wife about “these hippies I met in the marina”.

We managed to escape the marina (maneuvering in reverse in a piling marina surrounded by multi-million dollar sportfish boats is NOT my idea of fun) at a leisurely 11:00am to continue our journey south.

We timed the current exactly wrong, so had a good 2 knots against us the whole way instead of a 1-2 knot boost, but we still made it into Swansboro in time for sunset and baby bedtime.

In general it’s been one of those funny weeks where everything just feels kind of normal… working, playing with the baby, doing laundry, getting groceries, moving south a little, enjoying the weather, and planning our next hops.

Couldn’t ask for more, really!

– The Brio Trio (<—- think I can make this a new thing?? 😉 )

Cruising through North Carolina (in the Neuse River)

Turns out North Carolina is a big state! I should probably remember that from last time but Jon and I have been discovering that we actually *don’t* remember all that much from 4 years ago…

I don’t know if having Zephyr along for the trip will make my memory any better, but it at least guarantees that there are 100x as many photos being taken! “Here’s Zephyr’s face in front of a marsh, here’s Zephyr’s face in front of a sunset, here’s Zephyr charming some fishermen…” you get the idea 😉

We hung out in Elizabeth City for a week, hunting WiFi for work (settling for too-loud coffee shops & super understanding coworkers), waiting on a weather window for the Albemarle Sound (a whopping 15-miles but we’ve got slight headwind-PTSD), and enjoying the crazy hospitality of Dan from MACU (who let us stay on his free dock, eat in the college cafeteria and even borrow his car to go to the laundromat!).

We haven’t travelled this slowly yet — we did Maine to North Carolina in two weeks!) so the change of pace has been amazing, if a little weird to adjust to.

The whole ICW operates on mile-markers, meaning we can plan out exact days & destinations ahead of time. We just spent a couple nights in the marsh, enjoying crazy sunsets and trying to spot a gator (no luck yet).

Otherwise it’s just been life as usual around here, coaching Z to crawl forwards (not happening yet), reading books and watching a couple Christmas movies that Jon downloaded ahead of time for us (the Grinch has officially been whooville’d)

We even turned the Dickinson off yesterday and haven’t turned it on again yet today! Crazy!

That’s all we have to report today!

– LMK

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