Friday, September 20, 2013

The Marathon from Marathon: Part 9

The Home Stretch

As with any long road trip, there are sections of the trip that fly by, and other sections where time stands still or even goes backward.  Probably the hardest stretch was the last hundred miles or so.  We were so ready to be home and catch up on some very needed sleep.  We celebrated as we passed through our last swing bridge in Jacksonville, NC, and picked up anchor at our last anchorage in Swansboro, NC.

Our last draw/swing bridge in Jacksonville, NC area.  We don't know why, but we were blessed by the 'bridge' gods on our last two bridges, one with very restricted openings on the top of the hour only.  Despite the guidebook note that "boats should be waiting at the bridge before opening", the bridge operator for the Surf City Swing Bridge held up traffic for four extra minutes to let us through, and this bridge operator at the Onslow Beach Bridge held up traffic for over fifteen minutes let us through.

We knew we were getting close to home when we saw the armored vehicles used for gun target practice at the Marine Corp Base at Camp Lejeune, NC.  Less than forty miles to go….

Finally home.  Our last Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) mile marker about one mile south of the Beaufort Marine Center, where Layla was taken out of the water for the hurricane season.  Marathon, FL is located at mile marker 1163.

Home Again

We are now back in our house in Morehead City with Layla in the Beaufort Marine Center boatyard ("on the hard").  Despite being on land, we still are linked to Layla.  After about one week on land, Bud woke me up in the middle of the night to find out how much water was under us.  I cleverly replied 8 feet (as our house is about eight feet above sea level).  Little did I know that he was still half asleep, and that this information would haunt him all night long. 

We are happy to report that we didn’t break down on the trip north.  However, after six months of cruising, we have had an opportunity to find out what works and what doesn’t work well.  This has given us a nice long list of 'To Do's", which is keeping us out of trouble on land.  We will share those projects with you as they unfold.

Layla moving to her new temporary home "on the hard" at the Beaufort Marine Center.


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