** This is slightly out of order, as I’ve been slacking on posting, but imagine this came before the most recent entry.

November 21st, 2013

Masonboro Sound, South of Wilmington, NC on the ICW ~mile marker 139

34° 08.587′ N, 77° 51.604′ W

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This is the kind of sailing my friends imagine I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. The sun is shining strong & warm, the wind is cool & firm at our backs, and the scenery surrounding us inspires adventure, exploration, discovery & peace of mind. We are cruising on the ICW for the first time… from Wrightsville Beach, NC to Southport, NC (or rather just north of Southport to a tiny anchorage called Tina’s Pocket). I’m sitting happily on the bow of the boat basking in the sun & rocking out to the blues/rock radio we are blaring from below. I am rested, happy, and our galley is freshly stocked with food from a real grocery store.

After a direct, but rolling motor across Onslow Bay from Beaufort (where the fumes carried on the following wind finally prompted me to join the sailor’s seasick club), we have spent the last several days anchored just inside Masonboro Inlet by the bridge to Wrightsville Beach. It’s another anomaly of a town, as strange as Beaufort was but just as different. Travis pointed out that had he been dropped there without knowing where he was, he would have presumed he was in southern California. Wrightsville Beach is a Bohemian little surfer spit with resorts and summer homes galore. We were walking back to the boat one night in the pouring rain, and passed at least 10 people jogging. And about as many biking home with their surfboards under their arms or their fishing poles dangling in the street. It has a beautiful beach though. I thoroughly enjoyed walking barefoot through the cool surf inspecting the shell selection. And, it was even hot enough one day (~78°F) for me to suit up and go for a brief swim next to our boat. The guise was that someone needed to check our propeller shaft and sacrificial zinc, but I also just wanted to cool off after an hour of sitting in the sun sanding and recoating the wood handrails with teak oil. The challenge was to dip in the water between the giant jellyfish that were drifting by. (Clay commented after I got out that he’d now go research whether or not they could have killed me… before he himself jumped in for a cool off.) It was a beautiful taste of warm weather, and we got some good work done on the boat – Clay cleaning and replacing our starboard (green) running light, and Travis & I sanding and recoating all of Sedna’s exterior wood with teak oil. We did lots of repair work in Beaufort too. Travis hoisted Clay up the mast to check things out, and we of course did a routine check on the Yanmar engine. I spent SEVERAL hours repairing/patching our sails – a big patch on our jib and a smaller one on the mainsail that the folks at Omar’s overlooked. That labor has now made me feel especially protective of our delicate and very worn sails. We must baby them in their old age!

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It is truly lovely to keep meeting so many wonderful people along the way here, serving to completely restore my faith in humanity. A million thanks to MaryAnn Eisenstein and her lovely dog Ginger, who took us all in to her home and treated us to an incredibly relished night’s sleep in a real bed, home-coked meal, and access to a real grocery store. We greatly enjoyed your company both at your home, and aboard our humble vessel, Sedna! Keep on smiling, MaryAnn, you are a gem! Thanks a bundle AGAIN.

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We also met a sweet cruising couple, Lawrence and Kelly, who left Beaufort with us and seem to be on a similar schedule. Perhaps we can be cruising buddies on the sea – both for companionship and safety. Fair winds to you both; see you soon hopefully!

~ Natasha

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