Had a great time in Swansboro with some new friends from Kansas, John and Pat, who pulled up into the slip next to us in a 53′ Carver, Satisfaction. We immediately developed a friendship as we traded tours of our boats, had lunch and toured the town of Swansboro together. The weather got crazy during our first night there with very strong winds – strong enough to cause Satisfaction’s stern line to break way at about 2 in the morning.  During the peak of the storm, Stel just happened to wake up, look out the window and see the stern of their boat drifting out into the river. I threw my pants on, grabbed a flashlight, jumped off our boat and a driving rain and started banging on the bow of their boat to wake them before the remaining lines popped. Fortunately, everyone woke up enough to throw the necessary lines and regain control. Adrenaline was pumping for all of us, so getting back to sleep was a challenge. The friendship had deepened with the shared experience.

The next morning, the weather had calmed down enough that we said farewell to our new friends as they cast off from Casper’s Marina and headed for New Bern. The previous night we had gotten a great surprise call that our grandchildren would be brought by their other grandparents to our next destination, Morehead City! It was a short 2-hour slow cruise. We docked up at the Sanitary Fish Market Restaurant Dock, which was only $25 per night if you ate a meal at the restaurant. No problem with that! We had lunch there, did some touring about town and visited one of the best marine hardware stores that we have ever been to. Our grandkids came later that afternoon and the reunion is sweet, as usual. They are now 3 and 5, so the boat is a big adventure to them. We had them spend the night, girls in the bow and boys in the stern. We all could not have had any more fun! We woke up to a very chilly morning, but it makes snuggling with your grandkids in boat bunks that much better. We went to the town‘s best known breakfast joint, Pete’s Diner, and then came back to the boat for dinghy driving lessons and some tutoring on how to lower and raise the anchor with the windlass. We want to take every opportunity to teach them the love of boating, just as our parents did.

Surprise, surprise, another cold front is on the way, packing more wind and rain. We had somewhat of a weather window to leave Morehead City, so we hugged our grandchildren goodbye and cruised to the River Dunes Marina which is slightly north east of Oriental, NC. Unfortunately, it involved an extremely rough ride on the Neuse River, which tested the Estrellita in our nerves like no other cruise to date. After about 2 hours of 6-foot slop, we pulled into River Dunes, a welcome sight and relief.

Even though we often feel that this dream trip is a little piece of heaven, we are trying to resist the urge to think that way. We know that God has called us into a relationship with Him and to let that be our ultimate treasure. We are called to handle the things of this world loosely and look forward to the reality of our eternal heavenly home. I Corinthians 2:12. God bless and have a JOYFUL EASTER!