The great Intracoastal Waterway, serene, beautiful, idyllic. Just mind the gun fire. Camp LeJeune is a Marine Corps training base located on the edge of the ICW in North Carolina and from time to time holds target practice… alarmingly close to the ICW. So alarmingly close, I grabbed a few shots of the targets. The exterior had thousands of indentations giving the metal a rough swiss cheese appearance. We cruised on by with no problem but if the lights are flashing, cruisers are not permitted to continue towards the firing range.

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IMG_8540Mike and I stopped in the adorable town of Swansboro and tried alligator bites for the first time. It kinda tasted like calamari. Apparently eating alligator is no big deal in North Carolina. The gentleman next to us gave us an elaborate explanation of the culture of fishing and hunting. We grabbed ice cream and strolled through the entire downtown area (Main Street). We returned to the boat and enjoyed downtime sitting out in the cockpit. But with our leisure time we endured the town bar expel some odious sounding tunes.

Night fell and we watched a few lightening cloud clusters move near our anchorage. One of those storms hit us dead on and the boat healed over in the booming gusts. The current was pushing the boat perpendicular to the wind and it felt like a bad game of tug of war between the wind and the current. We anchored close to a shallow sandbar and amongst all the surfing back and forth, we ended up going aground in a 4.7 ft patch of sand. Mike and I begrudgingly pulled on our foul weather gear and went above deck to re-anchor in the 20+ knots of wind and the rain and infrequent flashes of lightening. Well… at least the bad music went inside and was one less nuisance to handle. After multiple attempts to set the anchor, I backed down and finally saw an OK sign from Mike and also concluded we weren’t dragging or in any danger of swaying into shallows, lobster pots, or channel markers.