Merry Christmas Parade

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December 21st 2009
Published: December 21st 2009
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This seems the right time to say more about the the fun we had at Moorhead City, NC at ICW mile 205. We arrived Friday, Dec. 4th, 2009 and docked at the impressive dock at the Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant. There we met friendly fellow boaters, with whom we shared dinner and stories. With the marine supply store and the other essentials a block away, we decided to stay Saturday and let the latest nasty wind blow over. The neighbouring harbour was lined with fancy, fishing charter boats, powerful sightseeing boats and lively seafood restaurants.

At dark on Saturday night, Dec. 5th, we were startled as a crowd suddenly gathered on our semi-private dock. "Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday!!!" they shouted boisterously as a mini-flotilla of boats, beautifully decorated with lights and costumes, motored past, honking and waving good cheer. Just as quickly the crowd dispersed and we were left chatting peacefully with our new friends, discussing our plans for the coming holiday and the future in general. "Where are you going next?" and "Do you think we'll meet up next summer...?"

There's an interesting piece of wisdom about cruising from friend Pete, "Plans are made in Jello." As
Moorhead City, NCMoorhead City, NCMoorhead City, NC

Not so good for gulls
you cruise, you must constantly make plans for so many reasons. You also need the mentality to casually let go of failed plans as you enthusiastically whip up new plans for the days, weeks, months ahead. Knowing that we are not prone to setting arbitrary, unachievable goal and deadlines, Frank and I had still idly wondered where we would be for the big day, Dec. 25th. Perhaps we'd end up at a solitary anchorage in a foggy bog where the cell phone wouldn't work or clinging to the tarry wall of a busy, downtown barge canal, with screaming sirens and stray cats.

As our plan inevitably took charge of itself, we've just had a trip to Verizon to repair our fractured internet software, plus a bonus tour of historic Wilmington, NC. A wise friend and travel advisor had suggested this Wilmington side-trip, as we tried to scoot down the ICW to warmer climes and it seemed inappropriate at the time. Lo and behold... good Christmas talk... thanks to our guide, Joanne, who gave up her day off to drive us around, we found ourselves enjoying a rockin' good, carol-singing, horse-drawn carriage ride around the old town Dec. 19th, for
The best dockThe best dockThe best dock

...for friendly dockside gatherings
Frank's birthday. For those who read the fine print, the horses, Ned and Harry were rescued from the queue at the glue-factory, to work the streets of Wilmington, bringing cheer at Christmas, to help pay for their retirement at the rescue farm. (Sorry, when we're having fun we neglect to take pictures.) Ned and Harry are dappled-gray gents and despite the protests of animal rightists, they seem quite warm in their natural fur coats... and happy to wear deer-drag, lighted-antlers and reflective anklets as part of their festive, health and safety gear. This may sound a litlle unusual but it all came together as a really memorable experience.

From this description of us zooming around, you will have correctly guessed that Frank and his foot are making friends again. He has started putting a little weight with a cane. Thanks to the efforts of the super-organized local chapter of the US Power Squadron, Alan, Ken and Ted have recruited higly skilled crew memers to accompany us on the next leg of our journey in a week or so. It doesn't get any better than that.

As we close, we're surprised and delighted to be enjoying this special time in Carolina Beach, NC with new friends who have opened their homes and hearts, and are wrapping us into their celebrations. Good thing we've stocked a supply of fat-free, cranberry Jello! But things can still change... there are still 3 more days 'til Merry Christmas!

Additional photos below
Photos: 21, Displayed: 21


Rows of power boatsRows of power boats
Rows of power boats

...and seafood restaurants

...not dressed for the parade.
Jay and Mary Lou, on 'Screech'Jay and Mary Lou, on 'Screech'
Jay and Mary Lou, on 'Screech'

The boat, not the rum!
Here we are, 2 weeks laterHere we are, 2 weeks later
Here we are, 2 weeks later

Finding 'Christmas' in Wilmington and Carolina Beach

21st December 2009

thinking of you both - happy birthday Frank - merry christmas to you both - love your blog and pictures - glad you are recovering Frank - love you both -
22nd December 2009

wow !
It's so cool to see your journey unfolding.Sorry we missed you guys before you left,you know me,not big on goodbye.That being said, it's not really goodbye when i get to see where you are all the time.Happy Birthday buddy your finally 40 !!glad to hear the old salty dogs foot is recovering well.Merry Christmas,Happy New Year, and calm seas ahead.
23rd December 2009

Merry Christmas
Hi folks! I'm back in Oriental as of last Friday (left a day early to avoid the snowstorm). We have been working very hard at the Emporium...seems like there is no end to cooking, washing up, etc., but that is good. We spent Sunday with my daughter, her husband, and two grandchildren in Jacksonville, NC, somewhat close to Wilmington. We had hoped to maybe get down to see you before you shoved off, but afraid that won't happen. We had a busy day today, and tomorrow and Thursday are likely to be the same. Then we will have Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon off. My other daughter and family are coming on 12/26 and staying a few days, so that will be nice. We think of you daily and wonder what adventures you face. Our very best to both of you for a very Merry Christmas, and we are delighted to hear that Frank is getting about again!!! Safe travels, friends... John and Bama
23rd December 2009

Dear John and Bama
Sounds like the most wonderful family time and I know it will be delicious!!!. We have some exciting new developments with crew and we preparing for our next leap into the ICW. Still need to do a blog on Oriental but it's so BIG and hard to encompass. We'll see you for sure in the New Year. Happy, huggy holiday! Love CFG
23rd December 2009

Thanks Gary
Please say Happy Holiday to the folks at Parmalat. We missed the wonderful Xmas party!
23rd December 2009

Chev and Cara
Walmart was a still a good memory! ; ) Have a super Christmas with your beautiful daughters. Love CFG
23rd December 2009

Hello Melodeons
Good to hear that Frank and his foot are being better to each other. Glad you are safely 'moored' for the holiday. We're in Colorado with 4" of new snow and more on the way. Good times here. Will you email us the pick of us on "the boat, not the rum". Its a good one and we have very few of both of us aboard. Have a merry Christmas and take your time going south....enjoy the ride! and be safe. Jay and Mary Lou
24th December 2009

Jay and Mary Lou
HO HO HO and a bottle of... Will send the photo. Enjoy your white holiday. We're doing great on Pleasure Island.
29th December 2009

Hey you two, read your last blog and it sounds like you are both enjoying your new life adventure. So pleased to hear Frank is getting better. What plans, if any, do you have for your next leg of the trip. Are you still looking at making it to Mardis Gras in New Orleans? If you ever thought leaving was not a good idea, it is minus 16 Celcius hear this morning. We had a lot of family come for the holidays. Everyone thinking of you and wishing you all the best in your travels. Keep the blogs coming and looking forward to your next entry. Merry X-mas to you both and hope to see you soon.
29th December 2009

December 29th - Mike & Marilyn
Finally caught up with your blogs. You have had some more adventure... adventures to grow. All is well here. We are preparing for a trip to Florida... 16 to 28 January... a gift from our kids for the 50th Wedding Anniversary. The pain of flying is getting worse. I hope it does not get to be even more of a problem. May have to drive down; not a bad idea really for it just takes time. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
31st December 2009

Gilles and Leslie
Sounds like you had a great Christmas. A wonderful couple invited us to a Christmas Eve dinner and gave us an awesome goody bag that lasted for 3 days! No cooking - how good is that? Missing you all and wishing you the best possible year in 2010.
31st December 2009

Mike and Marilyn
Happy 50th!!! How did you do that? 25 years each? Can't believe it. Hope to see you in Florida.

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