We have covered some ground recently between South and North Carolina.
Our journey continues to lead us to the homes and hearts of our host country and to provide us with insights into the history of the coastal villages and towns.
The last few days: on the channels on the coast of South and North Carolina.
The places: Georgetown Waccamaw River Myrtletown, S.C. Southport N.C. Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington Sneads Ferry Morehead City near Cape Lookout Oriental/New Bern Alligator Sound (about 100 miles before Norfolk).
Southport is a very pretty little town: The sugar houses in between the mighty oak trees have plaques with their historical details, house names and the dates of construction. Most of them were built in the 19th century, the oldest houses in the 18th. A Christmas-themed house which exists all year long is overflowing with Christmas decorations and gifts.
We became members of the local library in order to use the internet, and we met Gwendolyn at the post office. Later she and her husband, Jim, visited our boat and invited us to dinner. Some idle conversation with them unveiled an amazing fact: Jim was one of the Captains of the Presidential helicopters. He flew Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton, Bush Jr. The couple had an Irish catholic background. It is amazing what possibilities a solar boat trip opens up! Will we soon have a solar US President?
In Wrightsville Beach/Wilmington: Good-bye, dear young co-skipper Xavier Rossmanith. The Federal Palace in Bern has called him back high time for New Bern (see below). Due to this stopover we visited the City of Wilmington with other fans of our boat, Bruce (a chemistry teacher) and Elisabeth.
Wilmington, an honorable town laid out in a chessboard pattern (we saw a plan on parchment from the 17th century in the library), was the main port for the Southern Confederation during the Civil War. The Union conquered it in a man-to-man battle. Just imagine: We could take a bus for the first time from downtown to the distant marina. It was the nr. 4.
The following day we three sailors traveled again in a cold, strong headwind to the Swan Point Marina in Sneads Ferry. With the aid of two borrowed bicycles we made it to the library of the widely scattered village. In the evening Doven Farmer, professor of physics in Santa Fe, invited us to dinner on his wooden sailboat. He is on is way to the Bahamas.
The beautiful spring weather has stayed with us in Morehead, near Beaufort.
From there we reached a small, quiet village that once needed a name. In the Civil War, in 1863, a wrecked ship sank there. The old postmaster remembered its name and named the village after it - "Oriental". Thanks to the arrival of our new co-skipper John Wenz we were driven from there to the City of New Bern. There are many traditional brick buildings from the foundation years in this quiet town on the Neuse river. Several beautiful historic houses were decorated with the flag from Bern, and the black Bear of Bern was poking out its red tongue on the wall of the City Hall. John, the very experienced co-skipper we have during the last stretch of our journey, has been enjoying navigating the boat together with our skipper Michel.