Another beautiful sun set as the night came upon us slowly. We were expecting more traffic as we neared the coast of North Carolina but surprisingly we saw no ships on the first watch of the night. The millions of stars were blanketing the sky and Mars was glowing large and red as it was particularly close to us at the time. The boat carried on through the water tirelessly, leaving a sparkling wake like Fourth of July sparklers on either side where the plankton were disturbed and let off their phosphorescence. I went to bed around 10:30pm after playing some Gin with Elizabeth who taught me how to play on the previous night.
Up at 2:20am this time and ready for my watch at 2:30am my dad briefed me on the last couple hours and told me that we would reach the entrance to the channel around sunrise. “Wake me up when we get to the first Sea Buoy with the white light.” He said before going to bed. “Try not to hit it, they sneak up on you sometimes…”
I saw the glow from the shore long before sunrise and then individual lights began to appear as the sun began to differentiate the water from sky on the horizon.
Elizabeth and I could make out the red and green channel markers but neither of us could find this Sea Buoy that the captain told us not to hit! I kept my eyes on the horizon and finally found it, a very soft white light that flashed intermittently, obscured by the many white lights on shore behind it. We didn’t hit it but passed close by and I listened to its haunting fog whistle, the first welcome back to shore.
I lined us up for a straight shot into the channel so that we would not have to change course at each set of buoys and we began our journey into Beaufort Inlet.
As the sun rose the land became more distinct and swarms of fishing boats started coming out of the inlet. Luckily most of them went out by Cape Lookout Shoals and were not heading right for us in the narrow channel. Dad took over as we neared the entrance and he navigated us through the Newport Marshes and into Core Creek and Adams Creek Canal.
The day quickly became hot and sticky as we motored along with no breeze to be found. Luna had the right idea by taking a nap:
The scenery kept me awake though, this was new to me and I knew we would later be traveling these waters in the Alberg so I wanted to stay awake to take it all in.
Once out of the canal we traveled up the Neuse River and into New Bern. We had a nice meal out that night and the land felt like it was moving under my feet. The next morning my beautiful wife Erin drove out to meet us! You can see “Skylark” behind us with the tan awning up.
We took walks around historic New Bern and Elizabeth pulled out all of the Molas that they got in Panama. Mola is Kuna Indian for “clothing” or “blouse” and the Kuna Indians have an amazingly elaborate way of sewing these beautiful decorations on their traditional blouses. They have since become famous and “Mola” now is typically used to describe the decorative piece itself. It was absolutely incredible to see how intricate these pieces are and hear all of the stories from Dad and Elizabeth about the colorful individuals who made these and sold them to then while they cruised the San Blas Islands.
The ones pictured above are what I would consider museum pieces made by master Mola makers. The one my dad is holding was my favorite and pictured two ceremonies important to the Kuna Indians.
The ones pictured below were our other favorites:
The last night we had sushi made from the tuna that we caught which was a delicious treat to be remembered!