We'd heard so much about the Ruddy Duck Tavern in Morehead City, so we spent a couple of nights there. We had a reunion with my New Bern cousin, Debby, whom I've not seen in 20+ years, and her husband, Paul. The Ruddy Duck was even better than described! Wonderful food and top-notch service.
We were anchored in a cove and the night was so dark, bereft of extraneous city lights, that the heavens revealed a profusion of stars replicated in the mirrored waters of Mile Hammock Bay. Another gift from our creator.
T'was a treat to visit Southport again. This town has experienced a vast and very positive improvement since our last trip there. We've always eaten at The Provision Company but gave it a break and had a superb dinner at Fishy Fishy Cafe.
Continuing south, we were provided with another day of the heart-stirring marvels of our planet. Ripples from a very slight breeze, a cloudless sky, and a brilliant sun, created the illusion of diamond-studded undulations on the Waccamaw River.
In Georgetown,we picked up an exceedingly outstanding and most wonderful friend, Bob Plexico, Extraordinaire, who'd driven from Greenville, to cruise with us to the Isle of Palms. That evening we went to every body's favorite joint, The Big Tuna, and the next morning, pointed our bow for Wild Dunes Marina where we bid him adieu. He's a hoot and kept us in stitches. We spent a week in the Charleston area catching up with friends and running errands in a car!!! What a treat to not have to lug stuff home on a bike---even though we love doing that, too! Not complaining! We happened to notice a marquee for a Willie Nelson Family Band concert that night. We did a U-turn, snatched up some tickets and returned for an evening of a superior performance. He's a master on the guitar and his sister is a genius on the piano. What a serendipity that was!!!
Our 1976 TR6 doesn't hold much more than the 2 of us and our toothbrushes but we packed it to the gills and drove to Greenville, SC, which is where we lived before becoming Sea Urchins. We endured a marathon of 14 appointments in 2 1/2 days---dentists, annual physicals, etc. I began with my primary care physician soon after he finished his residency, so he, his nurse, my dentist, and hygienist, have perserved through my antics for 19 years. Despite having to be the patient, it was great to visit with them again. We've been pronounced healthy and turned loose for another year. A wonderful advantage of all this was terrific visits with old friends. Each was brief but "quality" and we were never lacking for a stupendous meal during our stay. Our wonderful friends, Harry and Carla, once again opened their home to us while we were in Greenville.
Bill's (ex) Michelin colleagues planned a wonderful dinner for us. Thank you, Pete, for orchestrating that. The Barnhills gathered friends from our lake boating days for lunch in their home and we appreciate all your efforts, Lori, Lois and Barney. We met one of our boating mentors, Emily and Bob, for dinner and "catching up" since we saw them in the Keys last winter. We had the opportunity to visit with Bill's long-time best friend who's recovering from surgery as well as Heyward and Sylvia, in their new home. One of the highlights for Bill was meeting at 5:30 AM to run with our old running group on their route through downtown Greenville. I can't believe we ever used to arise at 4:40 AM and do that!!
Among the appointments that I had made for our Greenville visit was to have our beloved 15 1/2 year old Bailey Dawg put to sleep; however, in a placid anchorage, she decided she couldn't wait another 3 weeks. She took matters into her own paws and like a true sailor, she did a burial at sea. When we sat down to dinner, she knew she had about 30 minutes of privacy. She struggled to get up the step from the salon to the deck, went to the stern of the boat, and launched herself. Her hind quarters were so arthritic that we still don't understand how she managed to heave herself over the gunnel. She's been outside when we're underway and in rough seas and has never once jumped nor fallen in. I believe that animals, as well as humans, choose how and where they want to die. Apparently she wanted to be alone and she loved the water and the boat. Although we wish we could've said 'goodbye' and scratched her tiny head one more time, she saved us the ordeal of putting her down. We were overwhelmed at almost 50 emails of condolences from our friends. We thank you so much and we miss our sweet puppy.