Betsy Speaks: We really have nothing to say today, but since I did get an e-mail from a friend saying he was already fearing withdrawal when our postings stopped in a couple of weeks, we decided we’d at least do a short post. We did travel today, a total of 5.35 miles from Barefoot Landing to Dock Holidays. Barefoot Landing has no showers and no pumpout, and we needed both so a move was necessary.
Prior to leaving Barefoot Landing we at lunch at T-Bonz right on the water, and saw two looper boats go by just as we were finishing up. These were the first two loopers we’d seen since the west coast of Florida. We’ve really missed the camaraderie we shared with other loopers along the way. We were able to speak to one of them that docked right across the water at Barefoot Resort, but the other one moved on without us having a chance to catch up to them. The one we did speak to actually left out of Wilmington, but headed to the Bahamas and is now back and just starting the loop. Wow, do I wish I were on that boat!
We seem to have finally really found the recession that we’ve been hearing about for the past year. Myrtle Beach almost seems like a ghost town. Many of my favorite stores at Barefoot Landing are closed for good. That was a shock, and disappointing because I was looking forward to some shopping! One of the gambling boats that I was a regular on is out of business (although we just heard tonight that it may be coming back in a couple of weeks).
We had already heard that Barefoot Resort, directly opposite Barefoot Landing on the waterway, had gone out of business, but we’d also heard that they had re-opened under new management. But when we tried to call them to stay there last night we got no answer on the phone, and when we finally found a number that had an answering machine we left a message and were never called back. As we rode by yesterday there was a “closed” sign on the door of the dock house and no answer as we called them on the VHF, so we docked across the water at Barefoot Landing instead. Today we crossed back over to Barefoot Resort and there was someone there to give us the pumpout we needed, but he said their showers, laundry, restaurant, etc. are all closed because they have no electricity on shore. They are doing minimal business as a marina, but will pick back up and completely re-open the first of April. We are certainly hoping that is the case, because the Looper spring rendezvous is being held there at the end of April, at our suggestion!
So now we are at Dock Holidays where we can shower. We have cable TV, and have several restaurants and a grocery store nearby. We’ve stayed here several times before so we feel right at home. We will be here until Sunday, when we will head to Southport for one night before tackling the Cape Fear. We hope to arrive home at Topsail Beach on Monday mid-afternoon assuming a good crossing of the Cape Fear River that morning. We already find ourselves talking more and more about what our “favorites” were on the trip…best marina, best meal, best town, etc. So once we finish the loop and finally cross our wake as we dock in Sneads Ferry on March 14, there will still be some blogging to do as we sort those things out, share statistics, etc.
Things are starting to fall apart so it’s time to get home…we’ve had some computer problems over the past few days and fear some sort of virus is attacking so if the blogs stop suddenly before we get home that’s why. The depth sounder hasn't worked for at least a month. The boat is absolutely filthy, not having been out of the water since Alabama in November. It is impossible to scrub the insides of the sponsons while it is in the water so they are absolutely black. It has been too cold to take the carpets out and hose them off as we did routinely when the weather was warmer, so they are disgusting. One of the GPS's has given up completely, and another one is complaining about being low on storage area because of so many trails being recorded. My makeshift mattress finally wore out, so we are sleeping in sleeping bags instead of under real sheets which rules out good snuggling. My arthritic hands are getting stiffer and sorer every day from driving and handling the throttles. Rick is down to only one pair of pants that don’t have holey pockets, and all of our socks are full of holes. Rick’s shoes have developed such a squeak when he walks that he couldn’t sneak up on a deaf man, and it nearly drives me crazy. Beamer is in bad need of a good grooming. So yes, it’s time to get home for a while.