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Chick Ludwig

Summer Breeze’s 2017 B&B Messabout Mini Cruise.

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   Summer and I left out on a gentle breeze early on Sunday for our mini-cruise. We headed down the Bay River, tacking against what we decided was about a ten mph steady breeze. I’ll show ya some pictures along the way.


We're off!



Duck hunters blind. There was one on about every point of land or shallow area.




Vandemere waterfront.



Some folks have to work in order to cruise.



Sunset at dump Creek. (Yes, that is really the name. The chart said so.) Going...



...almost down...



...and, gone.



I tried to get a picture of the moon before it set, but it kept jumping around. Or maybe I wiggled the camera.



Now for some details about the cruise and the ride home.


   We anchored in the mouth of Dump Creek where the bay River opens up into the Pamlico Sound. From past experience, we knew how to avoid the mosquitoes if we stayed away from the shore line. Earlier that very day I had had a discussion with Graham about these pesky devils, and he showed me some clever screens he had made up to use in Carlita’s companionway. I allowed as how I didn’t need screens as I knew the secret of staying out from the shore a ways where the skeeters wouldn’t find me. We settled in for the night. I pulled a berth cushion out to lie on to watch the sunset and read a bit. It was a glorious night. Cool. Gentle breeze. Quiet except for the little peaceful wavelets gently lapping against Summer Breeze's sides. A sliver of moon was drifting down towards the horizon. Once it got dark, it began to get a bit chilly, and the dew began to settle in, so I took up my sleeping pad and moved back down below into Summer’s cozy cabin and flipped on the tape player to listen to some more of the big bands, and to take up Mr. Cussler where I had left off.

   Well, I guess the skeeters have also learned from experience. Unbeknownst to us, they had been informed that we would be in their area, and had sent out an evening patrol to watch for us. Next thing I knew, the fighter squadrons began making strafing runs on me! They came in waves! They were armed and dangerous! We fought in the trenches, we fought on the blankets, we fought in the ---I don’t know where all we fought, but every time I slapped one down, two more attacked. I kept up battling the onslaught until about 12:30 when I decided on a strategic retreat.

   I fired up Mr. Zuki and we motored out a ways further from shore. Shut the motor down, climb back into the bowels of the Breeze, turn on the music, and pick Mr. Cussler back up. Dang if those pesky skeeters didn’t follow us out! Another round of swatting, slapping, and otherwise introducing the horrible bugs to oblivion. Same results as before. Back out of Summer's snug cabin, again. Fire up Mr. Zuki, again. Up the anchor, again. Head back out, again. The difference this time was that we just kept going ‘til we were almost back to the B&B dock. Actually, for those of you that know where it is, to just about to the campground.

   Now it’s about 2:15. Drop anchor. Back below. Music. Book. Listen for that tell-tale whine of the attackers. Success! No skeeters! Finally we drifted off to slumberland to the sound of Miller’s moonlight Serenade. We woke up at 7:30 and ventured out to see what the day might bring. You wouldn’t believe the number of minuscule corpses scattered all over the cabin and cockpit. There really was an epic battle the night before. A quick wipe down with a towel, and a bite of breakfast. (A cup of apple sauce and some chips if ya just gotta know.) Then it was back to the ramp to load up for the trip home. Some last minute goodbyes, and off we go.

   I wish that I could report a pleasant, uneventful trip home, but, it was not to be! All was well until we were approaching Morganton. It was then that I got a call from Miss Debbie warning of heavy rain approaching. She suggested avoiding the short cut from Old Fort up through Chimney Rock because of the danger that the road might be closed because of flooding. That’s the way Debbie is. Always over cautious.  Soon the rain began. Drops. Drizzle. Showers. Sheets of rain. Buckets of rain. Raining cats and dogs. A frog strangler. Gulley washer. But I knew that all would be well. I always take that short cut. Y’all know what’s next, don’t ya.

   We took the short cut. The fuel gauge was down below a quarter, so, Just to be on the cautious side, I pulled into a gas station and put a couple of gallons of gas into Big Blue. Just to be sure we had enough. Just in case we burned a bit more gas going up the windy way to home. Made it all the way up to Chimney Rock where we turn on the last leg to home on Hwy. 64. That’s when all came to a screeching halt. A bunch of volunteers from the local fire department were setting up a barricade across my road. Detour. ALL the way back to the Interstate 40 in Asheville. ALL the way around town. ALL the way down Hwy 25, Howard Gap, and Sugar Loaf roads. (We avoid Interstate 26 from Asheville to Hendersonville whenever possible because of traffic tie-ups. They call the junction of I-40 and I-26 “Malfunction Junction”.) At least we didn't run out of gas.

    And so ends the adventure. Home again, safe and sound. Of course Miss Debbie refrained from saying “I told ya so!” If ya believe that, you don’t know her as well as you thought you did.



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Great writing Chick (who really isn't a chick if you haven't met him).  I'll have to check out Graham's screens next time I go down there. 


Funny, for both days I camped on shore, not one mosquito was to be found (and I looked hard for them).  I guess they really like you.

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