Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington, SC

By aaron.axvig, 25 October, 2018

On Tuesday at about 10:30AM we drove over to Wrightsville Beach as we heard that's where the sailboats are. We tried visiting a couple yacht sales offices in person but they were not staffed. We didn't see much for sailboats around that spot either, just power boats. So we looked at satellite imagery and picked out a different marina about a mile away that looked like it had sailboats in it. We went over there and it was a yacht club and there wasn't really a sales office. We talked to some members in the parking lot and they invited us to walk the docks and see if there were any sailboats displaying for sale signs.

We found one boat with a sign but it was a power boat. The aging man working on it said he had previously had four sailboats and then this was his fourth power boat, and that it was time for him to get out of the boating business. We also found a 30 year old guy washing his 32 foot sailboat, and he told us that it was for sale. We went on board to check it out and as suspected due to the length being less than 35 feet, it did not have enough headroom inside for Aaron. It had a carbon fiber mast--first time we had seen one of those. We didn't find any other boats for sale, but it was a pleasure to enjoy the sunny weather and gaze at all the boats. We always learn something!

After that Aaron noticed a point of interest on the map named "The Mailbox at Wrightsville Beach". It appeared to be a mailbox that people leave messages in, just to say hi, to vent, or whatever you imagine. We drove down to check it out. There were some letters in there of people writing to each other, and a log book where we wrote a little something. Then we spent about 45 minutes to enjoy the beach. Aaron didn't want to take off his shoes but Anna did a little wading and got her jeans wet. We weren't really wearing beach clothes but it was still nice. There were probably 20 people total out there in the mile plus of beach in our immediate area. We went back to the campground to do some laundry and some camper wiring repairs to get the fridge working on 12V, then had some leftover soup and watched a few YouTube videos before bed.

On Wednesday we did some housekeeping and Aaron had a 2 hour conference call. Anna did a couple hours of research and scheduling boat showings, and then we drove into downtown Wilmington to check out the historic district and the Riverwalk located there. Part of the Riverwalk is facing the city docks which charge $1.25 per foot if you want to park your boat there for the night (power and water provided). It would be cool to park our boat there in the future as it is right along the Intracoastal Waterway and would be a nice stop on our way up the coast next spring. We had appetizers at Front Street Brewery and then pizza for Anna and a calzone for Aaron at Fat Tony's Italian Pub (that food was amazing!). One brewery we stopped at didn't serve food so they could have dogs inside and there were 4-5 very nice ones hanging out with their owners.

Today was an early morning, getting up at 6:30 so that we could leave the campground at 9:00 and be in Little River by 11:00 to look at a boat. We met Captain John there and looked at a Beneteau America 343. This was a very lightly used boat, the newest we had looked at so far, and we liked it overall. It is on the expensive side (the listed price at least) and doesn't have a lot of storage. We keep thinking "where would we even put xxxx!?" Probably we will end up downsizing even more from our pop-up camper lifestyle. We also went on a 2012 33-foot Hunter just to see ($120k or something so way out of our consideration) and it was very nice, but no headroom for Aaron. John spent an extra 20 minutes or so talking about our plans and giving us advice, so we tried to soak it all in. He even offered to show us a catamaran but didn't have the key so we just saw it from the outside.

Then we drove to Charleston and set up for two nights. We are formulating plans to meet Ann and Ralph who worked with Anna in Medora and part of that involves putting Louise in doggy day care for a day. For that she needed an additional vaccination so late in the afternoon we found a vet and they were able to get that done. Now it is time to heat up some dinner. It is supposed to start raining in the middle of the night and continue all day tomorrow accumulating two inches. We have two sailboat viewings scheduled so we will definitely need our raincoats!