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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tanks cruising the ICW? - you got it - near Swansboro, NC

As we left Wrightsville Beach, we couldn't help but notice our antithesis, cigarette boats. Hope the owners are still asleep!

This was a day for bridges. This is a bascule bridge, better known as a drawbridge.

This bridge would be described as a swing bridge.

This is another form of swing bridge.

Jim and I decided the owner of this home would be able to give directions as "the pink house on the ICW near Swansboro".  Nor more description needed!

As you have seen, I have a fascination with workmen along the waterways.

More shrimp boats, how charming! Any day now, the boats will go out and begin catching shrimp. The water is almost warm enough for the shrimp season to begin.

This guy is scraping the bottom with a scoop-type device with a handle. He is harvesting mussels.

Two guys are paddling together on their way to Maine. They are two really crazy guys!

All of a sudden we sighted a ________ coming out of the bushes. What is it?

As we approached the spot where the floating tank entered the river, we saw more of the "swimming" tanks. We were cruising through Camp Lejeune and we had heard that we could be held up by a closed waterway as the Marines practiced maneuvers.  We did not expect tanks that can cross a river!

As the tank entered the ICW, we saw a huge splash. We thought maybe it would become a submarine!

The tanks swam quite heartily!

Driving on shore didn't seem too much of a chore either! Wonder how much one of these little buggers cost. Where is Phil Zyskowski when I need him? He is my sailing buddy who is a financial guru on the financial side at the Tank Plant in Warren, MI.

This sign warns boaters to stop on the ICW if the light is flashing. Since they are shooting when this happens, it is a good idea to listen. I wonder how we are supposed to listen to AM530. We have a VHF radio, not a car radio.

Maybe this tank didn't perform as well as it should have. We saw a number of "bombed out" tanks along the waterway.

This was one of those days that the ride to our marina or anchorage was more interesting than the destination!  Swansboro is a sleepy, historic town located near the outflow of the Oak River. Settlers first came to Swansboro in 1730. Early prosperity was based on ship building and paddle wheelers were built in the early years here. Residents later on became commercial fishermen. 

After WWII, Camp Lejeune became a major source of income in the area. Camp Lejeune remains a busy training center for the Marines. We heard many explosions of bombs and obviously maneuvers underway.
Ducks cruise the streets in Swansboro. Kind of cute, isn't he?

We were told this was the Mayor of Swansboro. He would not stop eating and when he stopped and we looked at him from above, he must weigh 25 pounds. Watch out for that Mayor!

This is the fancy marina where we stayed.

Jim and Wayne thought the best part of the stay was watching the fishing boat being pulled out of the water for repair. Apparently the owner, an 80+ year old guy had the boat on blocks and it fell. Good thing he wasn't under it!

The captain is watching the procedure as the boat is pulled out of the water by a chain. The guys push in the supports on the side to hold the boat up when it leaves the water.

High and dry!


  1. I want a tank! No Jetskis would risk messing with that! And drawbridge operators wouldn't make you wait either.

  2. The "floating tanks" are USMC Assault Amphibious Vehicles (AAV) - called Amtracks by grunts.