ICW 182 to 244

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We slipped into Spooner's Creek to anchor for the night.  We  bypassed the Marina who have taken a decidedly aggressive attitude toward cruising boats.  Too bad - their loss!
The creek is narrow but by sundown there were 12 boats anchored in front of some pretty expensive homes.
This appears to be powerboat heaven.
We both decided that we liked this one best.  Got to keep buying those Lotto tickets!
Next morning , the anchor came up really muddy.  Here the Admiral is explaining to the Captain why a deck wash pump would be a really nice addition to the boat.
Underway again - we are treated to mile after mile of shoreline real-estate.
Some of the homes are small mansions.
Around mile 234, we noticed lots of helicopter activity and this lookout tower popped up.
This chopper roared past us with a sound that was deafening.  There's no way these guys can sneak up on an enemy target.  We heard him coming for 5 minutes before a visual was acquired.
What really got our attention was this sign announcing that "Flashing lights" meant live firing was in progress - STOP.
Our destination was "Mile Hammock Bay" on the edge of military base Camp LeJeune.  The military had dredged out this basin and still uses it for manoeuvres.
No sooner had we got settled at anchor, did the air show begin.
We had two different helicopters circling the anchorage in what appeared to be a series of high-speed approach and troop deployment landings.
These guys were really pulling out the stops.  The growl of the swash plates and the howling whine of turbines running at "red line" was electrifying.
It's hard to show in a still photo, but this copter was so low and fast that he was overhead and gone before I could snap a second shot.
After roaring in at high-speed, the pilot stands the chopper on its tail  for a flaring descent into the bushes.
Time from flare to descent averaged about 10 seconds.
Within 30 seconds, they were off and at it again.
Here one of the cowboys really overcooks the flare.
He dropped like a stone.  We waited for the fireball!
Instead two machines leaped up, clawing their way into a forgiving sky.
For the next hour, these two machines played this dangerous game of "Tag."
As quickly as it began, they were gone.  We were left to the screaming silence of the basin.  But squadrons of mosquitoes were warming their little engines.  We would have more company tonight.