At 0730, Monday October 22nd, we left Cherry Point after waiting out a Cold Front that marched through the region.
Down the Neuse to the ICW at Adams Creek we headed out Beaufort Inlet at 1530. We were headed for Wrightsville Beach, 65 miles away. On the way, off Emerald Isle, we were entertained for several hours by a pod of playful dolphins.
Anchoring at 0400, we had entered Masonboro Inlet in total darkness. We had been through here a couple times before, but never without the help of the sun. This time we were aided by our radar and gps chart plotter.
Several hours later we were underway again headed for the docks at Carolina Beach State Park. Our timing allowed us to transit Snows Cut at slack water. This can be very nasty if you going against an opposing tide.
As we entered the Park’s short entrance channel we were greeted with a surprise, a speed bump. The channel had shoaled since our last visit but thankfully we had enough speed on to bump through the soft mud bottom.
We headed down the Cape Fear River the next morning, the 24th. We watched boat after boat turn to starboard at Southport against the 2+ knot tide to stay inside the ICW. We chose to continue ahead, maintaining 8.3 knots, courtesy of the outgoing tide and a stiff 15-20 knot breeze. Out the inlet we headed for Little River, SC.
That afternoon we anchored at Bird Island. We had never been there before and our only real intel was a few comments on Active Captain and that we’ve seen boats anchored there on several other occasions. The charts were no help so we entered the unknown slowly.
The depth dropped and we slowed. Then some more & we slowed again. After our speed bump the other night, we thought of Captain Chucks words of wisdom, “Don’t go any faster then you want to hit something, or run aground”! Finally at 8’ the depth held and so did our anchor.
The next morning our weather report treated us to the forecast of a one-two weather punch. So we entered the ICW at Calabash, SC and headed south. Through the hazardous “Rock Pile”. This stretch of the “Ditch” was blasted out of the rock years ago and has areas of jagged rock just at the channels edge. The day after we past through a sailboat struck a rock and nearly sank in the channel!
We entered the Waccamaw. Always a gorgeous stretch of water but this time was different. We past homes damaged by recent flooding.
It seemed every house had debris in there yard and large dumpsters with furniture and other once prized possessions.
The need for fuel was a big enough excuse to stop at Osprey Marina. There ultra friendly staff and great prices on diesel & dockage has always made this a good stopping point.
It was a good choice since the other marinas in the area didn’t fare as well after the flooding caused by Florence. We were told the waters reached 13’ above flood stage!
After two days of hiding from weather we set off again, thru Georgetown’s, Winyah Bay to Minum Creek. We plan to wait here until the second “reinforcing” front passes as we look for another opportunity to head offshore, southbound!
Fair Winds and Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy