27 October 2016
We decided to stay in Carolina Beach an extra day to get a few things done. It was time for another oil change so I decided to also change the transmission oil and air filters at the same time. While I was putting things away I happened to notice that the bracket that holds the autopilot was loose, actually one bolt had fallen out. It was just a matter of tightening things down and Otto was as good as new but it could have been an issue if left undetected. Another reason for delaying a day was we had two narrow and shallow spots to navigate through on the next section and we wanted to do some additional research. Once we talked to a few other boaters our plans were set for a 7:00 a.m. departure so it was early to bed.
It's surprising how dark it is at 6:20 these days, but we were up making coffee and off the mooring at first light. As we turned the corner out of the harbour we were greeted by a 2.5-3 knot current until we merged with the Cape Fear River then we had a great push right to Southport. Despite some tidal current in places we made good time and navigated the two problem areas safely. However, the strong cross currents and a couple of readings of less then six feet sure do get your attention in a hurry! To date we have only seen minor hurricane damage to a few docks and boat lifts but the worst is yet to come. For the most part today we passed numerous beautiful homes spread out along the waterway. We are in North Myrtle Beach this evening and hope to get to Georgetown tomorrow and Charleston on Saturday. Still hot today, 26C and sunny. If you zoom in on the picture below you will see the debris on the dock as a result of Matthew.