Bumping along the ICW
07 November 2011
We are thinking of starting our own web link - goingagroundsailors.com - yes we managed to go aground once again on our way past Snow's Cut to the Cape Fear river. Fortunately, we found Robert and with his strong motored fishing boat we were pulled off. It turns out that we misread the charts and the shortcut we had hoped to take only had 4 feet of water. However, had we gone at high tide this might not have been a problem - but then again, we had to consider the current on the Cape Fear river and the bridge opening timing. All in all, there is a lot to consider when traveling the ICW and we have found a great resource - Active Captain.com. This website has information about areas of shoaling etc. that captains add to help everyone navigate. We make it up the Cape Fear River. It is very deep (40-50+feet) and is used by large container ships. This eases our fears about hitting bottom :-). We even make the bridge 10 minutes before the 2:00 opening. We were able to do this because we were pushed along by the flood tide/ current. Immediately upon reaching the Bennet Brothers we were put in the "sling" and hauled out. Three repairmen began inspecting our rudder. The good news is the rudder was not damaged (it was not bent as our result of numerous groundings - the bad news was that the wear and tear of 20 years of sailing required that the rudder have the bearing and bushings replaced, as well as a repair of the cracked fiberglass column that the rudder goes through. We find a hotel in Wilmington, rent a car, and plan on leaving after repairs on Tuesday. We are delighted to have some time in a real bed with our own private bath and the opportunity to drive around town. We manage to go to the beach twice, see the North Carolina battleship, shop around in downtown Wilmington, enjoy a wonderful Mexican restaurant Mixto - and drown our $$$ sorrows in Margueritas!