A Travellerspoint blog

Sailing South Impeded by Fishing Tournaments

Now A Year Older


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & 2003-2004 Marathon Winter & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday, November 4, 2003 Today is my 66th birthday.

We Stayed in Elizabeth City until 4 November. The aft Lectrasan seems to be totally not working now. We left at about 6:49.
Passing Pelican marina as we leave

Passing Pelican marina as we leave


PIKA and ANNE M were still there, everyone else had left. Bob is still wearing shorts even though he got bitten by mosquitoes last night. It is quite warm, even though it is November. There was no wind- it was flat calm. We had breakfast and it got VERY foggy on the Pasquotank.
Rainbow

Rainbow


We can't see very much and Bob actually activates the fog horn (which works) on the VHF radio.
Elizabeth City Regional airport

Elizabeth City Regional airport


We passed the
CG Station which Fred said was the largest CG air station in the US.

CG Station which Fred said was the largest CG air station in the US.

Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City is the United States Coast Guard's technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces

Aviation Technical Training Center in Elizabeth City is the United States Coast Guard's technical training provider for enlisted aviation forces


The fog lifts just enough for me to take a couple of pictures. We work our way down the Pasquotank - there is a sailboat behind us about 1/2 mile -sometimes we can see them and sometimes we only see them on the radar.

We see the top of the blimp hanger in the fog. If we didn't know it was there, we wouldn't know what it was. It is the largest wood construction building in the world - built in 1942, it measured 1/5 mile long by 298' wide by 192' high with 180 ton doors mounted on railroad tracks. It housed US Navy Airship Squadron ZP-14. In 1966, the decommissioned facility was sold to Westinghouse. In 1989 Westinghouse spun off the aerostat operation to TCOM, L.P. Commercial blimps such as Bud One, Fuji, and Met Life were built there. On August 3, 1995, during reconstruction of the door supports, the Hangar burned to the ground, causing $100 million in damage. One of these hangers can still be seen from the Pasquotank. I think one of them has been used for furniture manufacture.
Blimp hanger from 2001

Blimp hanger from 2001


The fog cleared as we came out into Albemarle Sound - flat calm and sunny.
42f3b8f0-efc7-11e9-abc9-39779465c2e4.jpgAlbemarle Sound

Albemarle Sound


We see a crab pot boat full of crab pots.
Crab pot boat

Crab pot boat


We hear TROUBADOUR calling Dowry Creek in Belhaven on the radio. We are passed by a steamboat trawler COASTAL QUEEN.

We tie up at the Alligator River Marina at 1300 and get 32 gals of diesel. Trip today 36 sm. I did email and Bob did a wash. After we tie up CONTESSA (CSY WT) comes in and docks one dock over. Bob didn't recognize it as a CSY at first - it is one of two WT ketches and has no stripe and no trailboards.

I have my birthday dinner at the truck stop - a 10 oz rib eye for $10.99 with creamed (mashed) potatoes and another side, and Bob had steamed shrimp for $9.99 but he thought the shrimp were pretty small. I also had an ice cream cone. For my birthday, Bob got me a 'daytimer' which had a place to put cards so I can keep the cards of the other boats and marinas in one place.

I reported to Skipper Bob (who published a book on marinas in the ICW) Alligator River Marina is up to $1.00/ft and $4.00 for 30 amp - free cable. Only cold water for laundry. Fuel was $1.14/gal for diesel for small users and $1.04 for the big guys.
Marina lighthouse at night

Marina lighthouse at night


Wednesday 5 November 2003

I woke up before dawn and looked out the stern ports and saw a big bonfire on shore. Never did figure out why.
Fire on shore

Fire on shore


We got underway before 7.
Going through the Alligator River Swing Bridge early in the morning

Going through the Alligator River Swing Bridge early in the morning

Tug with crane in the Alligator River

Tug with crane in the Alligator River


The GPS with the Toshiba isn't keeping satellites very well. We may have rain today or tomorrow. We go across the Fairfield canal and go under the new fixed Fairfield Bridge.
ddee54a0-f15c-11e9-b330-a7724e4a7afe.jpgNew Fairfield bridge

New Fairfield bridge


When we came south in 2000 this bridge was being completed, and when we came north in 2001, they were taking down the old swing bridge. CONTESSA passes and is ahead of us under the bridge. They disappear around the bend, and go to the new marina in Belhaven. A power boat names UH OH II passed.
05-1220.jpgEdge of the canal

Edge of the canal


About noon we went by three dredging barges in channel.
Barge with dayshapes

Barge with dayshapes

Passing the barge

Passing the barge


Each one of the black shapes on the barge has a meaning. For instance this configuration - One line of Two Diamonds and then Ball, diamond, Ball means Vessel engaged in dredging or underwater operations when restricted in ability to maneuver - i.e. I can't get out of your way - you have to move around me. Two balls on the far side means that there is an obstruction on that side.
Danger sign on the end of the pipes

Danger sign on the end of the pipes


Barge and containment

Barge and containment

05-1222Image023.jpgDredging operation

Dredging operation


We have been 35.4 sm at an average speed of 6.6 mph. My feet have started to swell and look pretty bad. I also have a big bruise across the joint of my left big toe in a cross shape. I don't know why.
Sand on the edge of the canal with hoses

Sand on the edge of the canal with hoses


We pass a camp and I take a picture of it, but I can find nothing about it on the internet.
Side of the canal

Side of the canal


Maybe it is a part of the Alligator River Refuge. We see a red bumper like power boaters use. Maybe someone lost it off their boat. Or maybe it is marking a snag int he canal. We don't investigate.
e90f9ab0-f15c-11e9-b330-a7724e4a7afe.jpgFloating Red Bumper Ball

Floating Red Bumper Ball


A little yellow and green tug named TAR HEEL passes pushing a crane and towing his own yellow mooring ball.
TAR HEEL pushing a crane

TAR HEEL pushing a crane


Down near the Wilkerson bridge, two big power boats passed - 2 Carvers TOTALLY WASTED and SPIDER WEB from Maryland and also GET AWAY. Hear them on the radio going into Dowry Creek as we leave the canal and enter the Pungo River. We get to Dowry Creek after 49.4 sm and 7.25 hours.
Dowry Creek

Dowry Creek


The office/marina people were up on the third floor deck. No one was down in the office. I finally yelled up at them and someone came down so I could register. Dowry Creek is $1.00/ft and nothing extra is charged

I talked to the TOTALLY WASTED people about the best way to pass (most power boaters think they are doing us a favor if they go far away to pass, but there is much less wake if they pass close to us - unfortunately, I don't think they believed me- can't blame them too much - I didn't believe it either the first time.

We also met the folks from LADY LINAKA who were on the radio so much on the Great Bahama Banks in 2002. They run the SSB net in the morning at 0800. They are going to the Bahamas anyway in spite of the new fees.

We can get DirecTV without putting the dish on the Follow Me. I tried pocketmail at the pay phone but none of the numbers worked. I found later that I had two of the numbers reversed.

There is a lot of conversation about the courtesy van. The guy that took it got back to the marina and he'd forgotten to pick up his 'O' ring, and had to go back for it. We took the courtesy van with the the folks from LADY LINAKA and went to eat at the Helmsman and then went to the Food Lion .

Thursday 6 November 2003

We woke about 5 and Bob ran the refrigeration. It's too foggy to see the marks coming into the marina. By the time the sun burns the fog off, it's 0900 and too late to leave to get to Swansboro tonight. So we stay. LADY LINAKA and the catamaran traveling with her left in spite of the fog.

EMMA LOU (the trawler we saw briefly in Elizabeth City) is here too - she's waiting for a part to be sent to her. It started to rain and we had thundershowers so I'm glad we didn't leave. Bob spent the rainstorm up on the porch
Bob on the balcony

Bob on the balcony


I discovered that the RW drive for the black Dell is defective and won't work. I did figure out how to use the data port on the pay phone (with the aid of the directions on the phone) in order to log onto the internet via the 800#. Don't think I could do it with a local number though because I don't know how to pay for a local call. I took the silver Dell up to get it's virus definitions updated and I uploaded some photos . I even managed to get Diane of EMMA LOU's AOL mail. She normally does it via cell phone, and she gets no signal here. She gave me $5 to pay for it because the 800# costs by the minute. I have big bruises on my inner thighs from climbing over the lifelines (no pictures of that).

Friday 7 November 2003 - leaving Dowry Creek

Bob wakes up early and runs the refrigeration. It is slightly foggy, but we can see the marks. We cast off at 7:15 - the Toshiba gets crazy because the GPS has poor coverage. The big boat with the captain that looks about 18 (YANKEE NOMAD) left before us as did a trawler. SEA JAY was still there and so was EMMA LOU. When we passed Belhaven we saw some boats coming out.

EMMA LOU passed - Bob said he drove like a drunk. KITTY CAT - a power catamaran- passed also. We turned into Goose Creek about 0945.
Boats ahead of us in Goose Creek

Boats ahead of us in Goose Creek

Tug ODELL pushing a barge

Tug ODELL pushing a barge


We passed the Hobucken Coast Guard station.
Hobucken Coast Guard Station

Hobucken Coast Guard Station


Hobucken is remarkable for the shrimping fleet, and the Coast Guard Station. Coast Guard Station Hobucken is located right alongside the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway where they can keep a watch on people who don't obey the 'No Wake' zones. According to their website: "The unit is equipped with two 41 foot utility boats and a 21 Foot Rigid Hull Inflatable. There are 22 active duty personnel assigned to the Station. The station's primary duties are Search and Rescue and Law Enforcement. Station Hobucken runs approximately 100 SAR cases and does 300 Law Enforcement boardings per year. The Coast Guard Station Hobucken, is located on 7.5 acres of land in Pamlico County on Goose Creek Island. " The town of Hobucken, NC is approximately one mile from the station.
Coast Guard boat at the Hobucken dock

Coast Guard boat at the Hobucken dock


The first time I heard Hobucken I thought they were mispronouncing Hoboken, but in North Carolina that is spelled that way. I thought the name was interesting so I looked it up. In 1871, the mail came to Goose Creek Island Post Office by boat across Goose Creek from the village of Oregon, now known as South Creek, in Beaufort County. The mail was carried by horse and buggy to Jones' Bay Side, now known as Hobucken.
Bob going under the Hobucken bridge

Bob going under the Hobucken bridge

Fisherman on the edge of the canal with a cooler

Fisherman on the edge of the canal with a cooler


Around 1880, Mr. Wiley Mayo of Hobucken, realizing the need for better mail service, started trying to get a Post Office and a name for the village of Jones' Bay. After submitting two names that were rejected by the Post Office Department, due to other places in the state already having been named that, Mr. Mayo sent in the name "Hobucken", which he had changed from Hoboken, New Jersey, and it was accepted. The name came to his attention from a letterhead he had received with returns on white potatoes that had been shipped there. Mr. Mayo became the first Postmaster of Hobucken in July, 1886. The Mayo name is still prominent in Hobucken as the docks along the waterway largely belong to R.E. Mayo Fish Netting.
b1f34b10-f2a8-11e9-936b-694d1557e402.jpgPassing the shrimp boats

Passing the shrimp boats

Shrimp boat docks

Shrimp boat docks


We went under the fixed bridge and passed the RE Mayo free docks with all the shrimp boats.
R.E.Mayo free docks

R.E.Mayo free docks

b1634010-f2a8-11e9-b8d1-d1d02939a07a.jpgShrimp boat LAST SUMMER

Shrimp boat LAST SUMMER

Leaving LAST SUMMER behind

Leaving LAST SUMMER behind


Saw some folks in a small boat deploying s shrimp net.
Folks in small boats casting nets

Folks in small boats casting nets

Hurricane Boatyard sign

Hurricane Boatyard sign


The Island Packet PURPOSE came out of Belhaven ahead of us and is still just ahead. Bob puts all the sails up. SEA JAY (Whidby 42) is overtaking us.
SEA JAY in the Pamlico

SEA JAY in the Pamlico


Rounded the mark into the Neuse River and Bob took down the jib and staysail. It's pretty windy but not too uncomfortable.
Chart of Oriental

Chart of Oriental


We tied up at Oriental Marina after 51.4 sm at an average speed of 7.4 mph. Their price is $1.25 a ft which includes electric and cable (which we don't need). Their fuel was $1.38/gal for diesel but we still have plenty so we don't get any. Jeff and Carolee of CONTESSA came in after us and were docked beside us. A Mainship trawler with one of those names that is all vowels, but with a dinghy over the name on the stern came into the marina. They call themselves MAINSHIP on the radio. We see EMMA LOU anchored outside the harbor and later they leave.

Oriental was named after a boat. Which is appropriate given that the town is such a big boating town. Oriental was originally discovered by one Louis B. Midyette in the 1870’s. Legend says that "Uncle Lou", as he was known, anchored his sailboat in the protected waters of Oriental, at the mouth of Smith Creek, to escape a gale. He was sailing from New Bern back to his home in Dare County where he was a farmer and a fisherman. The United States Post Office Department established a post office here back in 1886. Ol’ Lou Midyette was named postmaster of what was then known simply as Smith’s Creek. This prompted the need for a formal name for the rapidly growing village. Lou’s wife, Rebecca, had the nameplate from the sunken ship "Oriental". The Oriental was a Federal transport that sunk in a storm off Bodie Island during the Civil War. It was decided that Oriental would be a good name for the village… after all, they already had the sign
No Mooring on Sea Wall

No Mooring on Sea Wall

The sea wall next to the free dock

The sea wall next to the free dock

Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn

Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn


Oriental had a 10 foot tidal surge during Hurricane Isabel. It was up over the electrical boxes on the pier and to the floor of the office. The Oriental motel has been turned into condos - it is called an Inn. But it still looks like a motel to me. The restaurant is being remodeled. The free docks were destroyed by the hurricane, but they have been rebuilt. There are 3 sailboats there - one each side and one crossways at the end which Bob thought was pushing it. This will make it hard for Jeff to get CONTESSA out as she backs the wrong way. Of course Jeff and Carolee like to 'sleep in' later than we do, and since their boat is faster than ours (as it has a larger engine), they can get to the same place as we do just a little later. Jeff and Carolee told me that they rented a car in Belhaven and did some sightseeing (outside of Belhaven obviously as there isn't much to see in Belhaven and they didn't see what there was).

Bob walked down to the The Inland Waterway Treasure & Provision Companies
Store as we walked to dinner

Store as we walked to dinner


There used to be a consignment shop in Oriental, but the owner died just before our first trip in 2000. This place has kind of taken its place. They have a selection of nautical hardware, foul weather clothing, books and charts, and they will also loan or rent bikes or arrange for transportation to the grocery store.
The Inland Waterway Treasure and Provision Companies

The Inland Waterway Treasure and Provision Companies


and then we walked over to M&Ms for dinner. The wait staff here are all nubile young things, but they give good service.
07-1748.jpg07-1806.jpg
When we get back, the Tiki Bar is in full swing. On prior visits, the Tiki Bar has been under construction or not in operation. However this time, it was in full swing. I was afraid that our friends from CONTESSA would be upset by the noise, but when I went up to take a shower, I saw that they were both there partying with the best of them
Tiki Bar at night

Tiki Bar at night

Tiki Bar and the Inn/Condo from our boat

Tiki Bar and the Inn/Condo from our boat


The marina now has a combination lock on the office door so marina guests can go to the bathroom after the office closes at 9 pm. They also have a dataport phone in the passageway next to the office but no directions on using it, so if I hadn't learned how at Dowry Creek I would have had no idea of how to do it.

Saturday 8 November 2003

We cast off before 7.
Oriental bridge

Oriental bridge

Channel leaving Oriental

Channel leaving Oriental


Although I look as we go out, I can't figure out where the Oriental Harbor Marina is. I take a couple of pictures hoping that I get it.
07-1409-Image028-001.jpgMarina  and Fixed bridge and boat anchored

Marina and Fixed bridge and boat anchored


It was very rough crossing the Neuse. We passed some shrimp boats and a Corps of Engineers boat going north.
08-0928.jpgCorps of Engineers boat pushing a barge

Corps of Engineers boat pushing a barge


When we entered Adams Creek we saw EMMA LOU anchored there. The Toshiba went to the Toshiba screen and froze so I switched to the black Dell.
PInk Seahorse House

PInk Seahorse House


Adams Creek fishermen

Adams Creek fishermen

Sea Gate Marina advertising fuel prices

Sea Gate Marina advertising fuel prices


Mile marker 195 in Adams Creek Canal

Mile marker 195 in Adams Creek Canal

Adams Creek

Adams Creek

Side of the canal

Side of the canal


DATE NIGHT said he was going to pass on the port, and then said our starboard, and then actually passed on our port. We passed the high rise bridge and Bock Marine.
08-0945.jpgBock Marine

Bock Marine


The wind is on our tail at 15 knots apparent. The second half of the range at sm 200 appears to be missing.
Passing shrimp boat

Passing shrimp boat


The tide is with us. MAINSHIP passed. Later apparently someone hit him and we heard him on the radio exchanging insurance info with the boat that hit him.
08-1037.jpgApproaching Morehead City

Approaching Morehead City

Channel on the back side of the port

Channel on the back side of the port

Looking up at the US Route 70 bridge

Looking up at the US Route 70 bridge

Bridge abutment

Bridge abutment

Red Tug at the dock

Red Tug at the dock


We can see Morehead City ahead. We came around the corner into the Morehead City turning basin
Turning the corner

Turning the corner


and found it FULL of little fishing boats
Fishermen in the turning basin

Fishermen in the turning basin


anchored or drifting around all over the place. We picked our way past.
Docks and water tower

Docks and water tower


Heard later that the preceding weekend the CG had to clear a way through them so traffic could get through. A sailboat near shore BONNIE CHRISTENE came out and went through the Atlantic Beach bridge ahead of us which cleared out a little fishing boat that was anchored between the fenders under the bridge
Atlantic Beach bridge

Atlantic Beach bridge


Later they (BC) pulled over and anchored. AQUASTATION and BREAKERS - big power boats passed us throwing big wakes and set the depth sounder crazy. Both came back later in the other direction at a more moderate speed.
08-1131.jpgSouth of town on Bogue Sound

South of town on Bogue Sound

Approaching Swansboro

Approaching Swansboro


We tied up at Dudleys. Dudleys is sponsoring a fishing tournament. It was real hard for us to get into the dock against the wind. The marina is 75 cents a foot with nothing extra for electricity. We got 28 gal of diesel at $1.16.gal.
Fuel hose at Dudley's

Fuel hose at Dudley's


In addition to the $32.82 for the diesel and the $33.00 for the dockage, we paid $2.30 tax. They still have a courtesy car - much fancier than the old one.

They've finished the construction on the bridge - the marina took us up to Riverview where we ate dinner.
Driving to Riverview

Driving to Riverview

Inside Riverview Restaurant

Inside Riverview Restaurant

My Dinner

My Dinner


Bob had fried oysters and couldn't finish them all.
Bob's Fried Oysters

Bob's Fried Oysters


The Marines are having their birthday dinner ball - a lot of them were in the restaurant in full dress.

Sunday 9 November 2003

It is very windy today and is raining. I convince Bob to stay another day.
Bob on RosalieAnn at Dudley's

Bob on RosalieAnn at Dudley's


We didn't pay the tax the 2nd day. Hear a boat offshore in trouble and they are talking to SeaTow and the CG on the radio.

Monday 10 November 2003

Bob started engine and we cast off about 6:45. I held the forward lines while Bob took off the aft lines and then I let go and the bow of the boat swung out very nicely. We made our way past the shoal and back out to the ICW However the Toshiba first wanted virus definitions and then said there was an error writing to the hard drive, and then asked for a boot disk. So it's back to the black Dell.
Moonset over the Tira plant

Moonset over the Tira plant


We are headed for Hampstead which is about the only place we can stop between the Swansboro/Morehead/Beaufort area and Southport. We passed the TIRA boat plant about 0730.
Tira plant

Tira plant


There used to be an anchorage in their entrance channel, but now that the plant is producing again, they don't want people anchoring there anymore.

We entered the Camp Lejeune marine base about 0752. There were no red flags on the observation towers
Camp Lejeune observation tower

Camp Lejeune observation tower

(when they are using live ammunition, they fly a red flag and there are folks with binoculars in the towers to see where stuff lands). There was no warning sign flashing. So everything was pretty quiet.
STOP Do Not Proceed (when flashing)

STOP Do Not Proceed (when flashing)


We passed a big piece of equipment like a tank which had something written on the side, but I didn't get a picture in timeA boat from Road Town (BVI) with maroon topsides passed and went through the Onslow beach bridge at the 8:40 opening..

The Onslow Beach bridge was a pain (again). We took a station pointing upstream to wait (stern to the bridge so we could motor slowly into the current rather than backing into it) after calling the bridge to tell him we were waiting for an opening. A big power boat MONTRACT from Annapolis passed and waited closer to the bridge
MONTRACT ahead of us at the Onslow Beach bridge

MONTRACT ahead of us at the Onslow Beach bridge


backing up towards us sometimes. JOLLY GOOD was back farther. The bridge tender put the arms down at 0900
Arms are down for the cars

Arms are down for the cars


and then it was two full minutes before the bell rang and another minute before the bridge started to swing. We had to circle again as we were being pushed towards shore by the wind and current. When the bridge opened, MONTRACT did not go through.
Looking back at Onslow Beach Brdige

Looking back at Onslow Beach Brdige


He waited until we were too close to maneuver.
Onslow Beach bridge closing

Onslow Beach bridge closing


I didn't thank the bridge tender (which I usually do). JOLLY GOOD did a nice pass, but stirred up the mud so that the depth sounder went crazy. We passed the anchorage on Camp LeJeune where we spent the night on our first trip in 2000
Anchorage area at Camp LeJeune

Anchorage area at Camp LeJeune

Entrance to the anchorage at Camp LeJeune

Entrance to the anchorage at Camp LeJeune

Houses along the ICW

Houses along the ICW


Barge with daymarks

Barge with daymarks

Closeup of the barge Dayshapes

Closeup of the barge Dayshapes


Bob pulled out the jib, and then furled it again when we went by New River Inlet where the ICW winds around.
Shrimp boats at New River

Shrimp boats at New River


New River Marina

New River Marina


Diesel at the New River Marina is only 98 cents/gal. We went by Swans Point and passed the Pink House.

Signs on the bridges say "Shell Fish Relay in Progress between MM 230 and MM 330" Never have figured out what that means. At the next fixed bridge I saw someone stop on top while we went through.
Fenders of a fixed bridge

Fenders of a fixed bridge


Towboat US came north towing a power boat
Tow Boat towing a boat

Tow Boat towing a boat


and called the sailboat at marker 14. That was us - but we didn't know he wanted to talk to us because we didn't know what marker we were at. He was annoyed and grumpy that we didn't answer right away and wouldn't say what he had wanted.
Tug parked at a private dock

Tug parked at a private dock


Bob went back to pump up the dinghy which had deflated due to cold, but he said the sun had done most of the work.
Underground cables - No anchoring sign

Underground cables - No anchoring sign


We got to the Surf City Bridge around 1100 and went through without incident.
x1110-1221uImage037.jpgSurf City Bridge

Surf City Bridge


Surf City bridge closing

Surf City bridge closing


LADY BARBARA passed and then slowed way down. A stealth power boat (dark hull with the name on the transom covered by the dinghy) passed. A Trumphy type yacht named MARGERITE passed, as did DUTCHESS (a trawler), and sports fishes DEB SHA IV and VERITAS. We didn't really eat lunch.
Entrance to the marina

Entrance to the marina


We got to Harbour Village at 1300 after a trip of 38.8 sm at an average speed of 6.4 mph. The charge is $1.20/ft with no other charges. THey have some kind of special deal now for people "north of the Maryland line" that you can leave your boat there for the winter for a special rate. (6 months starting 1 Nov) They don't say which Maryland line they want you north of (the northern border of Virginia (the Potomac) or Mason Dixon).
RosalieAnn and Bob between two big power boats

RosalieAnn and Bob between two big power boats


There's only one other transient there at that time - BATTEN BAY - a trawler. Later a sailboat from Canada NIKAN, and CONTESSA arrived along with another trawler QUE PASA? and some motor boats. I took the golf cart over to do email, and ordered Chinese while I was there. The delivery arrived at the same time as I got back to the boat. We had an early dinner.

I tried to figure out what is wrong with the Toshiba - the screen goes blank sometimes. And I called our son to tell him our plans for tomorrow.

November 11, 2003 - Tuesday


I wrote my mother: We had a most interesting day. I took over 100 pictures which won't get to you for some time. We are on our way past Wrightsville Beach, through Snow's Cut, and down the Cape Fear River to Southport.

I couldn't get a reservation in Southport, so I eventually called St. James Marina. This was to be about a 50 mile trip with two bridges at awkward distances and some possibly adverse currents, so we wanted to start early.

Getting away from the dock was relatively easy with no wind and no current although we had had a bit of trouble making the turn into the slip when we docked yesterday afternoon. We scraped on the white rubber edges of the floating docks.

We were underway by 6:45. I saw a blue heron on the lawn next to the exit channel but I did not get a chance to take a photo of him. It was cold but the sky was relatively clear. The French Canadian boat NIKAN left before us, and some of the trawlers and motor boats were getting ready to leave also.

Around 7 it started to get foggy.

We reached mile mark 270 by 0714 - a trip of 3 sm (statute miles) from the marina. At 0800 TRITON'S TRUMPET, a big power yacht from Halifax NS that had been in the marina with us passed us. We were aiming to get to the Figure Eight bridge for the 0900 opening because it was 5 miles to the Wrightsville Beach bridge and they only opened on the hour. So if we went through the first bridge on the half hour, we'd have a really long wait at the 2nd bridge.

No hope - by 0830 we were bearing down swiftly on the Figure Eight bridge. It was also getting very very foggy. We heard the bridge tender in channel 13 talking to various boats, and telling them that if they reached the half mile marker that they would be there in time for the opening. We were approaching that marker, so I called and told him. It was getting foggier although I did spot a large full sized giraffe statue on the lawn of one of the houses on the west bank.
Giant Giraffe Statue in the fog

Giant Giraffe Statue in the fog


Suddenly Bob said -"There's a sailboat!!" It was NIKAN circling in the channel - presumably in front of the bridge although we couldn't see it. We could dimly see a power boat in front of NIKAN, but could not really make out the bridge at all. Finally the bridge tender called us (i.e. southbound boats) and said "The bridge is open, you can go through now". It wasn't until we got right up to the bridge that we could even see where the opening was.
Going through the Figure 8 Bridge

Going through the Figure 8 Bridge

Figure 8 Bridge in the fog

Figure 8 Bridge in the fog


As we proceeded towards the Wrightsville Beach bridge,
Fog lifting

Fog lifting


the fog lifted and it became a nice sunny day, although I was still cold and went down and put on my thermal top.
BIrds (cormorants?) on the dock

BIrds (cormorants?) on the dock


Approaching Wrightsville Beach

Approaching Wrightsville Beach


Of course we got to the Wrightsville Beach bridge at about 0935. NIKAN was there already. The power boat that went through the Figure Eight bridge first had already gone through at the 0900 opening. About 0950, a sailboat from New England with a blue hull named LORD'S PRAYER (with two wind generators) joined the queue. We circled and watched people launch boats from the ramp on the NE side of the bridge (where we were) and the smaller power boats who were able to get under without an opening coming out of the marinas on the other side of the bridge.

The power boat BATTEN BAY which had been in the marina with us also was approaching and called the bridge to say that he was only about 18.5 feet and thought he'd sneak under without an opening. She said that her boards showed only 17 feet clearance, but that she was sure he could get through with the rest of us.
Following us through the Wrightsville Beach bridge

Following us through the Wrightsville Beach bridge


When she opened, LORD'S PRAYER was in front and they went through but NIKAN dragged their feet and did not close up the space nicely. But we all got through the bridge. As we came under the bridge, a Danish sailboat called MASHUA came out of the channel on the other side of the bridge and added to the confusion of folks proceeding down the ICW. At several points we were 2 or 3 abreast
Wrightsville Beach bridge

Wrightsville Beach bridge

Looking back at Wrightsville Beach bridge and marina

Looking back at Wrightsville Beach bridge and marina


Eventually we got sorted out with BATTEN BOY way out ahead, then MASHUA, then us, then NIKAN
NIKAN Following us

NIKAN Following us


and finally LORD'S PRAYER bringing up the rear.
Bradley Creek Marina sign

Bradley Creek Marina sign

LORD'S PRAYER with two wind generators ahead of us

LORD'S PRAYER with two wind generators ahead of us


We saw some kayakers.
Yellow and white kayaks

Yellow and white kayaks


We passed Masonboro inlet,
Masonboro Marina sign

Masonboro Marina sign


the Masonboro marina
Scaffolding on a floating dock?

Scaffolding on a floating dock?


Masonboro marina

Masonboro marina


and their restaurant Trail's End.
Trails End restaurant

Trails End restaurant


And we passed the Salt Dome House
Salt dome house

Salt dome house


The next interesting thing that happened was a helicopter swooped by about mid mast height and very close.
Helicopter right over the river

Helicopter right over the river

Helicopter

Helicopter

Speedboats on the left being photographed by the helicopter on the right

Speedboats on the left being photographed by the helicopter on the right


Wakes around us

Wakes around us


It turned out that they were photographing two small speed boats as they ran up and down the river forward and backward past us. I did get some pictures of them eventually - on about the fourth pass.
Shrimp boats

Shrimp boats


I figured the currents out and we had the current against us most of the time approaching Carolina Beach and turning into Snow's Cut it was about 1.5 knots against us.
Snow's Cut bank

Snow's Cut bank


Snow's Cut isn't very long, and the current wasn't as bad as it could have been - sometimes it is 3 or four knots against us. There are some new Floaters where a shoal has built out from the north side. MASHUA is way ahead of us and NIKAN is holding her own behind us. I look back, and there's a big ship (a small cruise ship but looking very large) about the size of the CHARLESTONIAN or larger bearing down on NIKAN in Snow's Cut. It seems to be going very slowly as it never does pass NIKAN,
NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them from the area of Red Floater #162

NIKAN in Snow's Cut with large ship behind them from the area of Red Floater #162


and after it exits Snow's Cut it disappears, so I decided that it must be going up the river to Wilmington. As we exited Snow's Cut there was a little red CG RIB (Rigid bottom Inflatable Boat) waiting - for what I don't know.
Red Coast Guard boat

Red Coast Guard boat


In the Cape Fear River the current was flowing out at 2.2 knots, so that made the passage down the river go a whole lot faster. We go down at a great rate doing as much as 11.6 mph.

We passed the Army Munitions Depot and there appeared to be little activity although there were some ships there.
Ships at  Army Munitions Depot

Ships at Army Munitions Depot

Cranes at the Army Munitions depot

Cranes at the Army Munitions depot


The little red CG boat zipped past, and we saw them later towing a similar little boat.
Little red Coast Guard boat towing a similar little boat

Little red Coast Guard boat towing a similar little boat


This motorized barge with a crane and two 'spuds' passed us. The spuds are the long things sticking up. When the barge is where it wants to stay, they put the spuds down to anchor them to the bottom. I've always seen three of them before, but this barge appears to have only two
Barge with spuds

Barge with spuds

Southport- Fort Fisher ferry with a speed boat

Southport- Fort Fisher ferry with a speed boat


We saw the Ft. Fisher ferry going to the north side of the river and the other one coming the other way. The ferry passed us on the starboard, and I took some pictures while the ferry passengers took pictures of us. Bob 'drafted' on the ferry for a bit. .
Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry crossing the Cape Fear River

Southport - Fort Fisher Ferry crossing the Cape Fear River


Shrimp boat trolling with a green net

Shrimp boat trolling with a green net


We heard quite a bit of radio talk about a Coast Guard boat that was dredging or diving or something, and eventually passed that.
Coast Guard working boat

Coast Guard working boat

Southport -Fort Fisher ferry going into ferry dock on the Southport side

Southport -Fort Fisher ferry going into ferry dock on the Southport side

Houses on the Cape Fear River in Southport

Houses on the Cape Fear River in Southport


MASHUA proceeded out the inlet -either to Bald Head or to put out to sea. Bob almost missed the turn into Southport and had to back up a bit. NIKAN was still following us. Heard BATTEN BAY calling South Harbor Village. We aren't staying there or in Southport because they are having a fishing tournament (like they had when we were going through Morehead City maybe). Southport told me they were overbooked, and South Harbor Village (which was sponsoring the tournament), wouldn't answer the phone. So we assumed they were full also.
Provision Company (restaurant)  dock

Provision Company (restaurant) dock


We passed Southport and saw a sailboat come out of the marina and go into the commercial harbor. Perhaps they were trying to find a slip for the night.
Southport Marina free dock at their restaurant

Southport Marina free dock at their restaurant

Gazebo out at the river edge

Gazebo out at the river edge

Southport Marina - fully booked because of a fishing tournament

Southport Marina - fully booked because of a fishing tournament

One part of a Range

One part of a Range


Passed the ferry dock for Bald Head.
Bald Head Island ferry terminal

Bald Head Island ferry terminal


We passed South Harbor Village where there was a big German ketch with stuff drying on the lifelines on the outside face dock, plus BATTEN BAY on the inside of the face dock
Big Sailboat at South Harbor Village

Big Sailboat at South Harbor Village

Table One Grill and Raw Bar (South Harbor Village Restaurant)

Table One Grill and Raw Bar (South Harbor Village Restaurant)


After we went under the fixed bridge a big PDQ catamaran named STARLIGHT passed us. We went past an airstrip and saw a small plane take off.
Private dock on the ICW

Private dock on the ICW

Entrance to St. James Marina

Entrance to St. James Marina


We turned into St. James Marina at SM 315about 1500 after a trip of 48.6 sm at an average speed of 6.1 mph. The dockmaster was helping a trawler named BAHARI to dock, so he yelled to the transient folk on GREAT ESCAPE in the next slip to help us and they did. They are from RI. Also in the marina was a transient from Canada named WINDSWEPT I. They have floating docks for up to 8' draft.

The rate is $1.25/ft/night (minimum 30 feet - maximum 50 feet) but they have a Boat US discount which brings the price down to 95 cents/ft. Electric was $5.00 and they only had 50 amp at our slip, so it was lucky that we had our own converter. THey only charged us for 30 amp - 50 amp is $7.50 and there is no discount on electric. By the week it is $1.10/ft (7 night minimum) and by the month $8.00/ft. They also have dry storage rates. I saw some white ibis on the lawn when I was coming back from registering, but did not have my camera with me. However I already have 100 pictures from today, it's probably just as well

This marina is sort of strange. While they have no problem with taking transients, but they have no services - no showers, and no laundry although they do have water, ice and fuel, pump out, and internet access The bathrooms are in the marina trailer which is locked from 1700 to 0800 in the morning. There is a restaurant that is about 1/2 mile away. They also apparently have bikes.
.
Wednesday, 12 November 2003

Today we had the Sunset Beach pontoon bridge to do. We left the marina without any difficulty at about 6:45 as we usually do.
Leaving the marina

Leaving the marina


The sun was coming up and it was calm with lots of nice reflections in the water.
Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections

Reflections


The bimini enclosure is covered with heavy dew condensation on the outside. The almost full but waning moon is still high in the sky.
ICW Red Marker (you can tell by the yellow triangle - that makes it an ICW marker)

ICW Red Marker (you can tell by the yellow triangle - that makes it an ICW marker)

ICW Green marker with a yellow square

ICW Green marker with a yellow square


I had fixed the color problems on the Toshiba, so we were using that for charting. As we were proceeding, I spotted something in the water - turned out to be a lawn chair. A small Contender fishing boat named JOY BEE was running up and down - back and forth.

We see several sailboats behind us. They pass us one by one. First a Gozzard ketch named SWISS9ER from VA, then a gold hulled ketch with a green stripe named FLUTTERBY. (FLUTTERBY had a Martin Bird broker sign on the bow so it was for sale and she was probably being sailed by a delivery skipper.) We passed another restaurant named the Provision Company (that was the name of the one in Southport) with a free dock and other restaurants such as this one which also has dock space for while you eat.
Dock Here to Eat

Dock Here to Eat


We passed through Holden Beach
Holden Beach Seafood

Holden Beach Seafood


and there was a shrimp boat with "Shrimp" on a sign - a guy came out of the wheelhouse and yelled at me did I want to buy some shrimp. Bob didn't hear that or we might have done. Also saw a shrimp boat with a life ring from another boat.
Shrimp for sale

Shrimp for sale


We thought initially that we'd be at the pontoon bridge by 10, but it is now 0827 and we are only at mm 325 -- still 12 miles to go. MAJIK SEEKER from NY NY passes us V E R Y slowly. LUNATIC FRINGE, a Canadian sailboat passes, and finally WINDSWEPT I - also Canadian who was in St. James marina last night passed.
Houses on the ICW

Houses on the ICW


BOAT HOUSE

BOAT HOUSE

Kayaker

Kayaker


Saw a house with an ICW #87 marker up on the balcony. Not funny or classy.
House with stolen intercoastal marker

House with stolen intercoastal marker


0943 - have gone 17.7 sm and are in Gause Landing, so we still are about 4 miles from the bridge.

A small red tug CAVALIER STATE passes us going north.
Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


Just as we get to the fixed bridge, the Toshiba goes bananas, so I get the old Dell out to do the charting. When I try the Toshiba later, it works perfectly OK. There was a sign on the bridge warning of an underwater sewer line, which I did not get a photo of.
Barge with a dredge

Barge with a dredge


A small trawler FANNIE'S BOY passed apparently thinking they would get to the bridge for the 10 am opening - no way. FLUTTERBY gets through by the skin of his teeth, but when we get to the bridge we see the other three sailboats that passed us and the trawler are all waiting. We all sat idling in front of the bridge for about a half an hour.
Waiting for the pontoon bridge to open

Waiting for the pontoon bridge to open


Eventually a UK boat called PENLEE CHALLENGE and a power boat named SEA TULIP from Annapolis joined the group. There is also a power boat waiting to go north.
Boat heading north

Boat heading north


When it is time for the bridge to open the boats are all jockeying for position, but none seems to actually want to go through the bridge. PENLEE CHALLENGE is ahead of us but waves us to go first. I took lots of pictures as we went through.
Going through the pontoon bridge

Going through the pontoon bridge

Bridge tender's house on a pontoon.  Sign says Do not enter draw until signaled by bridge operator

Bridge tender's house on a pontoon. Sign says Do not enter draw until signaled by bridge operator


Bridge tender writing down boat names

Bridge tender writing down boat names

Single lane road to the pontoon bridge - traffic switches directions every half hour

Single lane road to the pontoon bridge - traffic switches directions every half hour


End of he road on the pontoon

End of he road on the pontoon

Caution ----------- Utility crossing.  DO NOT DOCK

Caution ----------- Utility crossing. DO NOT DOCK


PENLEE CHALLENGE and SEA TULIP come through the Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge after us.
Looking back at the pontoon bridge

Looking back at the pontoon bridge


I saw a sailboat and 2 power boats that did not make the opening about a mile back. I think the power boats expected to make it.

MAJIK SEEKER gets behind us but the rest of them go racing ahead. Eventually we hear them at the Little River Swing Bridge. The bridge tender has an accent that is so southern that I can barely understand him. Listening to the Brit lady on PENLEE CHALLENGE talking to him is a trip. We come by the REALLY PINK house again. THe house that everyone calls the Pink House is up near Swansboro and is a spectacular house with a tower etc. on the waterway. This one is just an ordinary house painted a really aggressive shade of pink.
The Really Pink House

The Really Pink House

Crab traps with colorful flags

Crab traps with colorful flags


I call the Little River Swing Bridge (channel 9 in SC and not 13 like in NC) and we go through
Little River Swing Bridge

Little River Swing Bridge


with MAJIK SEEKER who is still trying to call on 13 or 16.
Lighthouse Marina sign (not a real lighthouse)

Lighthouse Marina sign (not a real lighthouse)


We have decided to stop at Dock Holiday's before Barefoot Landing. I hear later that they are so full down there that some people have come back up to Dock Holiday's because there is no room. We get to Dock Holidays's at about 1312 after a total trip of 401 nm.
RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's

RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's


The charges were 95 cents/ft,(without a discount) $5 electric and $2.50 for cable and $2.20 tax. . You can download e-mail if you bring your laptop in to the marina office.
Dock Holiday's Marina

Dock Holiday's Marina


RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's

RosalieAnn at Dock Holiday's


Bob goes to the Food Lion, and then does the laundry ($1.50 for wash, $1.50 for dry) and takes a shower. I go up and do email and get to sit in on a Chamber of Congress meeting which is in the same room (they are discussing a golf tournament and the Thanksgiving Xmas parade). Then later I also go and get a shower.

CONTESSA comes in and is put in a slip beside us. They were in South Harbor Village last night. There was an Oyster 43 at the fuel dock because at low tide they can't get into the marina over the lump at the edge. (draft 6'6")
Outdoor seating (we ate inside)

Outdoor seating (we ate inside)


The new restaurant there is terrific. It is called "Fisherman's Marketplace" is open for the first time in two visits, so we go up for the early bird specials. It's pretty empty this early. Bob has steamed Gulf shrimp, baked potato and salad for $7.95 and I had the rib eye (also with baked potato and salad) for $8.95.

We've decided that we are going to try to make it to Georgetown tomorrow instead of stopping at Wacha Wachee, and then try to get to Charleston on Friday. It should be possible.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 19:59 Archived in USA

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