The water turned brown on this part of the trip as a result of the tannic acid from the cypress trees. As we passed Myrtle Beach, there was an over the water cable car system....which we believe was to take golfers from one side of the course across the ICW to the other side. At Ocean Isle marina, we tied up along the outside wall. It was an OK marina with minimal services.
6/1/12 Sunset Beach to Wrightsville Beach
It was rough on the Cape Fear River, but we had following seas for 8 miles so it was tolerable. Entering Wrightsville Beach marina we had 25 mph wind gusts during docking. This marina is very exposed to a southwest wind and the tide was coming in rapidly, too. We went to the wrong place for dinner. We were looking for pub food and ended up at an expensive restaurant by mistake. From the outside, it looked casual.
6/2/12 Wrightsville Beach to Swansboro
By morning, the seas were calm. There were several low bridges and some only opened on the hour. Timing was everything. At a very narrow channel, we met a small oncoming barge on a declining tide. The waterway guide at Figure Eight Island Swing bridge (278.1) was listed as a 65 foot bridge, but in reality, it was only 20 feet. We have no problem with bridges of 15 feet or higher.
Our marina was at Caspers @ Swansboro. We were on the face dock and they had good dock help. Fuel was $3.25 +tax. We went to an Irish restaurant because of the recommendation in Active Captain....someone had written that it had the best tenderloin ever. Well, We never found out because they only have them on Sundays.
6/3/12 Swansboro to Oriental
|Whitaker Point Marina|
6/4/12 Oriental(Whitaker Point Marina) to Bellhaven (Dowry Creek Marina)
We pulled out early since we knew we would be on a large body of water today. We meet many boats with AIS. This helps us identify the boat by name and track it's course to see if we will intersect at any point, giving us the option of changing course. Saw couple of barges, several large yachts passed us going the same general direction. Dowry Creek Marina was very nice (pool and tennis courts)a few miles from town. We took their loaner car to town for a late lunch and a few groceries. We ended up at Hardee's because the other restaurants were either closed or out of business. This town seems economically depressed. The marina liveaboards invited us to a 5:30 get together and we met several nice couples. The owner of the marina bought it several years ago with her husband, but now operates it alone. Since she's owned it, the marina has been affected by two hurricanes....one with an 8 foot surge.
6/5/12 Bellhaven to Elizabeth City We knew this would be an 80 mile day, since we wanted to get to Elizabeth City to rent a car and go to a great niece's graduation. The Albermarle Sound bridge will not open if winds are higher than 30 mph. When we arrived, they were at 20. The bridge opened and the Sound was immediately rough. We altered our course to avoid beam seas, taking us way off course and adding distance. Duke nearly lost his cookies on that ride and we were all glad to pull into our slip at Pelican Marine. There is a free dock in town, but we knew that we would be gone for a few days, so we felt the marina was more secure. The marina charges a flat fee of $35 per night regardless of overall length.
|At least the wind was off the bow most of the time, actual peak was about 35 mph|
|Brianna, headed for college with full scholarship|
|Kim, Brianna, and Stan|
|Brianna and Chris|
6/8/12 After breakfast with family, we returned to Elizabeth City. sailboat races were scheduled for morning, so the dock was full of late night parties.
6/9/12 We departed at 0630 so that we could arrive at the lock into the Dismal Swamp at 0830. We arrived with just a few minutes to spare and proceeded in with a sailboat and power boat. Dismal Swamp is a misnomer....it is a quiet canal with trees and wildlife...very pretty, but it was extremely hot (90's).
|Not Dismal at all|
We stopped half way through to let Duke have a break at the Visitors' Center.
|Duke's impression of the Dismal Swamp|
|Two of these ships were berthed right across the river from us, leaving Portsmouth Harbor just before us.|
|Influence of Scottish music on American, very intersting|