Our original plans were to stay at Wrightsville Beach for the day but after a leisurely breakfast and walk on the beach, we decided to move on since the weather was perfect for travelling. Not many boats left early anyway because the town was hosting a marathon with close to 1,000 people swimming across the channel–that’s nuts!
The good news was that there weren’t any bridges today. The bad news was traversing the Cape Fear river. I know it’s psychological but just the name makes me nervous! The current is very strong in the river so using the falling tide is critical. We were with the current as we approached Snows Cut which takes you into the river. Once in the cut, we were against the current and slowed down to less than 4 knots. Coming into the Cape Fear river the tide picked up again and at one point our speed over ground was 9.5 knots! All of my fears were for naught as the Cape Fear river was smooth as glass.
We passed so many fishing boats and people fishing from shore and docks along the ICW. This must be the fishing capital of the world! Going past inlets is interesting and challenging. The inlets have a tendency to shoal so watching the depth is crucial (as well as watching out for the crazed fishing people!)
Coming out of the river we turned into Southport where we purchased fuel and tied up at the Southport marina. Fuel prices are dropping–a good thing for us! Our friends Cathy and Ken live about 40 minutes from Southport in an area called Brick Landing. They picked us up at the marina and took us to their newly built home. Their beautiful home was designed with lots of attention to details and comfort. We enjoyed visiting with them, having a delicious meal, sleeping in a real bed and doing some laundry. Bailey tried his best to make friends with their dog Razzle but she was very protective of her home and owners. They quickly established ‘dog rules’ and tried their best to ignore each other. Sunday morning was very leisurely at Cathy and Ken’s because we gained an extra hour overnight! They took us back to the boat and we left Southport around 10:30am. It took almost 3 hours for us to pass their neighborhood on the ICW!
Before crossing into South Carolina we had to pass through a pontoon bridge–the last remaining bridge of its type on the ICW. The Sunset Beach pontoon bridge is scheduled to be replaced sometime soon with a fixed overhead bridge. I’m sure all of the boaters will appreciate that! The bridge opens on the hour so once again we had to kill time waiting for it to open. We were with the current so even in neutral we were making almost 2 knots. After passing the bridge we motored into South Carolina!
Originally we planned to anchor out in Calabash creek but rainy weather was predicted for Monday so we opted for a marina. We pulled into Coquina harbor and docked at the Coquina Yacht club marina. We recognized a few of the boats already there including a catamaran that we met in the Dismal Swamp and another boat that we met in Hampton.
We had a fabulous Italian meal at Umberto’s which overlooks the harbor. Skip had the biggest, most delicious pork chop I’ve ever seen!
The rain came in on Monday morning and we are glad to stay where we are. We’re meeting friends Judy and Danny tonight for dinner.