The day started out well. We wer up early to get going after sitting for a couple days and ready for the adventure again. The winds were strong. Expectations e\were that they were to pick up. Just outside North Myrtle is an infamous area know as The Rock Pile. I think the Floridians must have named it because it has rocks. The channel is about 2-3 miles long, stright and about 12 foot depth. It’s no biggie even at low tide. Apparently they haven’t seen the North Channel where rocks are a matter of which one you are going to ding your prop on. Lockwood’s Foley has been dredged and is now a straight line. The channel used to go just about to shore due to shoaling at the Inlet. It was 12 feet at 2 hours before low tide. The cruise was an easy one.
We were thinking of staying at the free dock at Provisions in Southport. A quick lunch or dinner restaurant that offers the dock overnight for free just for eating there. We decided to push on past Cape Fear. With the winds coming in the waves were about 6 feet on the Cape. We were going with the wind which makes a huge difference in the comfort and crashing feeling you get if you have to hit those sized waves head on. We passed trawlers and sails. I bet they were wishing they were us, no matter how much fuel consumption we use, as we would get around Cape Fear in about 45 minutes where it will take them at least 2 – 3 hours to get around. Those boats go at 5-10 mph and we do 28 mph. Plan this part of your journey accordingly because if the wind is strong you will be tossed around for a long time in big waves.
After leaving the big bend at Cape Fear we were heading north. I missed the turn to the ICW and Scott who usually reviews the plans didn’t have the time with all the repairs. In all fairness I did have a nice anchor spot all picked out. By the time I realized what had happened we were 12 miles up to Wilmington. a 15 mile cruise. With these winds we decided not to anchor and headed to the City Marina. The winds were way over 40 mph so this was a good choice. It would have been nice to be on the ICW and at a marina but apparently Wilmington was a side trip for us. Oh Well.
On the way today our camera died. Scott has been eyeing a new one that Canon has been promising to bring out for over 6 months with delay after delay. He wasn’t sure that he wanted the next model up because it was more than he needed. After much discussion, a few clicks of the mouse, a big sale and perks, we were in an uber cab heading to buy the new camera. I’ll never see him now. Scott just could not do the rest of this trip without a camera. He does love his photography.
The City Marina doesn’t have much to offer the transient boater but it does have power and water and is a great spot with a town nearby and a city available if needed. We managed to grab the wifi from the USS North Carolina across the water. The USS North Carolina is a battleship that was decommissioned and brought here in 1961. We jumped in the dingy to go and tour her but there are no docking facilities available and with this wind there is no chance of bringing her up to the rock shoreline. So we head back to the boat with very dark clouds that have been rolling in over the past hour and dropping buckets of water every 10 minutes.
As the weather clears into the evening we head to the town where we find a small, well equipped convenience store, bakery, breweries, and shops all along Front Street. It’s a cute town with a big city attitude. I’m glad we made it here. After a boat cooked meal we are heading back up for a flight of brew at the local brewery.
After an hour of “playing” with the new toy we have found out that the lens itself has also got issues. Now he’s disappointed because he cannot use the new camera properly. We only have a wide angle camera on board for the remainder of the journey. Mmmmmm…..