Monday, June 12, 2017

Southport to Coinjock - 2017

--Blogpost written by Bob

Another Day in Southport

When we woke up this morning, Thursday, June 8, the sky was still overcast and it was still raining.  The temperature was only 69 degrees, which felt cold to us.  We decided to stay another day until this rainy weather pattern passed and it warmed up a bit.

Southport in a nutshell.

A covered pier extending out onto the Cape Fear River.

The salt marsh at low tide.

"C'mon ignore those signs about not feeding the
seagulls.  All I want is a french fry!"

My TEVA sandal broke on my way to breakfast this morning.  A black plastic loop that fastens the back strap to the adjoining leather snapped.  I bought a pair of KEEN sandals on my way back to the boat but decided to repair the TEVAs too.  I used two black cable ties to make a new plastic loop--it works great!  This is the second failure I've had of TEVA sandals in exactly the same place, both after one year of use.

My MacGyver-type repair to my TEVA sandal is shown above
on the upper right side of this image.  I used two black
cable ties to replace a broken black plastic loop.
This was actually Maggie's idea!

At lunchtime Maggie and I were discussing how the trip back up the ICW is more like work than like leisure.  For whatever reason we are anxious to get "home" and the adventure that the ICW presented on the way down is not present on the way back.  I'm not sure if that is because we have become better ICW travelers--we haven't gone aground yet on the way north.  It seems like when we make a scheduled stopover, we have so many things to do that we're constantly on the go.  This stopover in Southport has been a little better since we have had time to relax between rainstorms.  It could be that we haven't really adapted to retirement life yet.

Southport to Mile Hammock Bay

We left Southport this morning, Friday, June 9, bright and early at 7 AM.  We managed to pull the boat back close to the dock house, get it pointed near the correct direction, and hopped on and continued the turn out into the ICW.  It was cool this morning--I was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans.  As we were motoring up the Vape Fear River, the tide was still coming in and the wind was against the tide--it made this very sharp square waves.

A Hinckley Bermuda 40 left Southport about 30 minutes before us but we caught up with them and passed them at the end of Snows Cut.  Our new 3-blade prop is great!

We made the first opening bridge of the day, Wrightsville Beach Swing Bridge, without even slowing down--it was perfect timing!  We made it through the 11 AM opening of the second opening bridge, Figure Eight Island Swing Bridge.  However, we had to wait for an opening of the Surf City Swing Bridge.

We just missed the 1 PM opening of the Surf City Swing Bridge by
15 minutes.  However, the shrimp boat "Theresa Marie" got
there at 1:45 PM and the bridge opened for her as
a commercial vessel.  We squeaked
through on this opening.

The Surf City Swing Bridge opening for the M/V Theresa Marie.

A new fixed bridge is being constructed to replace the Surf City Island Swing Bridge.  We had to anchor between the old bridge and the "under construction" bridge waiting for an opening of the old swing bridge.

We briefly went aground near the New River Inlet--this is an area where the inlet from the ocean meets the ICW.  I don't know if it was shoaling or if I was slightly outside of the channel but we managed to get off the sandbar by creative maneuvering (motoring toward deeper water).

Mile Hammock Bay is a public anchorage area
on Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

We got to Mile Hammock Bay at 4 PM--not bad time for traveling 65 miles on the ICW and having gone through 3 opening bridges that were on a schedule.  Mile Hammock Bay is located on Camp Lejeune, a marine base in NC.  We don't have to worry about pirates here!

Mile Hammock Bay to Gale Creek

We left our anchorage a little before 7 o'clock in the morning on Saturday, June 10 after sharing the Mile Hammock Bay with just one other sailboat, s/v Last Dance.

This early-morning view was looking west from our anchorage in
Mile Hammock Bay with the full moon in the colorful sky.

Thirty minutes from our anchorage was faced the Onslow Beach
Swing Bridge which had to open for us.  We
caught the 7:30 AM opening.

By mid-morning we were in Bogue Sound just below Beaufort
NC.  These are some of the homes along the sound.

Our American flag has taken a beating on this trip!

We motor sailed the entire length of the Neuse River, which
is very much like the Chesapeake Bay only
smaller.  Our sail shape was not very
good in this photograph.

We anchored for the day at the entrance to Gale Creek, just off the ICW, at MM 160 at 5:50 PM.  Today, we traveled a total of 84 statute miles (73 nautical miles)--a record for us!  For the 10 hour and 50 minute travel day we averaged a boat speed of 6.74 knots (7.75 miles per hour), mostly because we only had to slow down a little for one bridge opening early this morning and we had more favorable and less unfavorable tidal currents for the day.  Motor sailing for 2-1/2 hours also added significantly to our boat speed.  At the end of the day I was completely whooped!

Gale Creek to Little Alligator River

We raised the anchor at 6:30 this morning and slowly made our way up Gale Creek on the ICW.  We motored up a dredged canal before entering the Pamlico River and the Pungo River, both of which are relatively large bodies of water.

This photograph was taken at 6:15 AM looking toward Gale
Creek from our anchorage on the Bay River.

The Alligator River-Pungo River Canal was long and boring!

The Alligator River-Pungo River Canal is a very long and straight
dredged channel.  It was the last section of the ICW to be
completed--it was completed in 1928.

We saw three deer along the canal.  As we exited the canal, we started motoring up the Alligator River.  As we entered the river, there was a black bear swimming across our path.  We slowed down but upon seeing us, the bear changed direction to avoid us.  After we passed, he resumed his swim across the river.

A young black bear was swimming across
the Alligator River in front of our boat.

We finally anchored at ten minutes after 5 o'clock, after traveling for 10 hours and 20 minutes.  We traveled 78 statute miles today with an average boat speed of 7.54 miles per hour or 6.56 knots.  This was not quite as good as yesterday but still very respectable.  We made it to MM 78!

Little Alligator River to Coinjock

Today was a short travel day--only 31.5 statute miles.  We left our anchorage on the Little Alligator River at fifteen minutes before seven o'clock and arrived in Coinjock shortly after eleven o'clock.  We crossed the Abermarle Sound (several hours), traveled the entire length  of the North River, and motored half way up the North Carolina Cut to Coinjock.  (There were a lot of crab pot floats in the Abermarle Sound.)

Just before entering the North Carolina Cut we passed this tug,
Coastal Trader, pushing a barge.  In this photograph
there is a lot of metal bearing down on us.

In th North River (before we entered the North Carolina Cut) we passed a tug, Coastal Trader, pushing a barge.  It took forever for us to get around the barge but we did it.  Otherwise we would have been stuck behind it, doing only 5 or 6 knots.  Later, it passed by Coinjock after we were already in our slip.

We ran into some pretty skinny water (under 6 foot depth) near MM 52.  I'm not sure if I was a little outside the channel or if the channel had shoaled.

Our next blogpost will be from somewhere in the Chesapeake Bay.

Thanks for following our blog!

1 comment:

  1. Love the black bear swimming. I hope the ragged flag wasn't a symbolic comment on the current political situation.