Ahoy from the BlueJacket who is underway from Wrightsville Beach, NC
We've been spending long days moving and I've been remiss about writing trip reports. Today we were underway at 6 AM and we probably won't get in until after 7 PM. Those are long days! But we're making great mileage and as you may have noticed, we're in NC and only have 250 more miles to the start of the ICW in Norfolk, VA.
The last report that I sent was from the Waccamaw river just N of Georgetown, SC and I had just enjoyed a wonderful sunrise. I'm happy to report that the rest of the morning was equally as wonderful. This stretch of the ICW for the next 30 miles or so was absolutely stunning. That is, if you like wildlife and nature. On the river banks you would commonly see alligators and turtles warming themselves in the morning sun. The trees were full of what we think were Osprey nests filled with chicks. Navigation sign posts also seem to be the frequent homes to nests. Some of the nests were huge with much bigger parents and we're not sure what those are, but hopefully my ornithologist brother Larry will help with identifications from some of the photos that I took.
The stretch into Myrtle Beach was no where near as pleasant as the ICW goes down to a narrow channel lined with condos and apartments. Oh, and lets not forget the boating traffic. To say that this is heavily traveled would be an understatement. Everyone seems to be in a rush and throws up huge wakes. There are virtually no anchorages along this section and there aren't any marinas for quite a distance N of here, so we decided to stop at the Cricket Cove marina, which is just N of the Little River swing bridge. Unfortunately we were on a face dock and had to endure huge wakes until the sun went down.
We were underway by 7 AM the next morning trying to make as many miles as we could. There were wonderful stretches of beautiful homes as well as areas of just marsh. It's a pleasant area, but once again when you got into populated area, the weekend boat traffic was terrible. I'm amazed at how many people think that it's OK to push the throttles all the way forward and blast though heavily trafficked area. At one point we had a speed boat with three 250 HP motors running at full bore, bounce off a wake and come directly into our path. Luckily he was able to turn back, but he passed right along side of us.
The current on the ICW always seems to be against you. It's supposed to work out that it all evens out, but that never seems to be the case. Due to a current that was against us and the fact that some of the bridges in front of us only opened on the hour, we decided to stop at Wrightsville beach for the night. We pulled into the SeaPath Yacht Club, which had extremely friendly and competent staff.
Today we're trying to get to Moorehead City/Beaufort, NC which is 85 statute miles away. We had the option of going out through the Masonboro inlet which was near the marina or continue on down the ICW. I would preferred to go out the inlet and head directly to Beaufort, but the forecast is for a line of thunderstorms to come through this afternoon with a cold front, so we're plodding along the ICW. The mileage is the same, but you have to deal with currents and boat traffic on the ICW. Oh well, we'll get there!
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
Cricket Cove was $1.50/ft and $4/30A. They facilities are very nice and clean and they have a good restaurant. However, their transient dockage faces the ICW. I would not recommend staying there over a weekend, but overnight is OK.
The SeaPath Yacht Club is located just before the Wrightsville bridge, which makes it a great place to stop if you're heading N and want to get to the bridge for the hourly opening. You can also head out the inlet. Their rate was $1.90/ft + $6/30A. Very nice staff and facilities.
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