Conditions: Mostly sunny, 47° to start, 66° to finish. Winds west/southwest less than 5 mph, waters calm.
Distance traveled: 42 statute miles
Time underway: 3 hours 30 minutes
Average Speed: 9.5 kts
Max Speed: 19.2 kts
Fuel used: 41 gallons (1.45 mpg – that’s great!!)
It’s really nice to be shaking it up on this trip – staying at places we’ve never stayed before, doing different daily runs than we’ve done before. Harbour Village Marina in Hampstead wasn’t just a beautiful place to tie up, it was also well located to allow for a nice but not too long travel day to Southport, NC.
We had a calm and easy departure at 7:30 am, a time that was strategically decided upon based on the bridge we’d have to open after eleven miles which opens on the hour and half-hour, and the bridge five miles beyond that which only opens on the hour (and we thought we’d never need to use math after school). Because of the number of no-wake zones and other things unforeseen, we thought it best to allow for ninety minutes to get to the Figure Eight Island Bridge which would give us a full hour to get to the Wrightsville Beach Bridge. The common advice is that you can’t count on covering the five miles between bridges in thirty minutes and if you miss an opening you’ll be sitting around for a while. As it turned out we allowed for way too much time to make the first bridge and an hour was way too generous for the next bridge, even with all the slow going. But we’ll call it a happy problem… we had to meander down the peaceful and beautiful ICW very slowly until we cleared the bridges. May that be the worst of our issues. And now we’ll know how to time it out better for next time.
Once clear of the second bridge we passed Wrightsville Beach Marina which was where we kept our last boat (Soggy Dog IV) for the last winter we owned it. The current owner still keeps it there so we waved to our old girl as we cruised by.
Beyond that, it was an easy trip. Our friends on Bulldog Sally joined the ICW just behind us after cutting offshore to Wrightsville Beach. They’ll still be going through the night with a plan to hop offshore in Southport on a run to Charleston where they will arrive in the morning. We love the idea of an overnight passage but we’re not there yet. Once in Carolina Beach, the ICW moves through an area called Snows Cut which dumps you out on the Cape Fear River. The river can be quite nasty in the wrong conditions but today it was all right. Almost two knots of current helped move us along, the water was calm and there was virtually no boat traffic.
We pulled into Southport Marina, always one of our favorite stops (and our last in North Carolina), and tied up on their face dock rejoining the flotilla of five we’ve been running with since Coinjock.
From the “all great things must come to an end” category, this was a point where it made sense for the Captain’s Dad to take his leave of us. A winter storm was coming to New York and if he waited until the next day to fly out it likely wouldn’t have gone well and his reunion with his cat, Princess Purrky, would have been delayed. So with lots of hugs and extra love from Jasper we sent him on his way… after he read something he composed for our arrival cocktail…
Grandpa Bernie would have been thrilled to cruise along the ICW with A.J., Tim, Jasper and me. Absolutely thrilled!
He would have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the hospitality that infuses every OLOH moment – the excellence that marks the roles played by the Captain and the Admiral – the special love that Jasper would have shown to his Great Grandpa – and the warmth and love that flow so comfortably from OLOH’s bow to stern, starboard to port. (And if Nanny felt differently about balance and boats she would have been right along as well.)
Since Grandpa Bernie’s with me wherever I go – – – Grandpa Bernie was here!
Thanks so much for a wonderful time together.
Cheers and Love . . .
Dad, Pop, and Grandpa
One of the best parts about stopping at Southport Marina during migration season is the daily ICW and weather briefing given by Hank Pomeranz (get all the details on who Hank is and what he does in this entry from our previous visit). So that evening, after spreading the word to other boaters on the dock about the briefing, we attended it to learn some more solid information and hear reports about shoaling and other vital considerations as we continue to make our way south. It’s always a pleasure to connect with Hank who so graciously takes a great deal of time and effort to put these terrific sessions together. We’re also humbled to be on his wall of fame, which he created to highlight boaters who report back to him on their journey through the ICW, corroborating conditions and pointing out new concerns and improvements.
Myrtle Beach is next. See you out there!
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