3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Friday; April 15, 2011

Wrightsville Beach Anchorage to Beach House Marina, Surf City, NC:  We got going early enough to make the 08:00 opening of the Wrightsville Beach Bridge; then we had to make the 08:30 opening of the Figure Eight Bridge about 5 miles up river so we ended up going 3000 rpm's to get there.  We made it just in time.  Next we had 2 hours to make the next bridge which was 17 miles away; made it with no problem.  At about Mile 266 we saw a dredge working.  It got very shallow in the channel-we got down to 1.4' below our props.  Needless to say we went very slow through that area-we did dig up quite a bit of mud.  Right after our 3rd bridge for the day we got to Beach House Marina, Surf City, NC.  We had planned on buying gas but the dock master told us that it was considerably cheaper 8 miles up the river at the New River Marina, NC.  He had just bought fuel and his price for gas went up to $4.75/gal; we are waiting.  Thought it was nice of him to tell us about the cheaper fuel. 

We are staying 2 days here because the weather forecast was calling for thunderstorms again.  Surf City is a cute little town right on the Atlantic Ocean with a beautiful beach.  Surf City is in the middle of Topsail Island which is 26 miles long. It is a very laid back little community and there are no high rises on the Island. We spent the afternoon exploring and had a nice dinner at a restaurant on the beach.  We also got some more seafood at a local store.

CO's comments:  I am already getting tired of bridge openings on the hour or half hour rather than on demand.  It is going to be a long trip to the Great Lakes if this keeps up.  A Sea Ray Sundance met us and passed very close without slowing down.  15 minutes later he came by again and passed very close on our starboard and giving us another big wake.  We came up to an inlet and he was sitting there; not moving.  Then he came barreling past us again at Wrightsville Beach in a no wake zone.  We saw him go into a Marine Max  with a "For Sale" sign on the back of the boat.  After we anchored I called the Marine Max owner and expressed my displeasure.  I told him his sales people were giving Sea Ray's a bad name.  He apologized and said he would have words with his sales man.  At dinner Friday night there was a table full of Marines from Camp Lejeune.  I stopped and talked with them and I was asked if I was at Iwo Jima.  I said I was not quite that old but I was ready to join them any time.   They all gave me a big warm smile and said Semper Fi.
Pelicans flying in formation
at the Surf City Beach
Beach at Surf City, NC
on April 15, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wednesday and Thursday; April 13 and 14, 2011

Wednesday (Coquina Yacht Club to South Harbour Village Marina, NC):  Left about 08:30 and stopped 1 mile down the waterway at Crickett Cove Marina at Mile 345.0.  They have the cheapest fuel in this area; Gas $3.70 and Diesel $3.65.  We had planned on anchoring at Dutchman's Creek at Mile 310.5 but it was too narrow and too shallow. 

N33 55.246
W78 03.709

Thursday (South Harbour Village Marina to Wrightsville Beach, NC):  We left about 11:00 today at slack tide to try and get a push from the up coming tide; worked a little but not as good as we wanted.  We went by Cape Fear River Inlet and went up the Cape Fear River.  We passed the Army's Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point which is the largest ammunition's port in the US.  It is barricaded by 45 cabled dolphins and guarded by several gun boats.  We crossed through Snows Cut and the current was terrible.  We went from 8 knots to 3 knots without changing our RPM's.  We got to our anchorage at Wrightsville Beach, NC, to find several boats there all ready.  By bed time our count was 19 boats in all.  We looked at the tides for tomorrow and tried to figure out what time to leave; we gave up and decided to just get going after we woke up.

N34 12.348
W77 48.057

CO's comments:  When ever you stop in a marina, talk to locals before you leave to find out what is ahead of you. I was warned about the approach to Snows Cut so I was prepared mentally for it.  On the approach we did pass a grounded dredge.  Watch your depths and the current.

View from South Harbour Village
Marina of Hwy 133 Bridge
Army's Military Ocean Terminal
at Sunny Point

Getting a little crowded in our
anchorage at Wrightsville Beach-
ended up with 19 boats in all
I can't get enough of those sunsets-
this one is at Wrightsville Beach, NC
on April 14, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Monday and Tuesday; April 11 and 12, 2011

Monday (Bull Creek anchorage to Coquina Yacht Club, SC):  It was a foggy morning but it lifted by 08:00 so we pulled anchor and were on our way.  We saw several more eagles nest with babies; this must be a popular spot for eagles; just beautiful. For about 20 miles or so it was slow going as the Myrtle Beach area is mostly a no wake zone.  We saw something unique for a gulf coarse; the course was on one side of the river and the parking lot was on the other.  They had a gondola transporting people and their gulf bags back and forth over the river.  It turned into a very nice day with a lot of Sunshine and not too much wind. 
Tuesday (Coquina Yacht Club, SC): We stayed a 2nd day because of the weather forecast; thunderstorms again.  Coquina YC does not have fuel but the Crickett Creek Marina, 1 mile north (Mile 345), has the cheapest fuel in the area; Gas for $3.70 and Diesel for $3.65. 

CO's comment: It is nice to be in port when it is thunder and lightning; especially with a sail boat next to you with his mast 20 feet above you. This is the 2nd time this has happened. It is a good feeling with all the lightning in the area.

Coquina Yacht Club, North Myrtle Beach
We saw a lot of boats in this predicament
on this stretch of the ICW

Lighthouse at the entrance to
Coquina Yacht Club
Markers at the entrance to
Coquina Yacht Club

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday and Sunday, April 9 and 10, 2011

Saturday:  The morning started out very warm and sunny.  By noon it was 80 degrees and very hot with out much wind.  Then, about 13:00, the wind picked up to 15 to 20 knots and the temp dropped about 20 degrees.  The forecast was supposed to be a nice, warm, day and all of a sudden they were predicting thunder storms, lightning, hail, and possible tornado's.  We had planned on a nice little anchorage but had to find a marina.  Of course we were out in the middle of nowhere.  The storm hit all around us and the worst was to the north and south.  Where we had planned to anchor looked like it got hit hard and we were glad we found the marina.  The marina was very small and in a little shrimping village called McClellanville, SC.  The good part is they had shrimp for sale at the local market.

Sunday:  Woke up to an overcast sky.  We left on slack tide and when we went by our planned anchorage for last night we were sure we did the right thing by going to a marina.  The creek was very wide, no trees, and no protection from the wind.  Up to this point, the east coast has been pretty boring; lots of marsh areas with no trees, and you could go for miles and not see anyone or thing.  After we went past Georgetown, SC, things started to change.  There were a lot of little creeks and a lot of trees.  It kind of reminded us of the Tenn-Tom Waterway.  By afternoon it had turned into a beautiful day.  We anchored in Bull Creek at Mile Marker 381.5 off the ICW.  It was the nicest anchorage we have had in a long time.  On our way into our anchorage we saw an eagles nest with the male watching over the new baby, the female must have been hunting-pretty cool.

USS Yorktown at sunrise 4-9-2011
Shrimp Boats at McClellanville, SC

Our dock at Leland Oil Co. Marina
Keith calls this a Piling Tree

CO's comments: We stopped at a little marina when it was thunder and lightning out.  We had the perfect place at the dock.  We were between a Sports Fish, with towers 15' higher than us, and behind us were shrimp boats 20' higher than us, the perfect place to be in a storm. 

Just wanted to let my friends in Red Wing know that we saw our first 2 Rinkers today since leaving Minnesota.  Below is what a floating dock should look like.

Fit and Finish; no cotton-pickin slivers