Thursday, April 17, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 On to Southport Marina, SC

Socastee Bridge
Socastee Bridge
Sv/ Grey Ghost is planning on leaving this morning at 6:30am!  It’s not even light yet!!  Chuck says ‘no way’. He wants to be able to see when we leave this dock at Osprey Marina…so 7 am it is for us.  Our boat is in a very tight slip and to get out of here Chuck is going to have to back out of the fairway before we can head out bow first.  At 7 am we cast off our lines and everything went well, so we’re off…probably 15-20 minutes behind Grey Ghost…it turned out they didn’t leave until 6:45 am.  We almost caught up with them while they were waiting for the first bridge but up it went.  They were on the motored to the north side of the bridge and the bridge closed before we got close.  

Today is the day of bridges!  From Osprey Marina to Southport Marina, we will travel under 13 bridges while motoring from South Myrtle to North Myrtle Beach. The only delay might be at the Little River Swing Bridge.  We keep hearing on the radio that the bridge has malfunctioned and a mechanic is working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.  Hopefully by the time we get there, it will be up and working.  Yes, when we got there it opened for us without a hitch.  We lucked out with that one….
Rock Pile
Rock Pile
Next comes  ‘The Rock Pile’ which sounds very intimidating.  On our way south, it was an easy stretch to navigate.  It reminded us of the Erie Canal.  On our way north today, the tides are much lower and we can see the rocks and rock ledges that this area is noted for.  These rocks can do some major damage to a boat if                                        they get out of the channel.  We still had no problems here. 

Soon we will be crossing into North Carolina once we cross the Little River.  I can’t believe that we’ve traversed the ICW already through 3 states!  North Carolina welcomes us with Shallotte Inlet and Lockwood’s Folly today.  Two areas of heavy shoaling.  On our way south last fall, we heard and saw many sailboats grounded in one or the other of these locations.  We were warned in the fall to pass through them at mid rising tide, which we did.  This won’t be necessary today because they just finished dredging both trouble spots.   However, all it’s going to take is one or two perfect storms to create the shoaling conditions again.   We motor/sailed right through problems!
                                                   Pictures along the way in NC
What do you think about this color!
Now this is a boat rack!

shrimp boat

sunken boat

fleet of shrimp boats!
After 64 miles, we pulled into Southport Marina, NC about 30 minutes behind Grey Ghost.   We also know sv/Kokomo  and mv/Silver Tail are already docked in this same marina.  We've been trying to meet Frank and Donna of Kokomo.  Hopefully we can find them tonight.  As soon as we fueled up and docked, we walked into Southport with Charlie and Mary Beth, sv/Grey Ghost, while it was still light.  They've visited this town many times on their trips north and south so we know they’ll be great tour guides.  We checked out the water front and decided to eat at the Frying Pan.  The dining area is up on the second floor with huge windows looking out over the Cape Fear River.  What a spectacular view and what a sunset!
Inside the Frying Pan
The Frying Pan

   View from the Frying Pan

After we ate, our waitress told us to visit the bar, The Old American Fish Co.   This is where the main female character in Nicolas Sparks’ book/movie ‘Safe Haven’ worked. The movie was filmed here in Southport, NC.  We walked over after eating, but it was closed.  So, the four of us then walked along the waterfront, back through town (everything was closed) and finally back to our boats. 

We wanted to meet Frank and Donna on Kokomo and introduce ourselves but their boat was dark.  They must already be in bed!  On our way back to Happy Hours II,  I noticed two couples on Silver Tail.  So, I called up to see if Kokomo was there. They were!!  We got invited onto the 43 foot Silverton and finally met Frank and Donna as well as our hosts, Ron, Marilyn, and dog Trig.  We sat up in Ron’s upper deck.  What a boat!  What great people!!  Boaters are the best.  We left and got to bed much later than we should have.  Tomorrow is another early start….

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