Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Elizabeth City to Wrightsville Beach, NC.


Today we're at sea for some 30 miles to make the short run down from the Cape Fear River to Little River, SC where we'll re-enter the ICW and keep going down to Myrtle Beach. But going back to where we left off .....
Oh yeah, for those chronic complainers about the fine marina system we have at Dartmouth Yacht Club .... try docking at these every day ... and the folks here are just glad to have a marina. Water and Electricity..? Forget it!!

After leaving Elizabeth City it was back to transiting through the swamplands of North Carolina.

Man the unemployment rate down here must be very high as every day we see people out fishing ... instead of working
We passed the Coast Guard Station at Hobuken before getting into "shrimp country" and the shrimpers started lining the shores.
Passing through the Albermerle Sound to make our approach to Oriental, NC these creatures from the deep loom up over the horizon.

You can't focus all your attention on them as you also have to keep a look for the local ferries as they speed by you enroute to the communities on the Outer Banks.

As this is prime migration time for boats heading south, we decided that Oriental would be full so we found a real jewel further up the sound called River Dunes at Grace Harbour. Did I say "jewel"?? This is the nicest marina facility that we have ever docked at, at $1.50 per foot it was a real bargain.
The entrance was very small but as we approached we could see the paver stones that lined the channel.

The clubhouse was first rate as were the associated facilities such as the pool, hot tubs, spas, exercise rooms, and fantastic showers. Now this is a Marina!!
Oh yeah .... IAN!!! We found CLANCY's twin down here !!
Next stop was Swansboro, NC for an overnighter at Dudley's Marina and at $0.75 per foot you got a dock, great help from the staff, free WIFI, water and electricity. The dock wasn't so great but the hospitality more than made up for it. Just up the river there was excellent live entertainment at Casper's Marina that could be heard at the boat ... The reason ???? It was the Annual Mullet Festival !!
Next stop along the route was to be Surf City, NC which was one of our special stops on the trip south two years ago. Unfortunately, when we arrived they had gone out of business so we had to wait for the swing bridge to open at it's scheduled time before heading onwards. As you can see, the migration is really starting up.
The sites along this stretch of the river are a little odd to say the least. From the bright pink houses that are "way out there" ....
To the gian lawn ornaments .... 
The Goddess of whatever the heck it was .... 
To Smurf houses ....
We also came across this deal on a house ... too bad the lot wasn't a little cheaper.
Continuing on to Wrightsville Beach you still had to keep your eyes open for tugs and barges. The channel is very narrow and very shallow at the sides. This guy had 4 barges connected together and came right over onto our side of the channel........YEP.......! WE RAN AGROUND!!. It was only mud so we had no problem powering back up and getting into deeper water.
Our last stop for the day was an anchorage in Wrightsville Beach. We had 15 feet of water and great holding. We spent the early evening at a sports bar with friends and a great time was had by all. We all had an early evening because 6am came early for our departure and arrival at Snow's Cut before heading down the Cape Fear River to Southport .... Another Jewel.

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