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By this Author: greatgrandmaR

ICW Trip 2001 Leg 7&8 Elizabeth City to Belhaven NC MM 135

Sailing up the Alligator River


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Friday 2 November 2001 (continued)

As we came out of the Pasquotank River into Albemarle Sound, we could see the line of boats to the east coming from the VA cut route. The waves, if any, were 3 to 6 inches and not 2 feet. There was about 8 or 9 knots of wind, so Bob put up the staysail. After we crossed Albemarle Sound, we entered the Alligator River. US Route 64 - one of the main highways going to the Outer Banks crosses near the mouth of the Alligator River on a Swing Bridge.
Map of Albemarle Sound and the Alligator River NWR

Map of Albemarle Sound and the Alligator River NWR


At the western end of the bridge is a gas station/souvenir /truck stop kind of place which is ALSO a marina. It's one of the cheapest docks on the ICW and also the fuel is a decent price. So right after we entered the Alligator River we went into the Alligator River Marina. We got fuel for $.959/gal. (It would have been cheaper if we had gotten more)

Aerial photo of the marina on the wall of the restaurant

Aerial photo of the marina on the wall of the restaurant

This marina has 34 transient slips, fixed docks with finger piers. They accept reservations, VISA/MC, Discover and Texaco. Pets are welcome - there is a dog walking area. Dockage is $1/ft/day with $4.00/day for 30 amp electric. There is free cable, but very few channels. The boaters lounge has 4 toilets and showers. There are also washers and dryers - cold water only. Pay phones are available and you can hook a laptop up to the internet provided you have an 800# you can use as there are no local numbers. Ice and propane are also for sale, and there is trash disposal, a launch ramp, grills, picnic area.

We had dinner at the truck stop. My son the trucker said a real truck stop would have dinners from $4 to 7 (which they pretty much did.) The menu was limited but the food was good. They also sell real ice cream for cones. The grille serves breakfast and lunch, and the grille cook is on duty until about 6 (so you have to eat dinner early). Sometimes the cook is a little grumpy.

You order, and go sit down and he brings your food out to you. Most of us had NC barbecue (vinegar based, not tomato based) but Lucette had a fried oyster sandwich. I'll have to remember that I'm not fond of NC BBQ. Dinner for the two of us was $15, and I got ice cream which was $1.52. While we ate, we watched the weather channel.

Saturday 3 November 2001

Everyone that was here last night (including the trawler with the cat that walked on a leash) has left. But we stayed here another night - it is cheap, and we want to get into Belhaven during the week so that things will be open. Bob washed the whole boat, Lucette and Max did their wash, and we got showers. You have to be careful when you take a shower. The lights are on a timer, and if you don't give yourself enough time you are likely to end up wet and soapy in the dark - there are NO WINDOWS in there.

We had dinner on the boat - Bob fried ham. Some more people came in - CASSIOPEIA from Canada, and POLARIS JACK - they were at a New York city marina on 9-11.

Sunday 4 November 2001 - Sailing up the Alligator on my 64th birthday

We got underway early. CASSIOPEIA left the marina first, and then just before we backed out of our slip, the Island Packet POLARIS JACK came out and then behind us was the power boat from Cobb Island.
01-747203.jpgAlligator River Swing Bridge

Alligator River Swing Bridge


We were all under the bridge by 7:20. It was cloudy, and the wind was about 18
knots, so after we went through the swing bridge Bob pulled out the jib and we motor sailed just like CASSEOPIA was doing.
Cassiopea sailing

Cassiopea sailing


I took a digital picture of CASSIOPEIA thinking I would give them a copy, but never saw them close up again (We did see them in Elliot's Cut in Charleston - but that wasn't a place we could stop and say Hi)

The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge is on the east side of the Alligator (the marina is across the river on the west side). Much of it is accessible only by water

Are there actual alligators there?
Alligator River Refuge

Alligator River Refuge


The website says:

"Many species of wildlife call Alligator River home. The Refuge and it's surrounding waters support many resident and migratory species of wildlife. Of these, 48 are fish, 200 are birds, 48 are reptiles and amphibians, and 40 are mammals. The Refuge supports wildlife species which are important from both a regional and a national standpoint. Its large size and dense vegetation make the Refuge a haven for species which avoid man, such as the black bear. Also, the Refuge harbors many species adapted to living in forested habitat, as opposed to disturbed areas, such as field edges. Many neotropical migrants, such as prothonotary warblers, black-throated green warblers, prairie warblers, Swainson's warblers, worm-eating warblers, and red-eyed vireos, nest in the thick pocosin vegetation. Wood ducks, barred owls, and other cavity nesters seek the old trees found in this large expansive forested area."

There may be alligators or there may have been alligators in the river but I suspect they are relatively rare.

We turned into the Alligator Pungo canal at 10:15,
Edge of the canal

Edge of the canal


and furled the jib as there was no useful wind. This section of the canal is desolate as the trees are just recovering from having been burned over.
Banks of the canal

Banks of the canal


There are lots of stumps and downed trees which sometimes slide into the canal catch unwary boats and damage them. We went under the new fixed bridge.
New fixed bridge

New fixed bridge


I cooked bacon and Lucette made BLT sandwiches using the last of the rye bread from the bakery in Elizabeth City. After lunch, Bob put up the staysail. The sky cleared and it warmed up.

We were at Belhaven and went into Robb's marina by 3:00 pm, after 54.2 miles at an average of 6.8 mph.

Originally named Jack’s Neck, Belhaven was once a bustling industrial town with a half-dozen lumber companies and a branch of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad.
Old postcard view

Old postcard view


Now, Belhaven is a waterfront town.
Free dock near River Forest

Free dock near River Forest


The town dock can not be used overnight (according to the sign) and while it may be a rumor that boats there will be confiscated. I wouldn't want to test it. So you need to go into a marina or else anchor out.

Robb's Marina (The actual name of the marina was Marlen C. Robb & Son Boatyard & Marina.) was hated by many people partly because of the owner and/or former employee. We've stayed there 3 times because it is cheap, and have never had a problem with them. They had good cheap washing machines (75 cents a load and there was also a full laundromat 2 blocks away), nice showers, and would allow the use of the fax line to download email provided you had an 800 # as there are NO local ISPs.
Marina building

Marina building


The fuel was also pretty reasonable. All the docks were face docks (no slips), and the dock girl dragged the hoses down to you where you are at the dock. You didn't have to go to a separate fuel dock.

They also had a small marine store and it was easy to walk out into town to go to restaurants. There was a yard associated with the marina, where people often have to stop and have repairs because of dead heads etc in the Alligator Pungo Canal.

Since it was Sunday, the only place open for dinner was River's End, so we walked down there and had the buffet.
River Forest from the street

River Forest from the street


The River Forest house is very pretty. It dates from 1899, when John Aaron Wilkinson, President of J.L. Roper Lumber Company and Vice-President of Norfolk & Southern Railroad, began building the Victorian mansion known today as the River Forest Manor. Their website says:
Lobby

Lobby


Italian craftsmen were called in to carve the ornate ceilings, and by 1904, the mansion was complete – with carved oak mantels for each of the eleven fireplaces, sparkling cut glass leaded into windows, crystal chandeliers glittering from the ceilings, tapestry placed above the mahogany wainscoting in the dining room and two baths so large that they included oversized tubs for two. Eight years after the completion of his showplace, Wilkinson married a beautiful New Yorker who shared the house with him for many years.
River Forest door detail

River Forest door detail


"Specialties include many Southern style, mouth -watering dishes. Seafood delights such as crabmeat casserole, oyster fritters, and unique homemade sausages & desserts."

I actually found the buffet rather ordinary. The service was very rushed (but cheerful and apologetic) and the place was very crowded. It was OK, but not special. Two dinners were $39.97.

The marina was oversold, so they had to put people on the slip going into the travelift. There was a group of power boats that came in behind us - none of them had been down the ICW before except one guy who led a group down each year. There was also a sailboat from La Plata. I talked to the wife and she was a little concerned about the weather because it was her first time down the ICW.
At the dock at Robb's Marina

At the dock at Robb's Marina


The boat in front of us flying a pirate flag was having engine trouble, and Bob lent them some wrenches, but they had more serious problems. Bunch of guys - plenty of beer on that boat, but no food. And no charts for the places they intend to go. They don't even know about Frying Pan Shoals, and they were going out at Beaufort and come in the Cape Fear River.

Monday, 5 November 2001

The weather was predicted to be lively but the boat from La Plata left anyway. Bob did the wash, and we talked to folks. At about 12, we went to lunch at the Helmsman. and then went to Eva Blount Way's museum. This is about the only thing to "do" in town.
Bob sitting in front of museum with a sign

Bob sitting in front of museum with a sign

Flag on top of the Museum/town hall/police station

Flag on top of the Museum/town hall/police station


Eva Blount Way began her collection with a collection of buttons she inherited and she added to it until she had 80,000. I was particularly interested in the button collection because my grandmother also collected buttons.
The collection that started it all

The collection that started it all


I was also interested in the museum because Bob's family has Blounts in it way back.

Some of the 80,000 buttons at the museum

Some of the 80,000 buttons at the museum

The museum also includes old coins, shells, early American kitchenware, furniture, old farm tools, Civil War guns and World War helmets. Other items on display range from rocks and stones from Will Roger’s stable and the Wall of Jericho to three prenatal babies in jars (given to Mrs. Way by the town doctor), an 8 legged pig, several snakes killed by Mrs. Way; one stuffed, swallowing a wooden egg, another made into a necktie, a dress worn by a local 700-pound woman (she died in bed and had to be craned out the window), a ten-inch-wide ball of string (saved by Mrs. Way), a flea bride and groom (may be viewed with a magnifying glass), and jars of Mrs. Way's home canned products (now well over 30 years old). The museum sells souvenir cookbooks. Mrs. Way started showing her collection in her own home as a way to raise money for the Red Cross. It is now housed in the Town Hall which is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.
Dollhouse

Dollhouse


The website says it is open 1-5 PM every day except Wednesday except on major holidays, but that doesn't include Saturday or Sunday, as it is not open on weekends. Also 1 pm is somewhat flexible - it opens when the attendant gets there. Free, but donations desired.
Town Hall, Police Station and Museum

Town Hall, Police Station and Museum


The museum is in what I think used to be a school. It is upstairs in what looks like it used to be the gym. Looking at the building, the entrance to the museum is the gray door up the steps on the left, the center door is the City Hall, and the right door is the Police Station. Next to the police station is one of about 3 pay phones in town.
Main street in front of the town hall

Main street in front of the town hall


The curator did get there and the museum was very interesting.

jcnctravel from VirtualTourist wrote:

The museum began as a theatre & was converted to gym. HS games were played there in the early 50's. My basketball team practiced there late 50's. Mrs. Way was my next door neighbor. I helped her preserve some of the snakes.


Max and Lucette weren't interested in the museum and didn't go. They took an electric golf cart to the Food Lion. There is no grocery store right in town. The Food Lion doesn't count even if it is in the town limits because it is a right good walk from a boat. Bob walked. On the way back, Max and Lucette came across Bob and Carol from a big ketch named CAROLINA which was anchored out. They had taken their propane bottle to be refilled and were struggling back to the boat with it, and Max and Lucette gave them a lift - it was pretty heavy and they were grateful.

Travel lift

Travel lift


A huge catamaran THE HIGHLANDER (dinghy was named (HAGGIS) which had been in the yard repairing their rudder which had been damaged and was being put back in the water.. Owner was a Scot, and two crew were Canadian and Australian. The boats in the travelift slip had to be moved in order for them to put this boat into the water. Later I found a web page about this boat called The Usual Suspects. I sent them a couple of my photos.

The HIGHLANDER on the Travel lift

The HIGHLANDER on the Travel lift

What happened (from the Usual Suspects site)

Minor disaster. On Mon in Alligator River Canal going south, a large fast barge going north moving north created large waves. Our starboard rudder crashed down on a deadhead bending it back & up into the hull. We had to lower the rudder post to clear it from the hull then proceeded to Robbs Boatyard in Belhaven,NC. They have a travel lift wide enough to lift Highlander. The result showed a wrecked rudder & a substantial hole in the hull, fortunately in a watertight section. We will get a replacement rudder from PDQ tomorrow & the glasswork should be completed by Sunday.

While we were in Belhaven, the small cruise ship AMERICAN EAGLE came in to the dock and to get fuel. (They gave them a discount on the fuel.) It takes the American Eagle quite a long time to fuel up. Many of the passengers got off to walk around town. Some got the electric carts. However there isn’t much to the town. There are only 3 or 4 pay phone booths in Belhaven, and there are all of two traffic lights and no gas stations right in town. So they soon came back to the ship.

There are a surprising number of privately owned electric cars in town. If you borrow a golf cart from a marina, note that the speed limit in town is 25 mph, even though the street is wide and there's little traffic. The police will ticket and tow the carts if they are out after dusk so you can't use one to go to dinner in the winter when dusk is around 5:30

American Eagle getting fuel

American Eagle getting fuel

We went to the Helmsman again that night and it cost the two of us $28.26 including tip.

After six hurricanes in four years descended upon the town of Belhaven - seven, if you consider that one of the storms visit twice - (Bertha, Fran, and Josephine and then Bonnie, Dennis twice, and Floyd), with flooding up to four feet, the town has gotten some kind of funding from FEMA to raise all the houses up.
The door post in the Helmsman with 6 high water marks on it - going from bottom to top is Isabel, Bonnie, Dennis, Bertha, Fran, Floyd

The door post in the Helmsman with 6 high water marks on it - going from bottom to top is Isabel, Bonnie, Dennis, Bertha, Fran, Floyd



Tuesday 6 November 2001

We got under way very early, (AMERICAN EAGLE came out of the channel just after us, and so did the HIGHLANDER - they both passed us pretty quickly)
Marker at river entrance with another boat

Marker at river entrance with another boat

Next stop Oriental

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:39 Archived in USA Tagged marina museum sailing belhaven Comments (0)

ICW Trip 2001 Leg 9 &10 Belhaven, Oriental, Swansboro MM 228

Meeting up with BEAU again


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Tuesday 6 November 2001

Oriental is one of our favorite places to stop on the ICW. So we were anxious to show it to our friends. Oriental was named after a boat. Which is appropriate given that the town is such a big boating town.
Shrimp boats in the evening

Shrimp boats in the evening

The Oriental web page says:

"Oriental was originally discovered by one Louis B. Midyette in the 1870’s. Legend says that "Uncle Lou", as he was known, anchored his sailboat in the protected waters of Oriental, at the mouth of Smith Creek, to escape a gale. He was sailing from New Bern back to his home in Dare County where he was a farmer and a fisherman..."

"The United States Post Office Department established a post office here back in 1886. Ol’ Lou Midyette was named postmaster of what was then known simply as Smith’s Creek. This prompted the need for a formal name for the rapidly growing village. Lou’s wife, Rebecca, had the nameplate from the sunken ship "Oriental". The Oriental was a Federal transport that sunk in a storm off Bodie Island during the Civil War. It was decided that Oriental would be a good name for the village… after all, they already had the sign!"

We got under way very early on November 6th. I was a little worried about the winds in Pamlico Sound, but we really don't have to be in it much. The winds were brisk going down the Bay River
Bay River

Bay River


and up the Neuse, but nothing too rough.
Barge with 'spuds'

Barge with 'spuds'

Tug and barge

Tug and barge

Pamlico Sound

Pamlico Sound


We went to the Oriental Marina. When we first came in the spring 2001, they assured us they had plenty of water (the marina manager said they only had "wind tides"), but we are more or less aground in soft mud. We draw 5 feet or maybe a little more when fully loaded. Depth gauge says less than 5 feet in the slip. Fortunately it was a long slip so we could be in the end of it and still afloat. The charge was was $1.25/ft, with no extra charge for cable or electricity.

From their website:

"If you arrive by boat, you’ll find fuel, laundry facilities, hot showers, and very friendly faces. A well stocked marine store is just down the street. Within easy walking distance are two sailmakers and two canvas shops."

Walking around to the local hardware stores is Bob's favorite thing to do. There used to be a consignment shop in Oriental, but the owner died just before our first trip in 2000. The Inland Waterway Treasure & Provision Companies has kind of taken its place.
Inland Provision Company

Inland Provision Company


They have a selection of nautical hardware, foul weather clothing, books and charts, and they will also loan or rent bikes or arrange for transportation to the grocery store.
Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn

Our boat at the marina in front of the Inn


The Oriental Marina put a sailboat in next to us named YANKEE COWBOY, which was so wide he scraped on both sides of the slip. He came in late and had gone 100 miles that day because he'd lost time to weather he said and he had to make it up (maybe he was a delivery skipper - I wouldn't want to do it that way).

Our favorite restaurant (M&Ms) was closed on Tuesday, so we ate at the motel restaurant. We've eaten there twice when were unlucky enough to be there on the one day of the week that M&Ms is closed. The first time we were there, I had a seafood au gratin and it was too rich for me to finish it. It really takes a LOT for a dish to be too rich for me - I love rich food, I love seafood and I adore cheese. So this was memorable.

When you have a seafood dishes with cheese in it it you have to be careful (IMHO) not to overwhelm the taste of the seafood with the richness of the cheese. In addition, the sauce was really rich.

Our friend started to order this, but I warned her against it as I knew she doesn't like rich food. Actually, our friends often order one entree and a salad between them and then share. I often deliberately order something that I know will be too much for me, and take it back to the boat and eat it for lunch the next day. Usually it's some beef dish (usually steak, ribs or roast) as I hesitate to do that with seafood. We do have refrigeration, but I just think it's a little more risky. The cost for two of us for dinner was $35.70

Wednesday 7 Nov 2001

YANKEE COWBOY got underway at 5:30 am, (waking everyone up), but we waited until 6. We had thought of going to Beaufort NC next, but decided to skip that (several people said it was overpriced and indeed all the marinas were very expensive plus our friends had already been there). so we went on to Swansboro instead.
On the way to Swansboro

On the way to Swansboro

Tug following us

Tug following us

Passing Morehead City

Passing Morehead City


Coming down towards Swansboro

Coming down towards Swansboro


Just as we went under the bridge before Swansboro, we saw a boat named ROSALIE. They were fishing.

Swansboro, like Elizabeth City, has preserved the atmosphere of an earlier time. Swansboro's main street, Front Street, runs through the historic district; and is lined with shops, some housed in historic buildings.

The town waterfront channel cuts sharply east-northeast from unlighted daybeacon #47. The broad, beautiful waters of the White Oak River border Swansboro to the east and northeast. This stream was once deep and much-used but is today shallow and quickly filling with silt.

Swansboro History from Claiborne S. Young's Cruising Guide to COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA

The Swansboro region has long been inhabited. Archaeological evidence indicates that Algonquin Indians occupied the surrounding countryside from about 500 A.D. to colonial times. Settlement of the surrounding lands by English colonists began around 1730, when Jonathan Green built a house at the mouth of the White Oak River. Green soon died, and his widow married Theophilus Weeks, who is credited with being the founder of Swansboro. Weeks was appointed inspector of Bogue Inlet and later operated a boardinghouse in the area. About 1770, he began to sell portions of his large property holdings, at which time the town's development began.

Swansboro was incorporated in 1783 and named in honor of Samuel Swann, former Speaker of the North Carolina legislature. Thanks to its proximity to Bogue Inlet and the White Oak River, which were quite navigable in those days, the town soon became an important port. During the Revolutionary War, a number of patriot privateers operated from the harbor, and several saltworks were built nearby. By 1786, Swansboro had assumed such importance that it was declared a separate customs district.

Captain Otway Burns, naval hero of the War of 1812, was born and grew up in Swansboro. In 1818, Burns brought national attention to the port town by constructing the first steamship to float in North Carolina waters. Today, a small park overlooking the water just northeast of Captain Charlie's commemorates this historical figure. The park's star attraction is a bronze statue of Burns.

Swansboro continued to prosper until the Civil War. Shipbuilding and the export of naval stores were the mainstays of the local economy. The Civil War brought an end to the port's boom days. Swansboro was twice occupied by Union forces, in 1862 and 1864. After the war, the naval-stores trade fell off. Eventually, the town's sole industry was commercial fishing.

RosalieAnn at the dock

RosalieAnn at the dock


We went in to Dudleys Marina. We've been to Dudley's 3 times and really like it. It has some amenities that we like (courtesy truck to go to the grocery store, and free lift to local restaurants) and the deficiencies don't really matter to us (rest rooms are minimalist). There is an internet line in which I can hook a laptop up to. The construction people keep digging up the line or something - although I had no trouble. The owner has an old scarlet macaw who sometimes sits out front.
Parrot in  Dudleys marina store

Parrot in Dudleys marina store


You can also walk across the bridge (now that they've finished with the re-construction) up into town to the gift shops.

Dudley's Marina is also a BP station (the station is open 24 hours) and boatyard with fixed docks. There are floating finger docks off the north side of B dock, but the water there is too skinny for us. Between the long dock that goes out to B face dock and the long dock that goes out to C face dock is a marine railway. Summer hours are from sunrise to sunset daily and winter hours are from 7AM to 7PM daily. The marina building houses the dock offices, ship's store and tiled HOT showers (although they don't look particularly luxurious). $.70/ft for a slip with no extra charges. And since the fuel is also a good price, we got fuel here. The gas pump said $0.929 for cash, but they only charged us $0.879. I don't know why and didn't ask.

Suddenly Linda and Rob from the CSY 33 BEAU turned up on the dock. They were anchored, and saw us come in. There is a good anchorage off the town. Depths run 8 feet or better, and there is good cover from northern and southern winds. Strong blows from the east or west are another matter. The small Swansboro city pier overlooks the village waterfront northwest of unlighted day beacon #4. Very strong tidal currents in and out of the White Oak River run through this anchorage and there is also a lot of fishing boat traffic. Tide is 2.6 feet . Be sure your anchor is holding before you head below
Swansboro anchorage and Caspers from Dudleys

Swansboro anchorage and Caspers from Dudleys


Our friends came in to town by dinghy. There is a general store with fresh fudge, homemade bread, fancy foods and wine as well as a PO. There is also access to various restaurants. Max and Lucette walked back to town with them (The bridge is half finished so there is a sidewalk on one side.) and shopped. We got a ride in (provided by the marina) and met them all for a meal at Captain Charlie's (We got to eat here since it wasn't a Monday) which is the premier seafood restaurant in Swansboro.
Capt Charlie's Restaurant menu

Capt Charlie's Restaurant menu


Since we were a party of 6, and I remember the conversation more than the food. I do remember the chowder. The meal for the two of us was $34.00.
Mural in Captain Charlie's

Mural in Captain Charlie's


From a review by Claiborne Young: "

My choice as the finest fried-seafood eatery in North Carolina and possibly the world. Open for the evening meal only, Charlie's begins serving at 5 p.m. every day of the week from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The restaurant is generally closed the entire month of January and remains closed on Mondays from February through Memorial Day. Charlie's serves a bowl of its down-east chowder with every meal. The restaurant also features clam fritters and deviled crab. Charlie's fried seafood is its greatest attraction. Prepared in some secret way, it has a rich taste that is unique.."

Thursday 8 November 2001

We had a sports fisher behind us on E dock and a dredge in front of us and some white pipes just downriver from where we were so we couldn't just head out. But the sports fishermen left as soon as they could see the marks, and Bob insisted on getting away right afterward -- at 6 just at sunrise.
Sun comes up over barrier islands

Sun comes up over barrier islands


BEAU was still anchored when we pulled out.
Beau anchored

Beau anchored

Next down Bogue Sound

Posted by greatgrandmaR 09:45 Archived in USA Tagged oriental north_carolina swansboro Comments (0)

ICW Trip 2001 Leg 11& 12 Swansboro to Southport MM315

A Gash in the Side of the boat at Harbor Village Marina and Swept Away in Southport


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Thursday 8 November 2001 continued

Bogue Sound is very shallow, so in order for there to be 12 feet (the controlling depth), they have dredged the Bogue Inlet Canal and put the spoil over on the port side forming some little islands.
Early morning reflections near Swansboro

Early morning reflections near Swansboro

Spoil Islands in Bogue Sound

Spoil Islands in Bogue Sound

It is very peaceful here in the morning. We are headed for Hampstead which is about the only place we can stop between the Swansboro/Morehead/Beaufort area and Southport. On these winter days, the sun is setting early in the SW - that means the sun is in our eyes from about 3:00 on. So we like to start early and stop early.

We pass the Pink House.
The Pink House

The Pink House


There are fishermen with little skiffs like this shrimping (casting nets) in the sounds and rivers. We can hear the shrimp clicking through the hull at night.
Shrimp fisherman

Shrimp fisherman

From MM 235 to 245 - the ICW runs through the Camp LeJeune Marine Corps base, and they occasionally conduct drills on the firing range which will close the ICW to traffic when they are using live ammunition. Listen to AM radio for information. There is also a sign at the beginning of the stretch that goes through the base. There were no drills today

The website says:

"Camp Lejeune occupies 170 square miles, (111,000 acres), including 14 miles of beach front along the Atlantic Ocean. With 54 live firing ranges, 15 major training/maneuvering areas subdivided into 56 individual training and maneuvering sections with 34 gun positions, 23 tactical landing zones, 26 administrative landing zones, 12 parachute drop zones and a "Military Operations in Urban Terrain" or MOUT training complex.

S/V Rosalie from S/V RosalieAnn

S/V Rosalie from S/V RosalieAnn


At MM 240 is the the Onslow Beach Swing Bridge. The bridge is run by the Marines. We reached here by 9:30.
Going through the Onslow Beach bridge

Going through the Onslow Beach bridge

157a7ce0-08af-11eb-9820-477fb1b5d1e5.jpgLooking back at the Onslow Beach bridge

Looking back at the Onslow Beach bridge


BEAU caught up to us by the time we were going through the Surf City Swing Bridge.
Surf City Bridge

Surf City Bridge


The bridge tender’s house is on the shore side instead of in the middle of this bridge as some of them are.
Surf City Bridge

Surf City Bridge


BEAU was the last boat through the bridge as it was swinging shut.
Surf City bridge swinging shut

Surf City bridge swinging shut


Fixed bridge

Fixed bridge


Beau catching up

Beau catching up


Beau passing us

Beau passing us


We went to Harbor Village Marina (MM 266), after playing leapfrog with BEAU and ROSALIE all day. This marina was dredged out of existing land fairly recently, so the chart doesn't show the location yet.

Marina location on the chart

Marina location on the chart


it is a flat $1.20/ft. They have laundry (closed and locked after 7 pm) and shower facilities, and email in a boaters lounge (also locked at 7 pm) but it is a long walk (about a quarter mile) around to the boaters lounge building with the bathrooms.

The only problem we've had with this marina in the past is the fact that it is a LONG walk to the bathrooms from the transient slips. They don't want you to do any discharge into the marina, but it's impossible to get up and walk to their bathroom in the middle of the night.

Today however was NOT GOOD.

We got there while the manager was not there. He promised that someone would be there to help us dock, but while the manager is away, the dock hands slack off. It is difficult to get into the transient slips in a south wind (which we often have), and the marina manager keeps his boat on the gas dock where it is in the way if your boat is blown around.

They assigned us slip A14. Unfortunately A14 had been almost completely wiped out yesterday or the day before by some incompetent, and the float at the end of the floating dock was knocked into the A14 slip. There was no dock help and the piece of float sticking out apparently took a large gouge out of our boat. Bob was upset particularly because when he told the marina employee about the dock that was damaged, the marina boy acted as though it was an over-reaction. And the marina manager was more upset because there was no one there to handle the dock lines. He refunded our dockage fees

This is a very isolated marina and there is nothing around to walk to. They used to let you have the marina truck after hours to go to get food. Otherwise you have to eat on the boat or get take-out and have it delivered. We nearly always get Chinese delivered from Panda when we are there. I got General Tsu's Chicken ($7.25 with white rice as a single entree) and Bob usually gets Sweet and Sour Pork.

After looking at it, Bob says the 'gash' in the boat was just rubber off the dock pressed into the side of the boat. He used a scotchbrite pad and scrubbed it off. The only damage was that some of the protective polymer that we put on the boat to make the fiberglass shiney (sort of like a wax) was removed.
Cleaned off gash - light line on the side of the boat

Cleaned off gash - light line on the side of the boat


It did look real bad. Like about 5 feet cut along the side of the boat. But it wasn't really that bad.

Friday 9 Nov 2001

Today we expect to be south of Southport. We got underway before 7. We left early to get through two bridges and get to Snow's Cut when the current won't be against us.

The two bridges that are about 5 miles apart. We normally travel about 5 knots or 6 mph. The first bridge - the Figure 8 bridge opens on the hour and half hour. The second bridge - the Wrightsville bridge - opens only on the hour. Last year we got from the Figure 8 bridge (which is a private bridge and only people who have passes to that island can go over it by car) to the Wrightsville Bridge in 1/2 hour. Therefore, I was convinced that the distance was mis-measured.
Figure 8 Swing Bridge

Figure 8 Swing Bridge


As before, we went through the Figure 8 bridge on the half hour. We reached the half mile from the Figure 8 bridge marker at 8:29. Also there with us was FAIRWIND (a clueless green ketch - probably an Irwin), trawlers OUTBOUND and GALLEY HO, JAZZEBELLE a big new sailboat from Canada and GALLIVANT (a *large* motor yacht from Palm Beach). All had been at Harbor Village last night with us. We all were through the bridge by 8:33.

We come down to the Wrightsville Beach bridge assisted by the current at 6.5 knots, but we don't get there in time for the 9:00 opening. Neither do the others in our group except for GALLIVANT which was speedier. So we slacked off.

Waiting for the Wrightsville Beach bridge

Waiting for the Wrightsville Beach bridge

Suddenly at 9:11, the Wrightsville Beach bridge tender announced "I have a maintenance opening, and if all you sailboats get up here, you can go through". We could see a person in a Tyvek suit running around on the bridge, and then the cars stopped and the bridge raised. We were all through the bridge (in spite of FAIRWINDS getting crossways in the channel and blocking everyone) by 9:16. The distance between the bridges was actually 4.7 miles and not 5, but it wasn't as much of a difference as I thought.

FAIRWINDs went into Wrightsville Beach, and we went on down and through Snow's Cut and continued down the Cape Fear River by Sunny Point Army Munitions Depot. The Coast Guard Auxiliary boat was patrolling to see that we didn't get too close, and a sports fisher that did the CG Auxiliary apparently called the CG who went after them.

Sunny Point Army Munitions Depot

Sunny Point Army Munitions Depot

There was a boat named CORNHUSKER STATE with multiple streams of water pouring out of it at the pier apparently being loaded with explosives - we decided that the water was some type fire suppression system.
Tanker going down the river

Tanker going down the river


We saw a bald eagle on a piling south of the depot, and then saw the Ft. Fisher automobile ferries and went past Southport.
Fort Fisher - Southport Ferry

Fort Fisher - Southport Ferry


[The first year we came south (2000), we stopped at Bald Head instead of Southport, and also stopped there on the way back. This time we went past Southport to South Harbor Village. We didn't actually STOP at Southport until April 2002.]

2b2a3ee0-08af-11eb-811f-1de9b1920eeb.jpgSouthport shore

Southport shore

Pier

Pier

At about 1:40, we came into the South Harbor Marina at MM 311.4. We saw BEAU in a Southport marina as we passed.
Southport Marina

Southport Marina


The South Harbor Village marina was not even open until June 2001, so it wasn't there when we came up last time. Their transient overnight fee is $1.00/ft, $3.00 for 30 amp and $5.00 for 50 amp. They have only ONE washer and one dryer and showers but only ONE per sex, and they also serve as bathrooms for the restaurant - there is no lock on the doors. There is a deli but the only thing they have there (according to Bob) is meat for sandwiches. There is also a *small* store and a bed and breakfast. They have a courtesy phone and an internet connection which is open only while the office is open. Cable TV is free as is water.

It was a former menhaden plant. They have a long face dock on the waterway and put transients inside and outside on the face dock. There are slips sticking out into the basin from one end of the face dock, and two sections in the basin and one section at the far end of the face dock. There is a grass lump used to be under the old menhaden boat docks where they unloaded their catch. That docks don't go out as far in that area.

Marina location on the chart

Marina location on the chart


The stack on the chart is one of the old processing stacks and isn't there anymore.

They wanted us to come in and tie port side to, which necessitated getting into the dock with the port side next to the inside which should have been easy. Unfortunately the boat only backs to starboard and the wind was carrying us away from the dock.

As we tried to turn to make another pass, the current caught us and carried us sideways down the fairway. As Bob tried to regain control without running aground on the grass lump or hitting anyone else's boat, the dock master and other boaters ran up and down the piers trying to decide where we'd end up. Eventually at the end of the dock, the cross dock lessened the current, and Bob was able to back all the way back up to the entrance and make a better approach - starboard side to.

We tied up after 43.8 miles or a total of 393 nautical miles for the trip. The dockmaster's comment was - I guess I forgot to mention that we have current.

There are six various sized sailboats on the inside of the transient dock which is 500 feet I think With us were HARMONY (Denise and Jim) who keep their boat at Solomons, ROB'S JUL (Rob whose wife's name is Julie, CJ VI (Canadian), ADANACO (which is O Canada backwards) and PENELOPE JANE (also from Canada).

The fuel is not particularly cheap. They are getting it for 67 cents (diesel) and selling it for $1.09. (Lucette signed for a fuel delivery when she was up doing email.)

We ate dinner at the Fish Factory restaurant, which was the only restaurant that was open in the complex at the time and there's nothing else around there. We ate upstairs - it was too dark to see much outside. The website says:

"Family fare and waterfront dining is our trademark. Choose from prime rib or fresh shrimp, oysters, or scallops in season. Unmatched waterfront views overlooking the intracoastal waterway just one mile south of Southport."

Lucette left and went to the market with the marina manager, so she didn't get to eat any dinner before she left as the meal hadn't come yet.The dinner for the two of us was $38.14. I'm not sure what we ate - the food was OK The grocery store is 2-6 miles a way. Dockmaster said 2, but my Lucette said it was more like 6.

Lucette and I have discovered independently that if we flush the toilet at night without turning on the lights that we can see phosphorescence.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:30 Archived in USA Tagged shrimp southport camp_lejeune pink_house bogue_sound munitions_depot Comments (0)

ICW Trip Leg 13 &14 Southport NC to Georgetown SC MM 403

Venturing South to SOUTH Carolina


View Summer, 9-11-2001 - and then the 2nd time down the ICW & Bermuda on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Saturday 10 Nov 2001- Leaving Southport

Today we have to go through the only pontoon bridge on the east coast ICW. It floats on the water so you can't get under it. Last year we heard that it couldn't open at low tide because it didn't have enough water. The tides are increasing and they will be up to 8 feet in GA - but here in SC, they are only about 5 -6 feet. The bridge only opens on the hour.

We get underway (HARMONY goes first) before 7:15. ADANACO passed us, and PENELOPE JANE, CJ VI and ROB's JUL soon followed. The tide was low, but the bridge was about 24 miles away. The tide goes from low to high every six hours, and we travel about 5 miles per hour so we should be there right about high tide.
Piers and wharfs at half high tide

Piers and wharfs at half high tide


We saw people out scraping barnacles off their pilings, and at least 2 sailboats sitting tied to the dock completely out of the water resting on their keels. Some crab pots are out of the water too.

We hear that the smoke from fires is so bad that the bridge is closed. It gets close to 11:00 and we are still almost 3 miles from the bridge. We are not going to make it. HARMONY is already up there and we see them go through.
ROB'S JUL

ROB'S JUL


ROB's JUL passes us, and gets down close to the bridge. We've cut back on the power. We have an hour to wait.
Bridge beginning to open

Bridge beginning to open


Or do we? There is a considerable conversation on the radio from TowBoat US. Apparently the tow boat has to go through the bridge, so it will open.
1ce58420-09e0-11eb-91af-b991bfd023e9.jpgBridge pulled aside

Bridge pulled aside


And all of us slower boats get through the bridge.
RosalieAnn from Penelope.  Max is on the port side - I'm on the starboard

RosalieAnn from Penelope. Max is on the port side - I'm on the starboard


Bridge tender writing down names

Bridge tender writing down names

Traffic waiting - the bridge is one lane.  Traffic switches direction on the half hour

Traffic waiting - the bridge is one lane. Traffic switches direction on the half hour


I took a lot of pictures and so did Penelope of PENELOPE JANE.

(Penelope and I exchanged photos of each other that evening.)
Penelope Jane from RosalieAnn - looking back at the Pontoon bridge

Penelope Jane from RosalieAnn - looking back at the Pontoon bridge


Some of the Canadian boats stopped at Sunset Beach to pick up mail.
Big boat passes

Big boat passes


Lighthouse through the lifelines

Lighthouse through the lifelines


The VERY pink house

The VERY pink house


We have 2 other bridges to go through, both on request. One is the Little River bridge and one is Barefoot Landing. Since some of the boats have stopped they aren't going to be going through these two bridges. Other boats aren't aware that their friends have stopped, and they try to get the Little River Bridge to wait for them. We don't want to wait and we go through. They hang back waiting for the others who are not coming. Then when they get there the Little River Bridge, it doesn't want to open again right away.
3262eb80-09e0-11eb-805e-0db845e2aa71.jpgComing into the rockpile

Coming into the rockpile


We are approaching Barefoot Landing. Barefoot Landing is at the beginning of a section of the InterCoastal Waterway called the Pine Island Cut AKA The Rockpile. It is one of the nastiest anywhere, not only because of the original construction with rock ledges are often under water at high tide sticking out just a few inches under the water pretty much invisible, but because building along the canal allows debris (such as big trees) and mudslide to go down into the canal. There are advertisements on the bridge abutments for towing and propellor repair - those people have a good business fixing the boats that are damaged by the canal. Several people have had a problem with dead heads doing damage to their boats.

The Barefoot Swing Bridge is a new bridge which should not have been built because all new bridges are supposed to be fixed (non-opening) bridges at least 65 feet tall.After we went through the Barefoot bridge, we tied up at Barefoot Landing. This is a free dock by a big outlet mall area. When we were there the dock were free but there were no electrical connections, and no other services (such as bathrooms, showers or phone or TV hookups). There may have been wi-fi.

This has been called the most expensive free dock on the ICW There is 500 or so feet of dock, The first arrivals tie to the dock and then later arrivals raft onto each other. There were at least 36 boats there (mostly monohull sailboats), rafted to the maximum of 4 in a lot of places.
Rafted sailboats

Rafted sailboats

Rafting at the other end of the dock

Rafting at the other end of the dock

Free dock with the Barefoot Swing Bridge in the background

Free dock with the Barefoot Swing Bridge in the background

Canadian boat

Canadian boat

Looking back along the raft-up from the north end

Looking back along the raft-up from the north end


There was one place where they were rafted 5 deep and when the paddlewheel boat tried to turn to come into the pier I thought it was going to skewer us with the boarding ladder.
189c8fd0-09e0-11eb-805e-0db845e2aa71.jpgRiverboat after almost skewering the rafted boats

Riverboat after almost skewering the rafted boats


We had a sailboat from Boston outside us and a power boat named SHARON LEE inside of us, and inside of him was a somewhat unfortunate looking yawl.
large_47269fd0-09e0-11eb-805e-0db845e2aa71.jpgRosalieAnn rafted - from the stern

RosalieAnn rafted - from the stern

Our raft of boats apparently shifted forward when the tide/current changed and our anchor and that of the boat outside of us came perilously close to the hard dinghy of CAROLINA the boat in front. After some running around and pulling and tugging, we got everyone straightened out. (Bob and Carol of CAROLINA were in Belhaven anchored out and Max and Lucette took their propane bottle from the store to the dinghy dock for them in the marina's electric golf cart.)
Tiny Australian boat that refused to raft

Tiny Australian boat that refused to raft


There was an Australian guy who was in a little boat on the pier and he said he refused to have anyone raft off of him because he only had 4 cleats and 2 of them pulled out the last time he was rafted. I thought this was egregious - he could have been on the outer end of a raft and not taken up prime dock space. Or he could have had his boat in better repair.

We went up to dinner to T-Bonz, and they said we'd have to wait. It was only 5:15 and the place was half empty. Then we went to a crab place - same story - empty restaurant and we'd have to wait. We walked out. We went to Johnny Rocket's, which is a hamburger and malt type place. The wait staff does the macarena etc. I don't remember specifically what we ate, but I always want ice cream when I'm traveling by boat. Our boat doesn't have a freezer that keeps ice cream. But in addition to burgers, and fries, they also have sandwiches, chili, shakes, malts and apple pie

Tomorrow's destination is Georgetown South Carolina. The first time we came down the ICW in 2000, we skipped Georgetown because we were trying to get to Charleston before Thanksgiving. We stopped in McClellanville instead. We decided never to go there again, so on the way back we stopped in Georgetown. We wanted our friends to see Georgetown too, so tomorrow we go through the Rockpile.

Sunday 11 November 2001

MARCUS who was the outside of his raft wanted to stay another day to shop more, but the people inside him didn't. He got underway early, and got stuck when he tried to turn around. A little tug type trawler called KNOCK OUT tried to pull him off. When they took a strain on the line the boat heeled but didn't move. Heard later that he was high and dry at low tide stuck on the rock ledges.
Edges of the rockpile at low tide

Edges of the rockpile at low tide


We kept cautiously in the middle.
Pine Island Cut with golf skyway in the distance

Pine Island Cut with golf skyway in the distance


Passed the place where the skyway takes golfers from the clubhouse to the course over the canal.
Waving manikin

Waving manikin


There was also a waving man or statue or manikin. Lucette waved back before she realized that it wasn't a real person
New bridge in 2000 in the rain

New bridge in 2000 in the rain


Then we came to the two bridges which they were starting construction on last year
New bridge in 2001

New bridge in 2001


SIMPLICITY (dink MANANA) and JAZZABELLE, KNOCKOFF and CAROLINA passed us and so did BAD BOY from North East MD (Lucette asked where that was, and Bob and I kept saying North East is in northeast MD). BAD BOY had a *huge* US flag flying from the top of the mast, and then a large MD flag and then a US Navy flag.
BAD BOY and the Socastee Bridges

BAD BOY and the Socastee Bridges


The Socastee Swing bridge has apparently been completely decommissioned and is permanently open. (Although unfortunately it was back in operation when we came back up) As we went down the Waccamaw River,
Waccamaw River

Waccamaw River


SANGRIA II (that we saw in Belhaven) passed. We saw Bucksport which is supposed to have great sausage
Bucksport

Bucksport


and also passed Wacca Wachee Marina on our way to Georgetown.
large_3eeac670-09e0-11eb-91af-b991bfd023e9.jpgBald cypress

Bald cypress


We went to The Boat Shed (a marina) MM 403. We tied up by 12:50 after 51.3 miles or a total trip of 475 nm. They have about 4 places for transient boats. It was $1/foot and that included electricity. The rest rooms aren't locked. They are nice people - they let me do e-mail in the office. There are no pay phones. There is dry stack storage building for small power boats from the gas dock. The little brick building in the foreground is where the bathrooms are. There is also an outdoor storage area. Next to the marina at the shrimp docks is a good place to buy fresh seafood.

There were a ton of boats anchored in Georgetown including SHARON LEE. Max and Lucette went to explore the town and met Sharon and her husband from SHARON LEE-they came by in the dink. The Georgetown harbor has room for a lot of boats. If the paper mill is operating and the wind is wrong you may get a dirty residue on the boat. The town has a small dinghy dock west of the town clock (which is on the Rice Museum). There are hardwares stores and restaurants near the dock. Post office is 3 miles away.

There was a Morgan OI (Out Island) behind us on the dock from Baltimore. They have two boys on board age 9 and 14 and are homeschooling. Their cousins came down from Columbus to see them, and the boys were fishing off the dock. One caught a little croaker.
Main Street - Rice Museum clock (and Bob)

Main Street - Rice Museum clock (and Bob)


The Rice Museum gift shop was open, but not the Rice Museum itself. SWEET SENSATION came in and anchored, as did the yawl that was the inside boat on our raft (named MONDAY MORNING). A big motor yacht named GOT the FEVER also came into the marina.

We found that there were NO restaurants in town open on Sunday night that we could walk to from the waterfront. They shut the town down and rolled up the sidewalks. So Lucette phoned around and we found that a restaurant named Jackie's Lafayette out on US 17 was open, so we walked out to it.
SWEET SENSATION anchored in Georgetown

SWEET SENSATION anchored in Georgetown


The town is pleasant to walk through - the section between Route 17 and the river is a Historic District. The Georgetown Historic District is 220 acres of land, and includes about 46 buildings. The Kaminski House Museum (never been open when I was there) is one of them, as are Prince George Episcopal Church and graveyard, Henning-Miller House, Waterman Kaminiski House, the Heriot Tarbox House, the Winyah Indigo Society Hall (which I saw when we walked out to Rte 17 to have dinner when it was too dark to take pictures), and the Morgan-Ginsler House which is across the street. Many of these old homes have interesting legends attached to them.

We walked 8 or 9 blocks from South and James where the marina was four blocks up to the highway. They had a buffet for $6.95 each and it was a very good value for the money. I remember there was chicken, salad, vegetables and dessert. Dinner for two was $19.06 including drinks and a tip. It has the ambiance of a motel restaurant, but it was cheerful.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 21:24 Archived in USA Tagged georgetown southport pontoon_bridge barefoot_landing Comments (0)

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