On to North Carolina and some of the prettiest scenery that we have seen on the trip. The “ditch” that we were going along was lined with a beautiful forest of pine, live oak and a jungle type underbrush and very few houses. And every once in while we would get a glimpse of the ocean and breakers on the beach. We chose Southport NC as our next marina since it was about 50 miles north. We try to travel about 50 miles each day. John wants to keep chugging along and I want to stop and smell the roses, but we both agree that 6-7 hours driving the boat is plenty each day. If we’re going with the tides, wind and river currents we can get up to 11 mph. Against them it slows to about 6 mph.
The town was a lovely gem, (oops, the Indian Trail tree in the previous post belongs in Southport) set at the mouth of the Cape Fear River where ocean going vessels, whether big container ships or Civil War privateers running the Union blockade come in to go to Wilmington NC. The river pilots that the ships need to traverse the river to Wilmington live here and the sunken remains of two Confederate ironclads, the North Carolina and the Raleigh are here.
We also met some other loopers and had drinks and snacks aboard their boat. The marina provided an excellent update on weather and shoaling issues on the rest of the ICW north to Norfolk. It is a really confusing string of rivers, sounds and cuts which can be pretty rough in even some light wind and weather and a front with thunderstorms is expected through the next few days.
We found out how rough it could be first thing this morning when we set out for 10 miles up the Cape Fear River. The seas were crashing over our bow!