SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Saturday, 25 April 2015
FL to CT Day 16
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Since are position is now approximately 300 nautical miles east of Punta Gorda where we started sunrise is now about 45 minutes earlier so the alarm time has been changed to 0530. Susan and Beecha are not real happy about the new time but it was a compromise… I wanted to change it to 0500 and compromised to the 0530 to keep everyone happy. So alarm went off this morning at 0530… no snooze button... up and getting ready to go.

At 0630 we were underway from Carolina Beach State Park Marina and it was to an awesome sunrise… couple of photos… one at the dock as we left and another 10 minutes later heading up Snow’s Cut. Absolutely beautiful!!!!

The area we transit today we have named bridges from hell day… have four bridges to deal with… the Wrightsville Beach, the Figure Eight Island, the Surf City and the Onlsow Beach bridges. We actually had great luck with all but the last bridge. The Opening schedule for the first three are such that we can’t go fast enough to make the openings between bridges so you have to slow down to a snail’s pace or sit and wait at the bridge. Today was different. We arrived at the Wrightsville Beach Bridge at low tide. It has a 19’ clearance but with 3 foot drop in tide gave us 22’… again at the Figure Eight Bridge low enough tide to give us 24’ clearance. We then were set up perfectly with a 6.5 knot speed to make the Surf City Bridge at it’s only on the hour opening. We arrived to it for its 1300 opening and to find 7 other boats sitting and waiting for the opening. The four power boats had all passed us… I guess people do not check the opening times and when they will arrive and pace themselves and sit and wait at the bridge… some of them close to an hour wait. The only bridge we had to change our pace for was the Onlsow Beach Bridge… we arrived sooner than anticipated due to current boosting our speed and slowed down for the last few miles to arrive just at the bridges scheduled opening time.

For years in this area we would stop at a dock and dine restaurant in Swansboro. Just over a year ago the city of Swansboro put a town dock in as an extension of the restaurant dock and started charging for dockage. The rate was higher than the adjacent Casper’s Marina so we have stopped at Caspers the last couple of trips. We would always visit with some really good friends that live here… Frank and Chris Erwin… our timing was off this trip and they were out of town. We needed to make a grocery run and nothing was within walking distance so checking we found that Dudley’s Marina had a courtesy car available for use. So Dudley’s Marina was our stop for the today.

We arrived to our Dudley’s for the night at 1530 and were securely docked with power on at 1745. Our position at the marina N34°40.808', W077°06.739'. We traveled today for 9 hours covering 59.2 nautical miles averaging 6.6 knots.
Posted at 3:45 PM
Friday, 24 April 2015
FL to CT Day 15
Conway, SC to Carolina Beach, NC
Last night we all went out to dinner… Susan, Beecha and myself to Captain Seaweeds Bar and Grill at Bucksport Marina. We enjoyed some hot wings, burgers, fries and of course a couple of beers.

We departed fairly early at 0710 and headed north bound for North Carolina today! It is always nice to enter a new state… South and North Carolina seem to take forever to get through.

We did leave with current against us but it was only a few minutes before we had the current on the stern pushing us over 8 knots quite often. There were a few times we had the current against us but not that often today.

I had some cabinet work come in that needed to be completed ASAP so I turned the helm over to Susan and for about an hour she was in control of SAILS with me down in the salon working. She did a great job!

Had great luck with the bridges today… Socastee and Little River both had to be opened for us to pass. Socastee has a reputation for holding boats up unnecessarily but today they actually held the bridge open for us and we had the same thing happen at Little River… he actually held the bridge for 5 minutes… does not sound like a long time but for a bridge to do this is amazing.

We arrived to our destination for the night at 1720 and were securely docked at Carolina Beach State Park Marina at 1725. Our position at the marina N34°03.012', W077°55.153'. We traveled today for 10 hours and 20 minutes covering 69.8 nautical miles averaging 6.87 knots.
Posted at 4:57 PM
Thursday, 23 April 2015
FL to CT Day 14
Charleston, SC to Conway, SC
Where we anchored in Price Creek last night was basically in the middle of nowhere and very dark and quiet. Unlike being at a dock where there is always some bright security lighting so being dark and quiet was very nice!

There are a lot of boats heading north… it’s that annual migration so the boat traffic we are seeing are all part of the northerly migration of sailboats, motor yachts and trawlers. We’re doing longer days than most of the others so each day we have a new group of boas moving with us… makes it interesting.

We had planned to stop at Wacca Wache Marina but arrived there way too early to stop… current boosting us most of the day… very nice! So we continued on not knowing exactly where we would stop for the night. There was this great sailboat anchored there… we see it every year either anchored here or at Bucksport Marina… I took a photo… it’s all steel and really cool… at least I think it is.

We arrived to Bucksport Marina and hailed them on the radio to see if they had sausage available. They have the absolute best sausage and we were out so it was time to restock. Susan does not like it but I love it. We were in luck and they had some so we pulled up to their dock to make a quick sausage purchase. The dock master said why not stay for the night… we have a dockage special this month… 75 cents per foot… we stopped… that’s a great dockage rate… we actually spent more on sausage than the dockage. We will also eat out at the restaurant here at the marina… Captain Seaweeds… pretty basic bar/grill menu.

We were securely docked at 1645. Our position at the marina N33°39.078', W079°05.696'. We traveled today for 8 hours and 50 minutes covering 62.02 nautical miles averaging 7.02 knots
Posted at 5:12 PM
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