Southport, NC to Bucksport, NC
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 20
We departed from Southport, NC at 0645 hours and continued south on the ICW... it was a chilly 32 degrees. The winds were mild and the sun was coming up... a mist/fog was rising off the water... looked to be a great day. We would have a mix of current with and against us as we passed each inlet along our route... our slowest speed during the day was 5.0 knots and highest speed was 8.6 knots. We had several bridges to deal with but all opened on request so timing was not an issue today.
At approximately 1130 hours we stopped in Little River, SC... Cricket Cove marina to take on some diesel fuel... 500 gallons @ $3.55 per gallon... ouch! But that was the lowest price we had seen in several days. It was slow pump and it took almost an hour to put in 500 gallons departing at 1218 hours and continuing south on the ICW.
One area just ahead of us is called the "Rock Pile" and named this due to the edges of the channel are lined with large rock structures... stray out of the channel and you hit rocks. As long as you stay n the center of the channel you're fine... but you heard many boats hailing the VHF that they were entering the Rock Pile and asking about opposing traffic... passing another boat or having another boat approach you is what you do not want and especially something large like commercial traffic... tug and barges frequent this area.
We were 2 miles from the beginning of the Rock Pile when we heard a vessel on the VHF... "I've gone aground on the rocks just past marker 17... I'm taking on water..." of course the Coast Guard hails them and plays the twenty questions game with them... SeaTow and TowBoatUS are also communicating with the boat... it was a 38 foot sailing catamaran and one of his hulls was taking on water and he reported it was already above the floor in the cabin... it was not long before both TowBoatUS and SeaTow zipped past us to assist the boat. We could see the sailboat from the time they made the first VHF call... we were just under 2 miles from them. When we passed by them TowBoatUS and SeaTow were working together to get pumps set up to dewater the boat... was the first time I have seen the competing companies working together... normally they are fighting to see who should do the job... it was refreshing to witness this.
We continued on and soon we were passing Barefoot landing... we had the current on our nose fairly heavy from the time we left the marina from fueling... making about 5.5 knots... :( Our destination for the evening was Bucksport Marina in Bucksport, NC... ETA was approximately 1730 hours... current holding us back... :(
We arrived to Bucksport right on schedule and were safely docked at 1730 hours. Bucksport has been closed the last few times we have passed it and assumed it would be closed this trip also... to our surprise they were no longer closed and speaking with the new owner they will be officially fully open in a week... the marina has been totally renovated and the restaurant also has had a face lift... was told about a lot of exciting things they had planned... we will plan Bucksport as a future stopping point.
We traveled today for 9 hours and 55 minutes covering 59.9 nautical miles and averaging 6.04 knots.
Trip totals to date:
Distance: 921.56 nautical miles
Hours: 146 hours 41 minutes
Avg Spd: 6.28 knots
Days not moving: 3