Rhode Island to Florida - Day 10
We had a great evening at Carolina Beach State Park Marina... we were the only boat in the entire marina... the marina has been totally renovated and I highly recommend it.
Anyway, we departed from the marina at 0645 hours and headed out in to the ICW and the Cape Fear River. As anticipated we had a strong current on our stern that boosted our cruising speed to over 9 knots at times... it was awesome! Temperature was still below freezing and just ridiculous that it is so cold here in North Carolina. Looks like things are forecast to warm up a bit towards the weekend but that's still two days away.
We had a couple of bridges to contend with on the day’s trip but none caused us any major delay... I take that back we did have a problem with a bridge that we thought had been removed... being replaced with a new high rise span... the Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge... but when we arrived about 25 minutes early we found that it was still active... not for car traffic but for the demolition crew to haul away bits and pieces of the bridge as they demolished it... the car traffic was using the new high rise bridge... so the bridge was still on it's once an hour opening... we made it through at 1200 hours.
Then the thing that I thought I would never see happened... just south of Southport, NC the ICW was skimmed over with ICE... yes… it had a layer of ice from bank to bank and as we moved through it we pushed slabs forward as it broke up... actually was kind of cool to see... that lasted fro about a 1-2 mile stretch at ICW mile marker 315... it was crazy! Even as we continued on south the banks had ice sitting on them with areas where it extended out into the edge of the ICW... :)
We were lucky and most of the day we had a push from the currents on our stern and we made very good time and traveled 70 nautical miles today in 7 hours and 15 minutes... We docked at Bucksport Marina in Bucksport, SC (N33°39.052', W079°05.679') at 1700 hours. The great thing was that we called the marina as we approached and spoke to the owner... he said they were in the middle of major renovation and they were not really open but we were welcome to stop for the night and plug in power... get some water and we could do this for FREE... WOW! He just asked that we stop on our next trip by in the spring as we head back north... very cool of him... :)
Posted at 7:37 PM
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 9
We departed from Swansboro, NC at 0700 hours destination... SOUTH! It appears the cold weather is following us... forecast to be in the teens again tonight.... BRRRRRRRRRRR!
No open bodies of water to cross today so even though the wind is still blowing 25-30 knots it will be a smooth trip. We did have 4 bridges to contend with today that have restricted opening times... Onslow Beach Bridge opening on the hour and half hour so it was not a real big issue and we paced our speed to arrive at the appropriate time... the second bridge was the Surf City Bridge which only opens at the top of the hour... we had current on our nose and checking the plotter we were not going to be able to make it at our full cruising speed... we would arrive 11 minutes after the hour missing the scheduled top of the hour opening... so we had to slow down and enough to add 49 minutes to our time and make the next oh the hour opening... The next bridge was the Figure Eight Island Bridge and it opens on the hour and half hour so timing was not a problem with it and we make it at it's 1430 hours opening... the problem was the next bridge only opened on the top of the hour and it was 5 miles away... we had 30 minutes to travel 5 miles in order to the make the Wrightsville Beach Bridge's next scheduled opening at 1500... that would make us have to travel at 10 knots in order to cover the 5 miles in 30 minutes... since we cruise at best 7.5 knots no way could we make it to the 1500 hours opening... so we would have to go through the Wrightsville Beach Bridge at 1600 hours... so we now had 1.5 hours to travel 5 miles... with the winds directly on our beam so we did not want to sit at the bridge and wait... the thing to do was pace your speed to cover the distance... that meant we had to slow down to approximately 3 knots in order to reach the bridge and not have to wait for it to open... 5 miles at 3 knots is really slow... LOL but that is what we did and we passed through the Wrightsville Beach Bridge at 1600 hours.
Our planned stop for the night was at Carolina Beach State Park Marina (N34°03.009', W077°55.154')... which is located at the junction of Snow's Cut and the Cape Fear River. It was recently totally redone and it is pristine marina facility and the price is right to stay overnight. It would also set us for the proper current to cruise down the Cape Fear River... the current can really slow you down if you do not have it running with you... :)
Have to change the oil and filter on the generator tonight after dinner and then a little TV and off to bed... plan to depart at daybreak.
Posted at 7:57 PM
Rhode Island to Florida - Day 7-8
Two days of travel in this entry as all of Day 7 we were out of touch with the electronic world... none to poor cell service and no Wi-Fi anywhere... :)
Day 7 we departed from Coinjock, VA at 0700 hours and traveled for 13-1/2 hours stopping at the Mayo Docks in Hobucken, NC (N35°14.528', W076°35.421') a total of 94 nautical miles... a real long day!
Day 8 we departed from Hobucken, NC and traveled for 9-1/2 hours stopping at Ducks Bar and Grille docks in Swansboro, NC (N34°42.173’, W077°07.164’) a total of 62 nautical miles.
Tonight the temperature is forecast to be in the teens… we have 500 nautical miles south of our original starting point and this will be the coldest night we have had on the trip so far... it should be getting warmer... NOT COLDER! LOL
Frank Erwin is stopping by to say "Hi" and then we are off to have dinner at Ducks... the menu has a 1 pound double cheeseburger... that's what I am ordering!
Posted at 5:32 PM