SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Wednesday, 21 April 2021
SC to CT Day 3
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Planned a late departure this morning in attempt to get favorable current for the majority of the day... leaving the dock at 0900 with a strong outgoing tide pushing over 8 knots for about 30 minutes till we reached Bogue Inlet where it turned against us... running at under 6 knots for about an hour... once well into Bogue Sound we picked up the ebb tide running out Beaufort Inlet pushing over 8 knots again... We arrived to Beaufort Inlet area right after slack tide and pick up the flood tide in our favor all the way to the Neuse River.... did not get 8 knots but over 7 knots.

We arrived to the Neuse River with some hefty winds blowing out of the southwest that were really kicking up the waves in the river. Once out into the river away from the lands protection, we started seeing 3 to 4 ft seas producing a very uncomfortable ride... we had planned to continue on stopping at Dowry Creek Marina but with the sea state we decided to bail at Oriental for the night. Winds tomorrow forecast for about the same but out of the northwest... we will get some wind protection from the land on the Neuse River.

We arrived to Oriental free docks at 1500 and were securely docked at 1515. Our location for the night at N35°01.456’, W076°41.740’. We traveled today for 6 hours and 15 minutes covering 42.9 nautical miles averaging 6.9 knots.
Posted at 3:54 PM
Tuesday, 20 April 2021
SC to CT Day 2
Carolina Beach, NC to Swansboro, NC
Up just before sunrise and underway from the mooring at 0700... the sunrise was beautiful... :) And the weather for today was picture perfect.

Shorter day planned for today with our destination being Swansboro, NC. Stopping an hour or so early will let me catch up on a little work.

It was nice to find most of the trouble spots had been dredged in this stretch of the ICW... or at least the dredges were there working on the shoaling. Mason Inlet and Topsail Inlet had both been dredged. Dredges were working at New River Inlet and the shoals were still present.

Several bridges today... Wrighstville Beach that we squeezed under at low tide with maybe 6" clearance... Figure Eight Bridge which is passable with VHF antennas and mast down... 3 feet clear. The one bridge that we always have to have opened is the Onslow Beach Bridge... today we were surprised to find it open with a construction barge in the opening... was a tight squeeze between the barge and the bridge fenders... they said it was 25 ft when I hailed to ask... but it sure seemed much tighter... :)

Very little boat traffic today which is surprising us... getting away later than normal for the winter season we expected to see many more boats cruising north... saw only one today and it was heading south.

We arrived to Swansboro Church St Docks at 1550 and were securely docked at 1600. Our location for the night at N34°41.162’, W077°07.153’. We traveled today for 9 hours covering 57.7 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 4:45 PM
Monday, 19 April 2021
SC to CT Day 1
Little River, SC to Carolina Beach, NC
Awake at 0600 with a busy morning prepping to leave... stowing all the last minute items... top off water tanks... which took forever... should have done that yesterday but did not realize we were as low as we were. Finally at 0800we were ready to depart... disconnected shore powder and tossed the dock lines and underway at 0815.

Two bridges to contend with today... Socastee Swing Bridge and Little River Swing Bridge... at both we arrived just in time for an opening with virtually no wait... passed the local TowBoatUS at the Little River Swing Bridge... lots of boat traffic for a Monday... a few cruisers but mostly small local boats and wave runners... all making enough wake to just be annoying.

It was nice to pass through two trouble spots (shoaling) with no issues at all... both Shallotes Inlet and Lockwoods Folly had both been dredged... saw nothing less that 14ft at low tide... very nice compared to the 2020 trip south.

Had favorable current for the most of the day until we reached the Cape Fear River... about 2 knots on our bow slowing us to just over 5 knots... then the wind picked up... totally not forecast for today... 25 knots steady and gusting to over 30 knots... did not produce any wave action but just one of those annoying things.

We had planned to go to Wrightsville, Beach today, but with the current against us it would have had arriving after sunset .... so, we opted to stop in Carolina Beach... made a reservation for mooring ball via Dockwa.

We arrived to the mooring field at 1810 and were securely moored by 1815. Our location for the night at N34°02.844’, W077°53.385’. We traveled today for 10 hours covering 68.7 nautical miles averaging 6.8 knots.

Susan, Lily and Herman out on the bow watching me secure the mooring ball.

Posted at 7:21 PM
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