Wrightsville Beach to Calabash River
Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
58Trip End Jan 05, 2008
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We made a very early start but 2/3 of the boats had already left. Anchor aweigh at 0715 Left the anchorage at Wrightsville Beach though Shinn Creek which was easy and rejoined the ICW a little south of where we had left it. More similar scenery to the day previously. Many houses with docks on the west bank of the ICW. Saw our neighbhour Oseberg from Mile Hammock Bay aground in a small creek off the ICW to the east and heard calls to Tow Boat US. Perhaps he had anchored there night before and not allowed for the tide. The chart showed 7 feet where he was but everywhere is prone to shoaling. Shortly after we saw another large sail boat badly heeled in a sea side creek where only tidal water was shown. Joined Snows Cut which takes the ICW to the Cape Fear River. Joint effort at navigation as the marks get a bit tricky at each end. Took the channel to the left on leaving Snows Cut and off down the Cape Fear River. The tide was with us but of course the wind piped up to more than 20 knots right on the nose so there was a nasty short chop of 3 to 4 feet. This boat does not pound. The old Hunter would have been crashing and banging but at ICW rpm we sliced through the chop with mostly occasional slapping noises and virtually no pounding. The three boats behind us which included a Shannon disappeared astern.
A cold front moved through but it consisted of just a few clouds that looked mildly threatening. We rejoined the ICW at Southport and caught up with Dream Seeker (a Tayana 37) and proceeded without incident past a bottleneck where barges, cranes and construction equipment are erecting a new bridge and then on to the Sunset Island pontoon bridge. At the inlets we had the benefit of following Dream Seeker who called out some shoaling at one point. A new bridge was also being built at the Sunset Island bridge so perhaps when we come back next year there will be no more delays waiting for the hourly moving of the pontoon. After the bridge it was a short run to the Calabash River anchorage just off the ICW and just across the State Line so now we are in South Carolina. Ended up anchored with about 10 other boats. Not a big anchorage but apparently good holding so boats tend to anchor up close. So far the new Manson anchor works well and set quickly in the reportedly hard sand at Wrightsville Beach. It must have been sand because we did not have to wash any mud off when we heaved up. Kilissa the Shannon showed up an hour after us and anchored near by. Just after dark a large day-trip boat came into the river and appeared to head up past the day marks presumably to the town of Calabash. Two other boats showed up after dark after we had battened down. This morning one has its sail cover off and a hank on fore-sail. Perhaps he had bumped out (sailed on the ocean). There appears perhaps to be a negotiable inlet nearby. Today we have to pass the rock pile. This is a narrow section of the ICW with rock ledges at the sides. We should be passing near low water which apparently lets one see the worst of the ledges. We will do the recommended announcement on the VHF and hope we do not meet a tug or Casino boat coming the other way.