Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cape Fear River to Myrtle Beach

Saturday Nov 5, 2016

When we awoke this morning, we made a pleasant discovery.  With the winds blowing 15 to 20 all night, our wind generator had produced so much power that we were still at 95% battery capacity, pretty much where we were last night when we went to bed.  This means that the windgen kept up with the refrigeration system's energy demands!

 Being somewhat burned out from the previous day's marathon, we got a little later start today. After a short stop on the way out for fuel, water, and a pump out, we were on our way again, this time bound for Myrtle Beach, SC.  Another online friend and fellow P-323 owner, Dick Martin, lives there and we were going to meet.  The day's trip would only be 52 statute miles (46 NM), but our later start would mean that we would be arriving close to sunset again.

The first leg of the trip was down snow's cut and into the Cape Fear River, taking it almost all the way  to the coast before reentering the ICW at Southport.

The current in Snow's cut was ferocious, and in our favor.  We did 8.1 kts speed over ground through it!  But once onto the Cape Fear River, things got more "interesting".  The wind on the river was behind us, driving 2 ft rollers down the river, and rolling us from side to side.  We put out the jib to motorsail some and give us some stability and extra speed. 

As the morning wore on, the tide turned against us, putting wind and current in opposition, producing some really unpleasant sharp-edged chop and waves.  Add to this ferrys, dredges, shoals, and other boat traffic, and things got really hectic.  Periodically, sections of the miles wide river would become chaotic, with confused 2 ft seas running every which way with no clear pattern or directionality.  It was like being inside a washing machine!  And of course the autopilot couldn't handle the downwind conditions, So I had to be at the helm the whole time.  Some of the most unpleasant sailing of the trip!

Once back in the ditch at Southport, things settled down and got quite nice. Pelicans adorned many pilings, and egrets and herons were abundant in the marshes.

As well as large, upscale waterfront houses.

We also began to see some of the tragic damages from Hurricane Matthew.
Joan went off to make a snack, and came up with one of her usual gormet creations.  We're really eating well on this trip!
We successfully negotiated one of the most treacherous shoals on the ICW: the infamous Lockwood's Folly.  This shoal is so bad that various organizations (Police, Coast Guard, BoatUS) have had boats out there escorting boats on the roundabout way through the shoal.

Finally, we got into Coquina Yacht Club Marina in North Myrtle Beach, and met my friend Dick Martin and his grandaughter.  Tomorrow, we're going to take another lay day here and get some chores done.
We're Having a Great Time

1 comment:

  1. I just did a quick "google maps" measurement and it looks like you are about half way to your jumping off point (somewhere around Cape Kennedy?). You have gone 475 stat. miles (as the crow flies). Making good progress!!