Travel proceeded smoothly, with one brief marina stop in Moorehead City for a holding tank pumpout.
When we arrived in Swansboro, there were only two boats in the anchorage, but I didn't like the looks of it. First, there was a strong tidal driven current that would reverse during the night. Second, there was an active traffic bridge nearby, producing both sound, and the risk of serious damage if we dragged into it. Third, the wind and the tide were opposed, producing some truly bizzare behavior of the anchor rode verses the boat hull, with the hull sometimes pointing dowind.
We tried to set our big Bruce anchor, but it showed signs of dragging when I applied engine power. So we pulled it and went in search of a better anchorage. There was one shown on the chartbook we're using, just a few miles down the ICW, but when we got there, the water was too shallow at the entrance to allow us access.
So now, we were in a dilemma. It was too late to press on, and there were no other anchorages nearby. We even went back to Swansboro anchorage and tried (unsuccessfully) to set the hook again.
Finally, as the sun was setting, we admitted defeat and got on the VHF radio to Dudley's Marina to see if they had space. We ended up right next to our friends Jeb & Ursula on "Wisper", although we later had to be moved to accomodate another boat.
Friday, we would try an even more ambitious distance, but that's another post.