Day 10, Year 10: ICW–Camp Lejeune, NC to Carolina Beach, NC
Date: Monday, October 20, 2014
Weather: Sunny, Warmer Again (70’s F daytime), Winds NE to SE 5-10
Latitude: 34 02.990 N
Longitude: 077 53.347 W
Total Miles Traveled: 666 Nautical Miles
Miles Traveled Today: 44 Nautical Miles
Location: Anchored in Carolina Beach, NC, ~Mile 295 on the ICW

Lovely day! The sun was shining, the skies were blue, and the temperature was a bit warmer than yesterday. It looks like it will be warm again tomorrow and then on Wednesday we will get a bit of a drop for a few days. That New England weather is bound and determined to follow us, but as long as the sun is shining, we’ll be happy. We were on constant watch today for shallow shoaling areas, but thankfully we had no more bottom ‘bumps’. And we traveled through absolutely beautiful country. I think this is definitely the most beautiful part of the Intracoastal between here and Norfolk. In most areas, the salt marsh goes on forever without a lot of development in sight. There are lots of inlets with sand dunes and the salt marshes are punctuated by little white sand beaches. In other areas, particularly around Wrightsville Beach, the homes lining the waterway are also quite a sight—lots of people with lots of money. The homes are huge and the landscaping is beautiful. But my favorite home on the ICW is one we passed today that is painted a flamingo pink. It has palm trees and its own flamingo pink lighthouse. It even has a half sunken crab boat out back. When I see this house, I know it is a definite sign that we are moving south.

But travel today was really all about bridges. We timed our departure time to arrive at the first bridge at 11 am. This was the Surf City swing bridge that opens only on the hour. But the current was with us and gave us an unexpected boost and by pushing the RPM’s a bit, we made it for the 10 am opening. But things went downhill from there. We just missed the 12 noon opening of the Figure Eight swing bridge and turned circles waiting for the 12:30 opening. We then had only 5 miles to go to the Wrightsville Beach bascule bridge, but it opens only on the hour. So we turned the RPM’s way down and very s-l-o-w-l-y made it there for the 2 pm opening. There are no bridges on our travels from here to Little River tomorrow, and our friend Lee Kaufman wrote to tell us that the shallow areas in the ICW between here and there have been dredged are no longer a threat. So we will stay inside the waterway. The winds outside tomorrow will be light and from the wrong direction, so there is no advantage to going outside. We should arrive in Little River at Lightkeepers Marina sometime between 3 and 5 pm, depending on current and boat speed. We are excited to see my sister Patsy and brother-in-law Joe and our friends Lee and Lynda Kaufman. We called them this evening and proposed that we meet on the dock and then all go out to dinner together tomorrow night to celebrate. Can’t wait.

And I totally forgot to mention one of the more ‘interesting’ experiences we had today. We were crossing the Masonboro Inlet, which is one of those places you need to watch for shoaling. And all of a sudden we were in the middle of group of boats that were shooting scenes for a video, movie, something. There was one boat with a camera on a crane focused on another boat, and then other small boats all around. From a distance, we assumed they were just boats traveling in our direction on the waterway, but once we were in their midst, we saw that they were moving VERY slowly and other boats were coming at us, looking at the camera boat and not at us, and they almost hit us. Phew! We were sure glad as we moved on and they stayed behind shooting their movie or whatever. And when I looked up the Masonboro Inlet on Google, I found out that it was used as a hideout by Confederate blockade runner during the Civil War. You just never know.

141020 Day 10 Passage to SC, USA–Intracoastal, Camp Lejeune to Carolina Beach
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Day 11, Year 10: ICW--Carolina Beach, NC to Little River, SC
Day 9, Year 10: ICW—Morehead City, NC to Camp Lejeune, NC