37 miles to Chesapeake Va MM 12

We departed Coinjock around 10 AM, it was overcast with a 10mph SW wind.  We enter Coinjock Bay and pass Piney Island.  From here the bay turns into North Landing River, which takes you by Knotts Island and you cross into Virginia at this time!  Then the North Landing River meets the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.  In the canal you have 2 swing bridges that need to open for you to pass, they open on the hour and 1/2 hour.  You head west and arrive at Atlantic Yacht Basin where you can get dockage for 1$ a foot and they have a full service marine facility if you need anything.  Around 1pm we ran into some light rain, we checked with the boats in front of us and they said it was only rain no wind or lightning so that reassured us so we kept pushing through the trench.  We got soaked docking, It was a lot of fun! and we are at the far end of the 1/4 mile long face dock.  We purchased 8 gallons of oil here and did an oil change on my main engines, it’s very easy with my oil change pump.  The hose water has been getting cooler and cooler the more north I get.  It’s great to be getting north during the summer this is refreshing.  When we move to Norfolk Thursday we will go through a lock its only a couple hundred yards from the marina I am at now.

Mother Nature is breath taking you can get lost in her beauty so easily, these pictures dont do it justice! go explore see

Marina shots, transient slips ICW side and also covers slips available for long term.  & boat refit shop

31 miles to Coinjock MM50

It was a little warmer this morning and the conditions were absolutely perfect to cross Albemarle Sound.  There was virtually no wind in the marina this am so it was a breeze getting going.  Louis has been making great breakfast and lunch, its been great because we can stay rolling steady during breakfast and lunch.  Entering back into Alligator River we went about 3 miles north avoiding the long point shoals and all the duck blinds.  From here we entered the sound and took a heading that would allow us to cross to the entrance of the New River.  Albemarle Sound was very smooth, it’s over 16 miles across.  once your away from shore it stays from 15-17 feet deep.  The hardest part is paying enough attention so you don’t hit any of the crab traps, there are sooo many.  There is no tide change in this area which is great but also very interesting, I will find out why but I have not yet.  From Albemarle Sound the ICW goes into North River for about 12 miles and you arrive at Coinjock NC and the Coinjock Marina MM50.  Coinjock has a population of 335 people according to a 2010 census.  The Coinjock Marina is nice, it sells fuel and has a ship store and restaurant.  There are 5 boats here that know Pura Vida and I have been traveling with them throughout various parts of the trip.  Such a great feeling having so many friends on the dock, like a small reunion.  Coinjock Marina restaurant is steps away from the boat it was delicious, I had the fried chicken and Louis got their famous prime rib.  It was great, and thank you Louis for the dinner! again haha

dinner at Coinjock Marina with Mandy and Langdon from Bayflower

hard working dock attendant removing a log from the river

 

49 miles to Alligator River MM84

Today we left Dowry Creek and headed back to the Pungo River, it was overcast windy and in the 60’s.  Beautiful weather for this boating, wish my parents and sister could be here!  We worked our way to Alligator River.  The Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge was established on March 14, 1984, to preserve and protect a unique wetland habitat type—the pocosin—and its associated wildlife species.  It is one of the premier strongholds for American black bear on the eastern seaboard.  20 miles of the ICW through this area is very narrow with  hardwood swamps, Atlantic White Cypress and marsh land.  It is so beautiful.  Driving through the tannic acid water was like operating the boat in sweet tea.  After the narrow portion of Alligator River it opens up into a wider body of water.  The waves in the bay were 1′ or a more, from the stiff 15mph NE wind.  It was directly on the bow so we sliced the waves like a hot knife through butter and the Hatteras was riding like a Prevost Bus.  You continue about 10 miles to the Alligator River Swing Bridge. With only a 12′ height, you can get to open on channel 13.  Then head west after passing through bridge and arrive at… yes can you guess it?  Alligator River Marina, everything is alligator in these parts. Alligator Marina is at the foot of the Alligator Swing Bridge MM84.  This is a nice quiet little spot, I enjoy these types of places.  The fuel station on site has a diner called Captain Charlies that serves a small good menu.  Mandy and Langdon met Louis and I at the diner tonight and it was great.  Tomorrow we will  be in Coinjock NC.

 

 

71 Miles to Dowry Creek MM132

Beaufort has some great food music and shops.  We left Beaufort during slack tide which was around 8am.  We started out on Newport River then on to Neuse River, the wind was blowing pretty good so there were 1.5-2′ swells out there.  Luckily our course had the waves hitting directly on the bow so the ride was smooth.  Turning up Bay River this leads to the Pamlico River which you cross to get on the Pungo River.  After a few miles on the Pungo we arrived at Dowry Creek Marina in Belhaven, located 1 mile off the ICW at MM132.  My friends on Bayflower were here also, so we all had a great time talking.  Mandy and Langdon from Bayflower invited Louis and I to dinner aboard their boat.  The Salmon and stories were great and I loved eating in the pilot house.  Mandy and Langdon are looping on there beautiful Marlow the Bayflower, I’m looking forward to doing a lot of cruising with them.

80 miles to Beaufort MM202

This was another pretty leg of the trip, we made it to Beaufort in 2 days.  Our stopping point was Swansboro, which was 53 miles away.  We departed Wrightsville Beach around noon time Thursday.  Full of fuel and with Louis on lunch duty we were off having a great day.  Heading north we passed Figure Eight Island, Topsail Beach and Surf City .  Surf City has a 12′ swing bridge so this is an area most boats have to request an open.  You pass through parts of Camp Lejeune which is very cool, you can hear them blowing things up and can see military personnel on the banks of the ICW.  There is one section they have old combat tanks they have used for target practice from across the ICW just sitting there all shot to pieces.  Onslow is a town you pass just after Camp Lejeune and they also have a 12′ swing bridge that will gladly open for you.

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On from Swansboro we took the ICW north passing Bogue Sound, here we could see Indian Beach, Emerald Isle Beach and Atlantic Beach.  Morehead City, Beaufort, Ft. Macon State Park and Shackleford Banks are all neighboring areas here. We arrived at Beaufort around 10:45AM.  Beaufort was known as “Fish Town” in the early 1700’s when Blackbeard frequented the coast, “Beaufort Town” was established as a seaport with the right to collect customs in 1722. During the American Revolution, it was the third largest port in the state.  We got a slip at Beaufort Town Docks and we are right on the downtown boardwalk!  The town docks have a fleet of Station Wagons so if you need a vehicle while here they will loan any of them out

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74 miles to Wrightsville Beach MM283

Grand Dunes Marina is a great stopping point on the ICW, we pulled out of here around 7am on Sunday.  What a great morning, 66 degrees outside and a nice NW wind.  This run is great because you can see the Atlantic from the Intracoastal in spots, and the water clarity gets better.  There are at least a dozen spots to stop and eat or spend the night along this route.  The Little River takes you through Myrtle Beach, then you hit the North Carolina border.  From here the ICW takes you just west of Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, continuing past Monks Island and Holden Beach.  Lots of the ICW in this area is just referred to as the Intracoastal where in other places they name them after rivers.  You pass Oak Island then enter Cape Fear River, Cape Fear has some of the longest shoals in the country.  They extend over 20 miles offshore, referred to as Frying Pan Shoals.  Going north on Cape Fear River the channel was huge and over 40′ deep.  We took Carolina Beach Inlet to the New River, then took a heading of 000N which took us straight to Wrightsville Beach using Motts Channel.  We anchored in a spot only the locals can get you in at, you can hear the waves on the beach at night from this spot.

sunken shrimp boats, one you can see one on the bank of the ICW

Carolina Beach is the one with all the cars parked on it, the tug pictured was at least 50 years old.  and they have a crane truck in a barge that they are removong pilings with which is a sight.  The big blue research boat is “OCEARCH” which is a Great White Shark Tagging and Research Vessel.  It is featured on Discovery Channel.

My great friends the Blacks welcomed us as we came up Motts channel in their boat, and lead us to the special anchorage.  I met Chris and Candice over 4 years ago in Pensacola, and we have stayed in touch ever since.  They showed us a great time after we arrived in Wrightsville around 5PM.  We took Chris’s boat all over, they showed me the lay of the land and all the great spots to go and see.  And we had some awesome Mexican food.  We will be spending lots of time with them while we are in the area.  We took Chris’s Boat out Masonboro inlet sunday night, they have a super long jetty and on the Leeward side it stays calm.  The full moon was beautiful and the waves from the atlantic breaking against the windward side of the rocks was pure bliss.  We could feel the spray from the waves.

Pura at anchor

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Masonboro Inlet and a picture from the “OCEARCH” shark pin.  The Masonboro Inlet has an open area on the northern jetty called a Wear.  This allows for the longshore current to keep sand from building up in the inlet.

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Docked at bridge tinder marina. Two Carolina boats to my stern

 

53 miles to Myrtle Beach MM357

We left our anchorage in Minim Creek around 8:30am, the wind was blowing 15-25 but the forecast was good.  We could easily make it 53 miles to Myrtle Beach today.  Minim Creek anchorage is great only a few hundred yards off the ICW in a 12-20′ deep water, it’s very scenic.  Leaving here heading north you go through the Esther Ville Minim Creek Canal then into Winyah Bay which takes you past the Georgetown Marinas.  Then on to the  Waccamaw River which takes you all the way to Myrtle Beach.  Grande Dunes Marina is a very nice establishment with a good transient set up, the hotel blocks all wind from the north and east so it is a good ICW pullover directly off the trench.  There is a Ruth Chris steak house right next to the dock.  Tyler and Rebecca took a bus back to Charleston after helping clean up the boat, they were awesome company and help.

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The foliage has really started to change as I leave the Low Country and get closer to the Outer Banks

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Its like one big bayou cruise

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check out the kids chilling under this bascule bridge

Docked at Grande Dunes Marina