Northbound 2021 – #10: Southport, NC to Miles Hammock Bay, NC


Travel Summary

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy, Humid, 71° to start, Rain showers, Clouds & Humid 84° to finish.  Winds South 10–15 kts.  Moderate chop on the ICW 

Distance traveled: 55.4 nautical miles

Time underway: 6 hours 40 minutes

Average Speed:  8.2 kts

Max Speed: 10.6 kts

Today we had an interesting day!  After we left South Harbour Village Marina in Southport we had to cross the Cape Fear River to Snow’s Cut (a notoriously difficult area to transit, due to currents and shoaling).  Pulling out of the marina at 8 am, we tried to time our arrival there for a slack tide and we did just that.  Sometimes a plan does come together! 

Coming into Snow’s Cut, April Fools was third behind another trawler and Stacy Lynn.  We were able to zig zag around some of the trickier spots without a big current or winds.

We then had another 30+ miles of the ICW with shallow water, strong currents and shoaling due to the many inlets.  Luckily, we were on a rising tide, so although exercising caution around the worst shoaling spots we did not have an issue.  This was of particular concern to us because this is the same area that we ran aground on the way south. Fortunately, with the tide in our favor, and our Aqua Maps app, we made it without any problems.

There were some pretty heavy showers during the day but we had good visibility during the rough spots.

There was certainly had less boat traffic today but did see several dredges and a few sailboats under sail (always good to see).  A couple jet skiers were trying to be Evil Knievel jumping out wake.

Evil Knievel Jet Skier
Me steering past a huge tug towing a barge

We pulled into the Miles Hammock Bay anchorage, just past Sneads Ferry, NC just before 3 pm.  We chose this anchorage because there is a bridge (Onslow Beach Swing Bridge) about 4 miles north of here that is having maintenance done.  A barge is parked under the bridge from 8am – noon and 1pm to 5pm and unless you want to try to squeeze your boat through a 20 ft opening, you wait until the barge is not there.  We opted for trying to scoot through in the morning before the barge shows up.

Our anchorage is popular tonight (10 counting us)

Unfortunately, Robert anchored a little too close to shallow water. About 5:30 pm he radioed over than he was sitting on bottom??? Low tide here wasn’t until 8 pm. He tried to start the engines and use the thruster to move the boat but no go. The next option was to wait until after low tide and as the tide comes up enough to float him, move to a better (deeper) place in the anchorage.

Well, we couldn’t let Robert have the only issue.  About 9:30 pm a big gust of wind hit us and our anchor alarm went off.  The anchor was dragging.  John donned his head light & head set and went out on the bow to pull in the anchor (I was at the helm).  IN THE PITCH BLACK!

We managed to get the anchor up and moved the boat without hitting another anchored boat to drop the anchor again.  Anchor watch is going to happen for the rest of the night.

Stay tuned…..

Categories: Adventures, Life Aboard

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