Sunday, October 16, 2011

South from Beaufort NC to Southport

Mile 229, at Caspar's Marina

Many people are unsure of where they can safely and comfortably anchor when they head south from Beaufort NC. Here's the scoop! Your first viable anchorage is at mile 229 - at Caspars Marina - when you come in, make sure you aim for red 46C, then turn in to the channel to starboard. Don't come in too close to red 2. Holding is ok, but be sure you set the anchor well here, there's a lot of current. You might want to stay at Caspars for the night, up to you. Nice marina, GREAT showers.
Next anchorage is Mile Hammock, at 244.5. This is within the military range, no going ashore, there will likely be a number of boats in here but lots of room. Good protection. Let the anchor settle here for a while before you back down on it, the bottom is a bit silty. There is an anchorage at 264.5, well off the ICW, I've never used it. Word is, it's shoal.

Wrightsville B
I go on through to Wrightsville beach from one of the previous two locations. Keep in mind, the bridge schedules here are difficult -note the openings and try to get your timing right or expect to wait for quite some time at each one. Get fuel at Seapath Marina, they'll permit you the use of the loaner car for groceries, etc. There is a West Marine close by, and a handy propane refill place. If you need propane, this is as easy as it gets until Florida. You can anchor out opposite the Seapath docks, or go around to the anchorage by the bridge. If you do, stay well clear of the green marks, tends to be shallow.

Southport, Cape Fear River

When you head for Southport from Wrightsville Beach - make sure you come to the Cape Fear river at about an hour AFTER high tide at Southport. That way, you get to ride the tide downriver and make good time. Snow's Cut will be against you because it empties via Carolina Cut, but it's only a mile. In Southport, you can tie up to the docks at the restaurants for free, provided you eat there. The anchorage is small and shoals at about 5 feet, although there has been talk of dredging it, so tie up and relax. Southport is very pretty and worth exploring. NAPA nearby if you need marine parts.

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