Tuesday, October 18, 2011

St. James Plantation Marina

A favorite boat of the seagulls! Suppose anything is left?
We had intended staying at Carolina Beach but we reached there around 12:30 and thought it much better to continue onward to get the Cape Fear river behind us while the weather is still good. There is a tropical storm coming up the coast, the same one that dumped 18 inches of rain on Sugarloaf Key. Hopefully, we won't get that much but it's better being tied up at a dock here in St. James than at anchor with all the projected wind and rain tonight.

Mystery picture of the day - what is it? (I have no idea)
Docking here was not without some excitement however. We fueled up and then were directed to a dock supposedly for 40 ft boats with an allowance for them to be 44 ft. Theoretically we should fit but the calculations didn't account for the other boats down the aisle that were also bigger than 40 ft and had anchors projecting out, defending their turf I suppose. Complicating matters was the presence of a piling separating the right and left half of the slip. You had to maneuver to go straight in but there wasn't room for that. After several attempts and raising the blood pressure of all concerned, I backed out and concluded it wasn't doable with the size boat I had. In the end, it's all up to the captain - nobody knows your boat like you do, least of all the dockhands telling you where to go!

Figure 8 bridge - typical swing bridge of the ICW
Meanwhile, the end T-dock was unoccupied but they apparently wanted to "save" that dock for a bigger boat (it's still unoccupied as of tonight!) and we were directed to a larger slip. We did escape without marring Fleetwing or hitting another boat at least. Now we're waiting for the storm to arrive along with the high winds and we'll see what tomorrow brings. According to grib, there's a window for a dash to Footloose Marina but it may be too tight, we'll see.