Monday, October 7, 2013

Harbor Village Marina - at a dock

Ann loves to take picture of clouds as a source of inspiration for her paintings
We hemmed and hawed after listening to several weather forecasts and decided that the morning was going to be good enough and we ought to proceed further south. We didn't have all that far to go and in the past we had stopped at Surf City but their marina was foreclosed by the bank, out of business now! That necessitated a further five mile trip to Harbor Village. The weather was predicted to turn bad with lots of rain starting early afternoon and it arrived right on schedule, about an hour after we tied up. Along the way we passed through a shallow area that is all over the web. The area was just dredged last year but it's shoaled in again. Yesterday, a Russian superyacht, Red Pearl, which looks at least 100 ft long ran aground in the middle of the channel. They apparently didn't read Active Captain about the shoaling there! We were aware that you had to hug the red side going through the area and we found lots of water, about 10 ft, for our 4' 9" of keel. Many boats have found the bottom at that spot! If only Red Pearl had hugged their favorite color...

Dinner bell for birds! 
The real pain about this part of the ICW are the bridges. There are two that only open on the top of the hour. If you're just a few minutes late, you have to wait an entire hour for the next opening! So you're either good at backing up and "hovering" or you put out an anchor to wait for the next opportunity to go south. For us, we just "hover" in the channel, Fleetwing backs up real well which is handy in a following current pushing you into the bridge (there always seems to be a following current when you're waiting for a bridge opening).

And lets not forget Hoolie relief at the Swansboro town docks, rather rough on dinghies though
We lost about an hour and 15 minutes waiting for bridge openings but eventually made it to Harbor Village Marina by 1:45, just ahead of the rain. The marina itself is superbly protected, no wave action at all and calm. With rain predicted for the next couple of days, we may be here for awhile. With that I reserved a rental car to explore the area and to provision for the rest of the trip, we need a few things. This is the first rain we've had in the entire trip so we're not complaining.