Monday, April 28, 2014

Swan Point Marina - at a dock

Rather rustic docks but protected from weather
Since we left from Carolina Beach, our usual stop at Harbor Village was too soon so we looked for a new marina and found Swan Point Marina. We found it rather rustic but the people were very nice and the local restaurant provided free transportation for the evening meal. So we made reservations at the marina.

They catch their own seafood!
Meanwhile, we set out around 8:00 am. This section of the ICW has two major annoyances, two bridges that only open on the top of the hour. If you miss the opening by 5 minutes, you have 55 minutes to wait for the next one!! So we were racing to meet the top of the hour opening but ran into a 1 kt counter current - not good! That was enough to push our otherwise 1:00 opening to 1:10, a miss. However, as we approached the bridge we heard that a barge was headed south and that the bridge had delayed the usual top of the hour opening by 10 minutes! That was just enough for us to make the opening, great.

We saw this guy not far away that made a wrong turn into shallow water, he got off after 10 hours
That saved us about an hour of wait time and we pulled into the Swan Point Marina at 3:00, just in time for dead low tide. Actually it was 0.3 ft below dead low. Now the depths aren't all that great anyway but we forged ahead and found we could make the dock even though the depth meter read 4.6 ft! We have a 4' 9" keel so we did a little sliding on the mud bottom. This is our 4th time down the ditch so it's no longer a big deal to plough a little mud now and then. It's near high tide now and there's 6.1 ft of water, lots and lots of water (now that we're used to ICW depths).

One of the big attractions of this marina in addition to the local color is the nearby seafood restaurant. They feature locally caught seafood and even have full bellied clams on the menu, almost unheard of outside of Maine(or Lenny's). So we availed ourselves of the free ride and Ann had the clams while I had a seafood platter. Although the clams were good, they were not as good as Lenny's. However, we greatly enjoyed the meal, we would go back again.

We would like to reach the Cedar Creek anchorage Tuesday night but it all depends on the weather. We won't make that call until Tuesday morning. If not, we'll just stay here another day.