Friday, May 1, 2015

Swans Point Marina - at their dock

A common sight on the ICW - a dredge. You won't believe how quickly a good operator can swing that bucket around! 
Heading north we had three bridges we had to pass through. This section of the ICW is the toughest on cruisers in getting through on time. Two of the three bridges only open on top of the hour and they are spaced so you cannot make them without waiting for 1 to 2 hours! We had less waiting time in Florida through their section of 15 bridges than we did today through 3 bridges. An opening only once per hour does not allow much flexibility in ICW traffic so we spent at least 1.5 hour waiting for an opening.

In the meantime, storms were coming through with 30 to 35 kt winds and rain, such fun. At least there was no lightening. So we eventually made it to Swans Point Marina. The location is great for us, midway between Carolina Beach State Park Marina and our anchorage at Cedar Creek where we'll head on Saturday.

The docks are rather basic but they do the job
They do not have good depths inside, we skidded over a mud bar at near high tide to get in and even though it's high tide now, our depth meter is showing 4.9 ft (our keel is 4' 9"). Luckily, our departure on Saturday morning will be at high tide, I wouldn't want to try it at anything else. The marina is owned by a mother - daughter pair and they do everything they can think of to make the cruisers feel welcome, including fresh baked cinnamon bread for breakfast. When Ann brought Fleeting to the dock with 25 kt winds, they had a crew of five waiting for us to take our lines. It's a nice group of people here  but it's shallow. If you have more than 5 ft of depth, it's impossible. However, they do have docks facing the ICW that carry 6 to 7 feet at low tide, no problem but they are exposed to wakes from passing boats.

It's still very noisy here at 7:30 pm due to the 20 to 25 kt winds with higher gusts but it's due to die off tonight and Saturday is supposed to be sunny. Sure seems to be colder than what I remember in Florida! We're headed for Cedar Creek in the morning.