Saturday, October 21, 2017

St James Plantation Marina - at a dock

This area has one of the nicest houses along the ICW
It was another wonderful day on the ICW.We've had so many windy, rainy, and stormy days that when they come this nice, it's a real surprise. The Surf City bridge only opens on top of the hour so we were ready for the 8:00 am opening and got right through. The next bridge, Figure 8 Bridge is not a problem since it opens every 1/2 hour. The real challenge is to make the Wrightsville Bridge which only opens on top of the hour and it's very hard to make since you have to average about 8 kts for the run. You never know about the tides, they can help or they can hurt. We had both this morning and in the end we were six minutes late for the bridge. However, there were no other boats so the bridge operator opened the bridge a little late just for us. We were thrilled! His consideration saved us an hour of waiting time.

As we passed the inlets along the way, we either sped past at 8 kts or slowed down to 6 kts, depending on the details of the inlet. It's very hard to plan ahead for the tides along this route. Our trip today included a run down the Cape Fear River which is usually a bear of a ride due to the speed of the current and any winds in the area. Today it was totally tame. The winds were less than 5 kts if that and at one point we were doing 11.5 kts (which is a 4 kt current)! We will never have such a great ride again down the Cape Fear River as we did today. The standard could not possibly be exceeded.

The view off the back of Fleetwing. The clubhouse is at the left. They have an all you can eat buffet of salads and soup for $11! 
We are now docked at the St. James Plantation Marina which is private but they do rent out slips as they are available for transients. We were able to get one of the last ones they had. It seems we are in the midst of the fall migration and competing for slips along the way.

The weather is trying to make amends for all the terrible things it did to us on the way down so we expect nice temperatures and less wind for the rest of the trip to Titusville. At least we can hope.


Anonymous said...

Let us know if you stop at the free dock in Jax.

sv Vixen
Beneteau 373

Bob423 said...

Terri, we plan on stopping at the Jacksonville free dock on either Nov 2 or 3. I’ll update as we get closer.

Steve s/v Escapaide said...

Hi Bob, we are about 5 days behind you and watching your comments very closely, I noticed your Spot has not updated since Surf City, the last input showed you battery as low.
Thanks for all your inputs on the ICW.
S/V Escapaide

Bob423 said...

Steven, thanks for the tip. I’ll put in new batteries. Watch out for New River. The old “Dip Route” will lead you into a shoal on the last waypoint. I updated Active Captain with the new waypoints. I don’t mention all the AC updates in my blog but they are all there if you download the latest AC update to your iPad app. Be sure to do that be starting out each morning.

Also of note is the hazard marker just north of G135 by Mason Inlet. You have to go outside the channel to avoid a 5 ft MLW shoal right in the middle of the channel. See the hazard marker for details.

On Monday we’ll brave Lockwoods Folly and Shallotte!