We just covered 102 miles in two days by going offshore.
We left Southport, North Carolina and decided to make our first offshore run since entering the ICW back in Virginia. We ventured back out to the Cape Fear River and through the Cape Fear inlet, heading for Little River Inlet. This would be a short offshore run and easily doable in one day, bringing us across the border into South Carolina!
Once out past the inlet, the waves were rolling, resulting in water over the bow, something we had not seen since Long island Sound on September 12th. We were really hoping for a sail, but that only lasted for 2 hours. Back to the engine. Ugh.
We anchored in Calabash Creek, off of Little River, by mid-afternoon, giving us some time to relax before dinner.
Several boats filed in after us to anchor here for the night. Once again (I think the 4th time) we found ourselves near Simple Life with Joe and Michele, who anchored just ahead of us. It was a quiet evening in the creek.
We reviewed our charts and routes for the next day as well as another careful look at the weather. Both the Captain and the Admiral agreed that tomorrow would be another offshore day to Winyah Inlet, leading ultimately to Georgetown. The ICW has been a fascinating experience, but we enjoyed being “outside” in the ocean. It must be our New England blood – it felt more like home. It also made for a more relaxing trip (if the wind and weather cooperate) because autopilot took over and we did not need to constantly maneuver among the markers, boats, bridges, and shallows of the ICW.
The route from Little River to Winyah Inlet, and ultimately Georgetown, was 67 miles long which would be just about the maximum safely possible during daylight at 6 knots/hour. We left as early as possible, 7:02 am, and it was just lightening a tiny bit.
Because it was still a bit dark, we carefully followed our breadcrumbs from yesterday’s trip back out of the inlet. As you can see on the chartplotter photo below, this was another case of don’t use only the electronics or charts. They can be outdated and markers are moved for new shallows.
If you get tired of looking at photos of the dawn, fast forward through here. It was so beautiful I could not stop taking pictures.
We were surprised by how utterly flat the seas were. What we call a “power boater’s dream day.” The water was so flat that the ocean blended with the sky. The day became cloudy; the kind of cloudy that is subdued, but not depressing.
It was so calm I was able to make us a nice, big, hot breakfast in the galley while underway!
We spent the entire day alone, ten miles offshore, and never saw another boat until we reached the entrance to Winyah Inlet.
It took another 2 hours to wind our way from Winyah Inlet, cross the ICW, and then reach Georgetown. We are looking forward to exploring Georgetown for a day.