Charleston

Last night was at anchor about 20 miles north on the ICW. Today I came into Charleston and anchored here, went ashore for the afternoon, and am now hunkered down for the night. Tomorrow I’ll noodle down to Beaufort.

I like the ICW all through here. Most of it is empty and isolated, with a mix of natural and man made channels. There is almost no traffic. Current is highly variable up to about 1.5 knots. Always interesting.

This is my second trip through here by boat. I came north on Mazurka in 2019, and it was all novel. This time I’ve got more time to look around and gain perspective.

Traveling on Escapade is a joy. I’ve settled on a waterway cruise speed of 6.8 – 7 knots through the water. Hardly any wake, and fuel consumption < 4 l/hr. The pilothouse is marvelous. Good visibility and comfortable all day.

South Carolina

Fall colours

I entered South Carolina this morning. Today was quiet and fine. Not much boat traffic. Most of the day was in the man-made cut that runs inland of Myrtle Beach. Not the most interesting scenery until you get to the Waccamaw River. I stopped for lunch at a canalside bar.

I’m anchored here in the middle of the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. Nobody around, very peaceful and quiet. Haven’t seen an abundance of wildlife but am keeping a watch. I was fascinated by this area when I came through on Escapade. It’s a meandering river through a Cyprus swamp.

Tomorrow it’s down the river to Georgetown, where I’ll stop for lunch and maybe go to a grocery store. Then press on south towards Charleston.

Cape Fear

Today was a fun day.

I was underway about an hour before dawn. Left the inlet in the dark, and ran about an hour to the Carolina Beach inlet, then the ICW cut over to the Cape Fear River.

I timed things so that I could easily visit Wilmington, which is about 20 miles up the river. Caught the tide up and back. There is a big port there.

Wilmington was delightful. There is a public dock downtown, and lots of shops and restaurants. I wandered around, had a great breakfast, and picked up some supplies.

After coming back down the river I continued south on the ICW, stopped in Southport to take on fuel and water, and anchored here just off the ICW in Lockwood Folly’s River.

I’m slowing down now. Rather than rushing to south Florida to leave the boat and travel to Ontario for Christmas I’m now planning to stay aboard and meet up with folks in Marathon Dec 28. Looking forward to more relaxed travel with stops and diversions like today’s as a result. I like the next couple of hundred miles through South Carolina and Georgia.

Fuel and trip stats Portland ME – Southport NC

I filled up today in Southport NC. Here are stats for the segment from Portland ME including my last fill in Atlantic City.

Days: 18

Motor hours: 154

Distance traveled: 1,059 nautical miles / 1,961 km.

Fuel used: 1,034 l / 274 gal

Furnace use accounted for almost 20% of the fuel used. 11 l/day on average. But I haven’t been cold.

Backing out furnace use that’s 4.7 nmpg at an average speed of 6.9 knots. 1.4 gal/hr.

Wrightsville Beach

Today was a straight line between Morehead City and here. I was about 9 miles from the coast at maximum. I left Beaufort at dawn with a bunch of southbound boats. Most headed south around Cape Fear. By midday as forecast it was calm. Very relaxed trip at 8 knots. I got in to the inlet about 3:45 and anchored here. Nice quiet spot, lots of locals visiting the beaches.

Tomorrow I think I’m going to take a side trip up the Cape Fear River to visit Wilmington. Weather is forecast to be sunny and calm for the next few days, with daytime highs in the mid 20s. I sort of rushed through this area last time through, so am going to explore a bit.

Beaufort NC

I got underway this morning before dawn, and got into Beaufort with lots of daylight left.  I’m now anchored here.  Went ashore and had a nice meal out, crab cakes and veggies.  Yum.

Another nice day, sunny and not cold.  I think the overnight low is expected to be about 12C. 

I think tomorrow I’m going to hit the ocean again and go down to Wrightsville Beach.  The ICW isn’t very interesting between here and there, and the weather looks good for a dash outside. 

Only one picture today, of a FPB. These are well known offshore power boats developed by Steve and Linda Dashew. First one I’ve seen in person.

Pungo River

I’m anchored here for the night. Beautiful day today, calm and sunny and temps in the teens. First time in a while I haven’t had the heat on during the day. Feels good.

Today I was underway at 0700 and didn’t stop. Across Albemarle Sound, into the Alligator River, and through the 20 mile long Alligator-Pungo Canal. I got out of the canal just as it was getting dark.

Tomorrow takes me closer to the coast, through Morehead City.

North Carolina

I’ve put some miles down since my last post.

Saturday afternoon I got underway from Atlantic City. I had arrived there late Thursday night from NY and was waiting for weather to clear to continue.

My timing was perfect. I cruised down the coast in a dying west wind, and got to Cape May at slack tide and calm, and then had a nice run up the Delaware River. I hit the Chesapeake Delaware canal with a favourable current, and kept going… I stopped for lunch in Rock Hall, then continued down to near Annapolis where I anchored about 4:00 pm Sunday and crashed.

Monday was another long day, leaving Annapolis at 0700 and arriving in Norfolk about midnight. Nice run down the Chesapeake with a following breeze.

This morning I was underway early and into the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. I stopped at dusk to anchor here just off the dredged channel.

I feel fortunate to have had the weather window to do this easily. It’s a relief to be south of winter and off the ocean. Should be smooth sailing from here.

It’s about 1,000 miles from here to Miami, with sheltered water all the way. From here on in it’ll be daytime travel mostly. I like this segment.

New York

I’m now in Atlantic City, where I’m anchored here. But since all the pics are NYC I think the title is apt.

NYC on the skyline from LI Sound

That’s the only photo I took Wednesday. Nice day. I basically Beelined down the sound.

I went in to Port Washington around 3:30 looking for a fuel dock, but both were closed. Anchored in the harbor, and decided that a 1:00 pm Friday departure would get me through and out of NY with favourable current and daylight.

Thursday was another lovely day. I slept in, got underway about 1230, and cruised down to Atlantic City, where I got in about 0330 Friday. Calm and 12C.

The harbor and rivers were very quiet. Thanksgiving. My timing was perfect, I was loafing along with a tail current all the way out to Sandy Hook. My original plan had been to stop at Barnegut Inlet, but it was easy going, and I continued on to here.

It’s raining heavily now, and almost calm. But the wind is going to boom in from the west in a few hours and then blow hard for 24 hours. Friday is going to be a lay day. It looks like things should be settled enough to get around Cape May and into the Delaware Bay Saturday evening, so a mid day Saturday departure looks like the basic plan.

Some great pics, I hope. I realized as I looked at them that I probably missed a few bridges. Sorry Sarah! These are in chronological order.

Long Island Sound

Another nice day. Cool, about 5C with NW 15-20 knot breeze, but sunny and clear, and lovely in the pilothouse. I essentially followed the shoreline west. I’m now anchored here near the mouth of the Connecticut River. It’s going to go below freezing tonight.

I popped into the nearby port of Westbrook to look at boats before coming back out to anchor. Yankee is quite famous, built to sail all over the world and then tour rivers. I was inspired by their travels as a kid.

The next two days look like more of the same, so I expect to be NY harbor Thursday. Looking forward to the trip through the East River.

At anchor