Changes of plans and groundings!

Karma Daze
Chris and Penny Manley
Sat 1 Oct 2016 20:50

“34:43N 076:40W”

Thursday 29th September – Saturday 30th September

We were planning to go out to sea at Cape Fear, but when we got up on Thursday, the wind was from the south west which would have meant a long slog against the wind out to sea, so, change of plan – we will go up the Cape Fear river and rejoin the ICW, go along to Wrightsville, anchor and then leave there at about 5pm and then enter the Atlantic at Masonboro inlet at Wrightsville and then sail up to Beaufort.  Still arriving as planned on Friday morning.

From the Cape Fear river we have to cut across to the ICW.  Reading the information on Active Captain it seemed to be quite a difficult cut across so we got some advice from TowBoatUS.  We have insurance with them in case of any problems such as running aground, running out of fuel etc.  A bit like the AA for boats.  We would be grateful for this later in the day...

Their advice was to cross to the cut either 2 hours before low water or 2 hours after and we would have no problem.  This proved to be the case as we were well before then, and also the river currents were not too strong.

We continued up to Wrightsville about 20 miles away.  The plan was to anchor and then continue.  The weather wasn’t brilliant – thunderstorms and squalls around, so if, when we anchored the weather wasn’t looking too good we would stay overnight and continue along the ICW the following day.

When we got to Wrightsville we turned off the ICW into Motts Channel. The information we had said there was shoaling by the first marina in the channel, and keep away from the docks.  Unfortunately we didn’t stay far enough away and ran aground.  Not being able to move we contacted TowBoatUS just after another boat called them who had also run aground!  The TowBoat was very close to us so he came to us first, attached a rope and 30 seconds later we were free!  We went and anchored while he went off to rescue the other boat, and he would then come back and take all our details.

The weather didn’t seem too bad so we set off at 5 as planned and went out to sea. The wind was from the SW so we just put up the genoa as we didn’t want to sail too fast and arrive at Beaufort in the dark, and had a pleasant if quite rolly sail to Beaufort.  We arrived at the safe water mark at 07.30, and were tied u