Masonboro, North Carolina
Date: Tuesday 10th June 2014
Position: 34:12.322N 77:48.053W
Tim & Aoife left Georgetown on Saturday 7th to follow the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW) northwards. I left on Sunday 8th, but my draft would not allow me to navigate the ICW without a high risk of running aground, so I took the seaward route. As I was still sailing solo I did not want to be at sea for much more than 24 hours as I know that this is about as long as I can stay alert without needing to sleep.
There were only two places that I could stop within this 24 hour limit. Southport (downriver from Wilmington) was the nearest but if I chose to stop there then in order to subsequently continue my journey I would have to retrace my route for about 25 miles to go around an area of shallow water (Frying Pan Shoal) before I could continue northwards. The previous sail from Charleston to Georgetown had had similar restrictions and it had discouraged me from sailing further than necessary so I chose to bypass Southport and instead go on to the next stopping point, Masonboro.
I left Georgetown at around 9:00am and set off down river against the current again. I didn’t actually get back into the sea until around midday. The rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. There was practically no wind, so I motored most of the way through the night. I was in danger of approaching Masonboro in the dark so I turned the engine off and sailed at about 2 knots for a couple of hours. I was then able to enter the anchorage just after first light and I was finally anchored and everything tidied up by around 7:00am. It was very sheltered with good holding.
After a much needed sleep I went ashore for a long walk, and when I returned was delighted to see Waimangu anchored nearby. The evening continued to improve after they had invited me on board and gave me beer and a bowl of pasta. The next day they continued their journey along the ICW.