Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Beaufort to Swansboro in Pictures.

As you know from yesterday's blog, which I updated a couple of times, we left Beaufort NC in fog.  This is the channel leading from the town dock to the bottom of Radio Island.

We could see about a quarter of a mile.   I wasn't worried until we hit the main shipping channel.  Just as we did, there was a securite' on the radio from the tug Pamlico saying he was leaving the Radio Island terminal and would need all of the channel to manuver.  We didn't know where the Radio Island terminal was, but Radio Island isn't that big so we knew it must be close.   We looked to see if we could make visual contact.

Nope.  Our electronics are awesome, though.  Our radar and AIS overlay our chart on the plotter.  The radar was too cluttered with hits from ships, tugs, buildings, buoys, and the bridge so we couldn't find him that way, but his AIS signal showed him just in front of us, heading north under the bridge at four knots, so we were safe.

We took a left and headed south down the ICW.  The fog started to lift.   We saw Capt. Stacy IV approaching from behind us.  We slowed so he could pass at a no wake speed.  He did not slow, the bastard.

We took the wake on our beam so our stabilizers could deal with it, which they did quite well.

This is a very confusing section of the ICW.   There's a channel that comes in from the right, and one that branches off to the left.  There are buoys everywhere.  We made the mistake of following Captain Stacy, who we thought was continuing down the ICW.   He was not.  Oops.

You can see the U-turn on our track on the chart plotter.

Next came a bridge, which was guarded by these oddly colored pelicans.

A little farther down the line we saw this.

Pam was driving.  "What is that?", she asked.

I looked through the binoculars.  "It's the ICW school bus.", I replied.  "If it's flashing red lights, don't pass it.  You have to stop."

Pam looked at me with one of those looks.  You guys know the look I'm talking about.

This is what it actually was. a small yellow crane on a small barge pushed by a dinky push boat..

Next, we were passed by a couple of very small fishing boats.  I always marvel at the variety of water craft there is. 

We were getting close to Swansboro and Casper's Marine.  It rained a little.   Time to turn on the windshield wiper.

We passed row after row of McMansions, most of which I thought were pretty ugly, but this one caught our attention.   Interesting.

We reached buoy 46B and I hailed Casper's Marine, as instructed, and got docking instructions from the dock master.  Casper's Marine is only rated as a three star (out of five) marina on ActiveCaptain.com.   I didn't expect much, but was pleasantly surprised.  It's really very nice.  It's not a fancy dancy yachty type of place, certainly, but utilitarian.  Fine by me.

The office and store is in the left part of the building, and the right side is a huge warehouse for the dry storage of boats.  The docks are nice, and the young guy who helped us tie up was efficient and professional.   For anyone leaving Beaufort for points south who has a slow boat like Drift Away and can't make Wrightsville in one hop, this is a good stop.

The dogs love when we stop and can't wait to get off the boat to explore.  Chevy, the Shar-Pei/Pit Bull mix, also goes on immediate guard duty protecting us from criminals, ne'r-do-wells, communists, Tea Party candidates, and Jehovah's witnesses.

We took them on a short walk into town to explore a bit.  Swansboro's historic district is very nice and their downtown small, but inviting.  We intend to stop here on our way north and spend a day or two.  I need to ask the locals what this thing is.   It seems to be the offspring of a goose that mated with a turkey.

Friends Ed and Wendy came for a visit in the evening.  They brought an amazing chili, the kind that makes the top of your head sweat.  It was awesome!

Today we head for Wrightsville.  There's a low bridge there that we may not be able to get through before rush hour so we may stop north of it.   Naturally, if we can get through, we'll stop south of it.  I've read that Wrightsville is a beautiful town, but we're beating feet south and will probably wait until our trip north to explore it.  It's a brisk 61 degrees here at 6 AM.   


  1. Chevy guarding the boat reminds me of Shadow guarding ours! :-)


  2. What happened to the windshield wiper from a few days ago? Definitely better looking than yesterdays! Making good progress all of a sudden. Was it the palm tree???

  3. Now that your heading south you may want to pick up kauffman's field guide to birds. What you have there is a muscovy duck, not a goose at all. We love the birding along the coast!

    We want to know why the captain doesn't become the 'windshield wiper'. Let the first mate stay dry!

  4. Stayed at Casper's last year and it is a nice place. Our service experience was not so hot, but that's just because they sent out a couple of bone head boys to help tie us up. Current was pretty strong if I remember.
    Neat little town and a good restaurant that I can't recall the name of.
    Nice pics...
    Have fun and maybe if you get this far south or we go north we shall meet.
    Bob and Mel

  5. @Mark J, same washer, a shower can make a world of difference. :)

    @summer wind, we have a good bird book. I thought it was a muscovy when I saw it (country girl here), but I wasnt sure until I pulled my bird book out this morning. I had never seen one any place other than a farm. Lol.... I liked Dave's description, though.... A cross with a turkey! Ps... I only wipe the windows when it stops raining... Lol!


  6. The bird in the picture is a henway.

  7. a hen weighs 4 or 5 pounds....lol