ICW Trip 2001 Leg 13 Southport NC to Barefoot SC
If you look carefully, you can see me out on the stern taking a picture of Penelope Jane as she takes my picture.
"November 10, 2001 - leaving Southport"
Today we have to go through the only pontoon bridge on the east coast ICW. It floats on the water. Last year we heard that it couldn't open at low tide because it didn't have enough water. The tides are increasing and they will be up to 8 feet in GA - here in SC, they are only about 5 -6 feet. The bridge only opens on the hour.
We get underway (HARMONY goes first) before 7:15. ADANACO passed us, and PENELOPE JANE, CJ VI and ROB's JUL soon followed. The tide was low, but the bridge was about 24 miles away. The tide goes from low to high every six hours, and we travel about 5 miles per hour so we should be there right about high tide.
We saw people out scraping barnacles off their pilings, and at least 2 sailboats sitting tied to the dock completely out of the water resting on their keels. Some crab pots are out of the water too.
We hear that the smoke from fires is so bad that the bridge is closed. It gets close to 11:00 and we are still almost 3 miles from the bridge. We are not going to make it. HARMONY is already up there and we see them go through.
ROB's JUL passes us, and gets down close to the bridge. We've cut back on the power. We have an hour to wait.
Or do we? There is a considerable conversation on the radio from TowBoat US. Apparently the tow boat has to go through the bridge, so it will open. And all of us slower boats get through the bridge. I took a lot of pictures (which will be posted mostly under Sunset Beach which is where the bridge is) and so did Penelope of PENELOPE JANE. Some of the Canadian boats stopped at Sunset Beach to pick up mail.
We have 2 other bridges, both on request. One is the Little River bridge and one is Barefoot Landing. Since some of the boats have stopped and the others aren't aware that they have stopped, they try to get the Little River Bridge to wait for them, but we don't want to wait. So we go through, but they hang back waiting for the others. Then when they get there the Little River Bridge sdoesn't want to open again right away.
We are going into the Rockpile section of the ICW. This is a canal cut out of rock, where the edges are often under water at high tide (see photo below) sticking out just a few inches under the water pretty much invisible. We have this demonstrated for us the next day.
After we went through the Barefoot bridge and tied up at Barefoot Landing. This is a free dock by a big outlet mall area. This has been called the most expensive free dock on the ICW There is 500 or so feet of dock, and boats tie and then raft onto each other. There were at least 36 boats there (mostly monohull sailboats), rafted to the maximum of 4 in a lot of places. (More pictures in another section here.)
Several people had a problem with dead heads doing damage to their boats. There was one place where they were rafted 5 deep and when the paddlewheel boat tried to turn to come into the pier I thought it was going to skewer us with the boarding ladder.
Our raft apparently shifted forward when the tide/current changed and our anchor and that of the boat outside of us came perilously close to the hard dinghy of CAROLINA the boat in front. After some running around and pulling and tugging, we got everyone straightened out. (Bob and Carol of CAROLINA were in Belhaven anchored out and Max and Lucette took their propane bottle from the store to the dinghy dock for them in the marina's electric golf cart.)
There was an Australian guy who was in a little boat on the pier and he said he refused to have anyone raft off of him because he only had 4 cleats and 2 of them pulled out the last time he was rafted. I thought this was egregious - he could have been on the outer end of a raft and not taken up prime dock space. Or he could have had his boat in better repair.
We had a sailboat from Boston outside us and a power boat named SHARON LEE inside of us, and inside of him was a somewhat unfortunate looking yawl.
We went up to dinner to T-Bonz, and they said we'd have to wait. Then we went to a crab place - same story - empty restaurant and we'd have to wait. We walked out. We went to Johnny Rocket's, which is a hamburger and malt type place. The wait staff does the macarena etc.
"November 11, 2001"
MARCUS who was the outside of his raft wanted to stay another day to shop more, but the people inside him didn't. He got underway early, and got stuck when he tried to turn around. A little tug type trawler called KNOCK OUT tried to pull him off. When they took a strain on the line the boat heeled but didn't move. Heard later that he was high and dry at low tide stuck on the rock ledges.
We kept cautiously in the middle.
Passed the place where the skyway takes golfers from the clubhouse to the course over the canal.
There was also a waving man or statue or manikin. Lucette waved back before she realized that it wasn't a real person
Then we came to the two bridges which they were starting construction on last year
SIMPLICITY (dink MANANA) and JAZZABELLE, KNOCKOFF and CAROLINA passed us and so did BAD BOY from North East MD (Lucette asked where that was, and Bob and I kept saying Northeast is in Northeast MD).
Next stop: Georgetown SC