North on the Intracoastal: Waccamaw River, SC to Cape Fear River, NC

Bucksport Marina, ICW, South Carolina
Early morning start, Bucksport Marina, ICW
Up. Walk the dog. Leave. Coffee and oatmeal on the way. Through the swing bridge with Snickers from Switzerland. Do you think they like Snickers? If I gave them a Snickers, would they glare, tell me they are vegan, and wonder why Americans are always trying to give them Snickers bars? 
Northbound, Waccamaw River, SC
Following Snickers!
Bridges on the ICW
Bridge and Swing Bridge, Northbound on the ICW
Pass houses. Fancy houses. Jet skis surround us like a Dothraki horde. Constant wakes. New developments. Dock houses that don’t match their houses. Heat. People on the docks take our picture. Is it me, Matt, Hastings, or the boat that is so interesting? 
Houses on the ICW
Fancy Houses, Northbound on the ICW
Bridges always scare me. It always looks like we are going to hit (the fixed bridge is 65 feet, we are 54 ft) and I always freak out and pray and cry. Next up: negotiating tight passes with opposing traffic, in between rocks. I conquer, then hand the helm to Matt just in time for the intracoastal turns deep, wide, silent and with no bridges in sight. 
More Bridges on the ICW!
Bridges on the ICW!
We pass through Myrtle Beach, a seemingly nice town with a serious jet ski problem.

Boating traffic on the ICW
ICW, South Carolina
Boating Traffic on the ICW
Bridges and Jet Skis - a lot to guard against!
Inlet on the ICW, South Carolina
Shalotte Inlet, scene of many groundings due to shifting shoals. Exciting!
Northbound on the ICW
Northbound on the ICW, South Carolina
Southport, NC. We’re in a new state! Bug-free anchorage in Cape Fear River (Tina’s pocket) for the night. Matt is reading Cape Fear and reports there is a lake and fear, but no Cape Fear. I am behind on my geographically matching reading and still slogging through Our Man in Charleston. Anchored by a sandy island. No dogs allowed. But aren’t dogs “better” than a bunch of squalling, shitting birds?  
Southport, NC, ICW
Southport, ICW, South Carolina
Cape Fear River, ICW, North Carolina
Cape Fear River anchorage
Departed: Bucksport Marina, MM 377
Anchored: Cape Fear River, MM 306

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  1. I feel the same way about bridges. We had an experience once when we were going under one with less than a foot of clearance and a motor boat came from behind us and threw out a big wake. Thankfully we weren't under the bridge yet (just the bow) so we could turn around and wait for the wake to settle down which literally had us rising two feet. Had we been under the bridge, they would have broken our wind instruments at the very least (we're 72 feet from the waterline).

    1. Wow, that is really scary. I have watched a similar situation (unfortunately the sailboat was already under the bridge) and they suffered a lot of damage. It was literally one of the worst experiences of our boating lives and it didn't even involve us directly. Bridges are the worst!

  2. Sorry to have to be the one to say it, but they're taking pictures of Hastings, not you guys, because he's so adorable :-) Bridges scare me too. It always seems like we're going to break our mast in two even though it clearly is much shorter than the bridge on paper.

    1. Yeah, he's pretty adorable and definitely the most popular crew member :-). The only bridge I felt good about was the Ravenel in Charleston - 185 ft. I know I can clear that!

  3. Dogs are always better than birds. At least we clean up after our dogs. Who cleans up after the birds? Fixed bridges deserve my trust. It is when you have to wait for bridge opening times while fighting currents and traffic and when you have to trust the bridge operator with his movable bridge to not accidentally close it while you pass through, that my nerves were tested. Jet-skis are the worst in Florida. Traversing the ICW on weekdays was more enjoyable for us. We did it in the fall, though and it was getting darn cold. Not so enjoyable. :-)


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