Intracoastal Waterway - Day 10

Still  206 nm to go- that's what happens when you don't move! I never thought I'd say this after the heat of the last few months but … BRRRR! With the strong northerlies came a significant drop in temperature and it's been downright chilly. This morning we rose to 64F/18C, 93% humidity. The winds had calmed during the night, but there was still a brisk 15+ knot winds blowing. Despite the sun, in the cockpit as the wind whistled through, it was cold and raw. I dug out long-sleeved shirts to keep us warm, but we just couldn't face long pants or shoes. Even though it was cool, the high humidity kept everything dewy and sticky. We had to squeegee the windscreen so we could see through it. No defrosters or windshield wipers on the boat!

As we departed Swansboro, we passed local shrimp boats tied up at the dock and weathered houses along the shore … very scenic and maritime-esque.


We had planned this as a very short day ... for two reasons. First, planning evening anchorages for the next couples of legs was difficult. There weren't many anchorages that would accommodate our 7'2” draft (2.1m), so we chose a closer anchorage for tonight and two anchorages further up the ICW that were about 60 nm apart. The second reason for the short day?  As you know, we are lazy sailors and we can easily rationalize short days. Enough said. Unfortunately, though it was a short day, we still left before 0600 in order to time the rising tide for passing shoal areas.

We headed up the ICW, under the Emerald Isle Bridge and across the wide, flat expanse of the Bogue Sound. The wind whipped up the waves and there were whitecaps until we reached the relative shelter of Morehead City. We smelled wood and sawdust as the huge bulk container vessels unloaded their wood pulp into the waiting barges.

intracoastal waterway

As we turned the corner at the end of the commercial docks, we were exposed to the Morehead City Inlet. The current was in direct conflict with the wind and the waters roiled. We passed through the open, bascule Carolina Coastal Railroad Bridge and then immediately under the fixed Morehead City-Newport River Bridge. Eddies and whirlpools pulled and pushed the boat as it glided through.

intracoastal waterway

Just up the way, we spotted Chimney Island, which by the way, is for sale. Though I'm not sure of its history, its name is obvious.

intracoastal waterway

By mid-morning, it was warming up and comfortable again and we were ready to anchor. Newport Marshes is a tiny little spot just off the ICW that can accommodate about one boat the size of Nine of Cups. We found a fine little 15' pocket, dropped the hook and settled in for the rest of the day and night.

By the light of the full moon, everything looks beautiful.

full moon on the intracoastal waterway

Some new ICW info … We picked up a new navigation app by Navimatics called Charts and Tides, as recommended by Bob423 (aka Bob Sherer), a frequent and trusted contributor to Active Captain. This app overlays the Active Captain info on NOAA charts and it's pretty slick. It has lots of nifty features that we haven't even discovered yet. Though we're still learning about it, so far it's terrific. It's not just for the ICW, however, it also includes charts for the entire USA including Alaska, Hawaii and the US Caribbean islands. We're impressed!