Little River and Southport, North Carolina

April 21 – 24, 2011

The cyprus swamp.

From Georgetown we traveled up the ICW toward Little River, NC. The stretch of the ICW that we passed through was bordered by a beautiful cyprus swamp. Ospreys nested in the tall trees on out on the channel markers. I posted a few photos of these fishing hawks in a previous post: Down the Intracoastal in South Carolina We traveled more quickly than anticipated and made it to our planned anchorage too early. The tide was down and the entrance too shallow. With several hours of daylight to go, we headed for what appeared to be another good anchorage. Once we got there though, the current was ripping through the little river inlet and neither anchor was holding. Luckily for us there was a restaurant was dockage on the river. Kris pulled into the dock magnificently, despite the strong current that pulled him off to the starboard side. Carol and I assisted from the dock, pulling the bow and stern lines to keep Kris from pulling too far to the right and away from the dock. It was an exciting and exhausting night.

Range marker and signal flag.

The following day we left early to journey up to the Cape Fear area. I’m still not entirely sure why it’s called Cape Fear, but I believe it is because of the numerous shoals in the area, particularly the one that stretches out from the point about 10 miles out into the ocean. Ships unfamiliar with the area would have a hard time safely navigating into the harbor. That is where the town of Southport comes in. For centuries pilot boat captains have been guiding ships through Cape Fear waters and into port. Southport is now a quiet little town, with a few restaurants and shops that do their real business in the vacationing season. The houses around town range from the 19th century to present day. The Southport Marina is a nice place to stay for a few days, with electric, water, showers, laundry, and diesel and gasoline readily available. However, if business is not too booming, you can tie up for free at the Provision Company in town. Docking is limited but the food is quick and good.
We stayed in Southport through most of Easter Sunday. At 5pm we headed out on a 24 hour trip up to the Outer Banks.

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