Sometimes you just have to have a couple travel days. We did not see very many attractive anchorages along the ICW while traveling from Carolina Beach to Beaufort North Carolina, so we opted for a long 67.5 mile, 6 hour day on April 22nd to reach Swansboro, followed by a 28.8 mile day to Beaufort, North Carolina.
Looping Training: How to decide where to stay? Our tools for locating anchorages and marinas are Active Captain, which is linked to our Navionics navigation software, Waterway Guide, a hard book and also website, the AGLCA website, and most importantly the AGLCA Facebook forum. All these resources have great comments from fellow boaters describing the weather protection, bug situation and nearby sights.
On the way from Carolina Beach to Swansboro, we passed all sorts of interesting sites:
- An oyster farm
- Serious dredging operations
- A very large and scary barge passing us at an impressive speed in a narrow section of the ICW: Hallalujah feels pretty small next to this guy!
- Local guy raking for oysters
We saw so many interesting sites (to us anyway), that it takes two Photo Blocks in this blog Next grouping includes:
- House on an island. Will it last through the next hurricane?
- Not very good picture of a dolphin. We’ve seen so many, and yet they are camera shy.
- Swing bridge!
- Firing Tank at Marines Camp Lejuene. Notice the sign is not flashing, so we don’t have to dodge live ammunition!
- Burning fields and tons of smoke. This brought on an eerie feeling for Steve and I given the horrible fires in our home state Colorado all last summer and fall. We were assured they were CONTROLLED burns.
Upon reaching Swansboro, our first goal was to get fuel at Casper’s Marina. $2.35/gallon versus $3.05/gallon is a big difference when you purchase 250 gallons!
There were two great things about this anchorage. The first were the no less than ten dolphins that greeted us. Unfortunately, I didn’t get great pics as I was setting the anchor. The second great thing was that we anchored close to Irrational Exuberance. We did not meet the owners of this boat during our anchorage, but we pulled in next to them the next day at Beaufort Yacht Basin and have been enjoying Loren and Lisa, as well as other common looper friends for a couple days! We are beginning to cross paths repeatedly with a few looper boats. This is what all loopers talk about after they’ve completed the loop: you meet people, continue to cross paths with them, and get to be great friends. We look forward to that with several folks we have met!
From Swansboro to Beaufort North Carolina on April 23rd: We elected to only stay one night at the Swansboro anchorage because we expected the winds to pick up for the next few days. We wanted to get to a secure marina to ride this out.
Weather Training: We use PredictWind to help us determine our schedule. Mostly we care about wind speed, gusts, wave height and interval. PredictWind compares six different weather applications. With this in mind, we traveled 28.8 miles to Beaufort Yacht Basin on April 23rd to beat the strong winds. Again, lots of ICW scenery.
Rounding the corner of the ICW into the Beaufort Inlet, we passed the North Carolina State Port Terminal. Not much action was going on in the freight yard, but the fishing boats were thick in this area! We cruised through at least 15 small fishing boats. Wonder what they caught?
We were happy to arrive at Beaufort Yacht Basin around 1 o’clock on April 23rd.