Happy Easter we are traveling

I hope all our family and friends had a great Easter.  Kent and I spent this great day traveling on the ICW in North Carolina.  We had another short day with only about 35 miles to navigate.  The morning was bright, sunny, and 70 another great day for traveling.

This area is called Carolina Beach in North Carolina.  Before English settlers arrived in the Cape Fear area in the 1700, Carolina Beach like many stretches of the southern NC coast lines, was inhabited by small pockets of Tuscanora Indians.  On the eve of the Civil war the population on the beach was 72, mainly farmers.  Once in the union hands the ACE built a jetty to make the inlet more passable for ships (which still stand today.)   Carolina Beach areas is historically known as “Pleasure Island”.

Seabreeze and Carolina Beach resorts at one time were separated by a half mile, one for blacks, the other for whites.  They were in different worlds.  Seabreeze was the black resort just up the coast across the ICW at Snow’s Cut.  Originally called Freeman’s Beach from the 1920 to the 1950’s locals made a living serving black tourists with sandwiches, beer, and family picnics.

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Pictures of how close we are to the Atlantic Ocean.  Yes those are vehicles on the beach crazy to be that close the ocean.

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Pictures as we are traveling on the ICW.  The water is so clean in this area.

This is Wrightsville Beach and east of Wilmington, North Carolina.  The town consists of a four mile long beach island and  a interior island called Harbor Island, with pockets of commercial property on the main land.  Wrightsville Beach is composed of two islands that are separated by two different bodies of water.  Bradley creek runs between the mainland and the Hammocks.  In the 1700 and 1800 the Hammocks were accessible by a footbridge from the mainland and by boat.

This is the Wrightsville Beach swing bridge built-in 1956.  The first cause way was built-in 1926.  The bridge opens on the hr. from 7a.m. to 7 p.m.   We were 25 minutes to early and had to wait for the bridge to open.  There was a very strong current so Kent turned the boat around and backtracked a short distance to wait for the opening.  We had more room to ideal around as this is a very congested area with marina traffic and Motts Channel.

After we left the swing bridge we saw this in the ICW a flag, palm tree, and a parking meter.  Boats in this area don’t slow down for anything.  Boating is what makes Wrightsville beach tick and the activities throughout its waterway are perhaps greater here than any other North Carolina region.

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This is called the Figure Eight Bridge which is a privately owned bridge by homeowners on Figure Eight Island.  The bridge was built-in 1981 which replaced the original bridge built-in 1960.  The ICW to Figure Eight island is a private island and can only be reached by a guarded causeway swing bridge.  Now these swing bridges will not open if there are winds of 35 mph or greater.  We didn’t have to wait for this bridge to open as the bridge clearance is 20 ft. and we only need 18 feet with antennas down to clear.

We dock at Harbor Village in North Carolina and it was very windy when we arrived.  The dock master Mike put us on the gas dock.  I had the boat all set up on both sides with lines and fenders.  This was a good thing as the original plans to tie on starboard but didn’t work.  Kent had to spin the boat around due to strong winds and tide on port.  That was a wild docking.  Johnny and Liz went straight into their slip hoping their power cord would reach.  There was no way they were going to back into the slip.  They were across from us with water in between.  It was a half a mile walk around the marina to their boat for dock tails.

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This is what happens to the paper towels when you forget to shut the window with strong winds.

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Monday morning we left around 8:00 so we would make the next bridge opening.  I just love navigating in the morning with the sun shimmering on the water.

The Surf bridge opened in November 1955 making it possible for an island 26 miles long to developed by connecting the mainland to Topsail island.  The surf Bridge is the last remaining truss swing bridges on the ICW in North Carolina.  It is also the newest extant truss swing bridge and has the longest span.  A Truss bridge is a bridge who’s load bearing superstructure is composed of a truss a structure of connected elements usually forming triangular units.  Some history of Topsail island and how it got its name.  A Thousand  years ago Indians used the island as a seasonal fishing village.  In the 1700’s pirates hiding their ships in the small channels behind the dunes frequently attacked merchant sailors.  The merchant ships soon learned to keep a lookout for the topsails showing over the dunes, hence the name Topsail island.   In 1940 the government took over the island a constructed concert towers and launching pads for the first site of americans space program which later moved to Cape Canaveral Fl.  Now the island is the site of year around resort communities.

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We had to wait for the Surf bridge to open and then it opened 15 minutes late.  After going through we found out they were waiting for the shrimp boat to arrive on the north end.

These are more pictures as we traveled north on the ICW through Stump sound and Everett Bay.

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This is called Alligator Bay in Onslow  County North Carolina.  I looked all around and still didn’t see any alligators.

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What we did see at the end of the bay was this pink house, lighthouse and they even had a pink boat.

After traveling 39 miles are destination is Swan Point.  The review on this marina said it had transient service at the family owned and operated marina with a courtesy car.  Well they do have one long transient docks, no courtesy car, and not much for ships store.   I asked them what was in the blue building with the name of the marina and was told nothing.  I did get the WIFI to work and was afraid to check out the laundry room.   At one time this might have been a nice marina but not anymore.  The wind has picked up again and docking was not fun.  We are so glad to have dock hands help us with our lines when docking.  I don’t mind giving them a tip for all the work they do to help us.

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We were sitting on Johnny’s boat and saw John and Pam Short (Short vacation) pass by Swan Point Marina.  We hailed them on the radio they were going up two more miles and anchoring at Mile Hammock Bay.  They brought their dingy back and had docktails with us.  Was nice to see them again.  Compass Ross another looper also docked here.  They were only staying one nigh and heading for Newborn where will be on Saturday for the rendezvous.

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