November 12, 2014
Well, I suppose it had to happen at some point, one or both of us coming down with a cold. It’s me. I woke up yesterday with my throat feeling a little raspy, but otherwise I felt fine. This morning when I woke up I had that run down “cold” feeling and a croaking voice. I’ve succumbed, but I’m hoping that plenty of water, vitamin C, the neti pot and some Echinacea tea will do the trick. So far, Jim is fine. I’m basically bathing in hand sanitizer in the hope that he will not get it too.
Despite my croaking voice we had a good cruising day today. Our destination was Southport, NC, a mere 20 nautical miles from Wrightsville Beach. We decided to take it easy in the morning and leave around 9am. For most of our mornings we have started out and then made breakfast while we were underway. Today, we made breakfast and actually sat down in our salon and ate it.
We thought we might need to wait until about 9:15 to leave because of the 9 am bridge opening. But apparently no boats needed the opening, so we had the channel pretty much to ourselves. We did have to contend with some current at the dock, which was flowing toward the bridge at the dock and in the opposite direction in the middle. The current direction at the dock was good for us because we had a boat right behind us and space ahead of us. That meant that I could just use the thrusters to move us off the dock and then gradually turn toward the center of the channel, make the 180 degree turn and then head for Southport. The only issue was getting Jim to pay attention to casting us off. He was gabbing away with the two guys who were on the boat behind us. But we made it, gabbing and all.
The cruise to Southport was more of the same narrow channel with beach marshes on the ocean side and seaside development on the mainland side. But even with the development, this area is really beautiful. We had the occasional dolphin, but not the pods we saw yesterday and the day before.
Eventually we reached the man-made land cut, known as Snow’s Cut, that would take us over to the Cape Fear River. This is a narrow passage with some rocks that encroach on the channel on one side and some serious shoaling on the other. Plus, just to make things interesting there is a confusing set of marks where the cut exits the Cape Fear Peninsula and opens out to a channel through very low water that leads to the main shipping channel in the Cape Fear River. We had looked at this area carefully on Active Captain the night before and heeded all the warnings as we were passing through and we had no problems.
The Cape Fear River, which can be very unpleasant in high winds, was glassy calm. Our only issue was the 2 knot current that was running against us. But we did not have far to go down the river and just backed the throttle down and cruised comfortably until we reached the turnoff for Southport. While still in the river, however, we put Curiosity on plane and ran her at full throttle (2600rpm) just to make sure we had sustained any damage from the “bump” we took yesterday north of the Onslow Bridge. We hit 2600 rpms on both engine and did not notice any strange noises or vibrations. We were all good.
We arrived in Southport shortly after noon. Jim pulled us up to the dock perfectly and we were quickly tied up. We rinsed and chamoised Curiosity and then decided to hike over to the “Fishy Fishy Café” for lunch, recommended by the Southport Marina staff. We normally have lunch on the boat, but we decided that with my croaky throat we should opt for lunch off because I might end up eating soup and crackers for dinner.
Lunch was fried shrimp for Jim and a buffalo chicken soup with salad for me. Jim’s shrimp were delicious. My soup was spicy and a little on the gloppy side, but perfect for what ailed me.
We then decided to stroll over to the historic section of Southport. Along the way we passed a number of “low country” houses that dated from the late 1800s. I don’t know what the official definition of a “low country” house is, but I think of them as houses that were built for coastal living, with large porches and tin roofs. Some are one-story and others are two-story, but they all look like they’re designed to take advantage of the coastal breezes.
We wandered around downtown Southport, which like Swansboro is already decked out for Christmas. The toy store had Christmas paraphenalia on the sidewalk and carols playing for the general public. I, for one, am just not ready for this. I’m not even thinking about Thanksgiving!
We tracked down the local health food store and purchased the Echinacea tea. Who knows if it will do anything, but it makes me feel like I’m fighting the cold and not just succumbing. By this time, however, I was beginning to fade. So we headed back to Curiosity to relax, do laundry, fill up the water tanks and prepare for our cruise tomorrow to Myrtle Beach.