Published: November 15th 2007November 14th 2007
Nov 14. Beaufort, NC to Topsail Island, NC
We left Taylor Creek in Beaufort, NC at 0745. Since that minute every minute of the day was tense. We headed towards Morehead City Canal to get back in the ICW at 34 42.48 N 76 41.42 W. The markers have been updated and all the cruising guides suggest navigating with caution because the strong currents move the shoals. We went under Morehead bridge at 0832. And the ICW became very skinny with shoals on both sides. It continues narrow and shallow for 100 miles to South Port, NC.
I was online on my laptop trying to figure out how to get a RMA # for my new binoculars without missing the deadline. We are approaching Cedar Point Bridge (St. M 226). Vitto needed to hit the head and hands me the wheel and runs inside. My heart starts biting hard as I watch the depth sounder go down. I go to port and its 4 ft I go to starboard and its 3 feet. It’s a little deeper on the port side and I am still in the channel. Maybe just at the edge. My eyes are stocked on the depth
sounder: it shows 2.9 my heart bits harder I moved the wheel to port as I, slowly, pull the throttles back and bum. Something bad just happened. We heard cla, cla, cla. It happened in half a second. The indicator still shows 2.9 feet under the keel. The chart shows submerged pilings on that area… and half a foot of water on the right side of the channel and one foot on the left side. Very narrow and shallow channel. The cruising guide suggests setting the depth alarm at 8 ft on this area especially on St M 226 before the Cedar Point Bridge on Bogue Sound because the shoals move frequently. We read that later. The navigation guide calls this area a “special caution area” and suggests to keep current with the updated local notices to mariners regarding shifting bars and shoaling in this stretch.
Besides that, the cruising guide says “be especially careful at the Cedar Point Highway Bridge at Mile 226 because currents reversals and cancel each other out. Slow boats leaving Morehead City during the last part of the flood tide usually catch the first of the ebb tide at about Mile 220. Then a fair
tide carries to the point where Bogue Inlet meets at Swansboro below the Cedar Point Bridge”.
We continued our path. Vitto spend the rest of the day trying to find a local lift to haul the boat out so he can look at the props and change them if necessary. He found one at Wilmington, NC about 40 miles away from our actual location. So Wilmington, NC will be our destination tomorrow. I will fly out of there on Friday. I have to meet my mother at noon in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl. She is flying from Oklahoma City, OK. We are going to the Caribbean early Saturday morning to celebrate our birthdates.
At 1600 we docked at Harbor Village Marina at Topsail Island, NC. (St M 266.5)
We logged 58 nm today and 61.5 St M.
There are more photos below