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The Salty Southeast
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Archive For: NC13 – Southport to Calabash

  • Captains Chuck and Susan Report on Southport, NC, AICW Statute Mile 309

    Southport MarinaZimmerman Marine Southport, NC, which plays to three SSECN sponsors, Southport Marina, Zimmerman Marine and Carolina Yacht Care, is a delightful riverside community with which I have long lasting, personal ties. It was on the banks of the “Old Basin” that I had the good fortune to live aboard my parents 48-foot wooden sportsfishermen during the summer months, between the ages of 10 and 15. Talk about an idyllic existence.
    My father had a good friend and local skipper here, Captain Sonny Potter. If Captain Sonny couldn’t find where the fish were biting, it was time to return to the dock. We had many a rare day fishing off the Frying Pan Shoals at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
    Carolina Yacht CareWhile today, Southport is far more frequented by visitors than was true during my boyhood days, this delightful community’s charms remain very much intact, and it is one of my very favorite personal ports of call.
    And so, when SSECN strategic partners, Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, filed their delightful article below, it was with much pleasure that I set their account up to be published here on our web site.
    We are once again greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” ( for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, set below! THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!

    Southport Town Dock - on the Old Dockage Basin

    Southport, NC by Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Southbound from Wrightsville Beach, it can be an easy run down the AICW and the Cape Fear River if you have the right wind and tide conditions. On the day we made the trip, it could not have been better. It was anchor up at 0730 in Wrightsville and we were tied to the town dock in Southport at 1045. Light winds and the outgoing tide made for a fast, comfortable trip and as we entered the basin at Southport, it was like seeing an old friend once again. The basin is just off the AICW channel as you make the turn off the Cape Fear River. This is a small basin with room to anchor a few boats, and several free docks available at some of the restaurants: The Provisioning Company, Fishy Fishy Cafe and The Yacht Basin Eatery. They allow overnight dockage if you eat at their establishments. There is no power or water at the docks and these are floating docks. The tidal range here is about 5 feet.

    Southport Visitor's Center

    At the end of a long dock at the west end of the basin is the town dock where you can tie up for free for 48 hours. There is water on the dock and a 20-amp power outlet if you can make it work for the boat. Depths at the town dock can be 4 feet at low tide and with the tidal range, climbing onto the dock at low tide can be a challenge. Boaters do offer to allow others to raft up at the dock and it is much deeper even just a boat width off. Don’t be surprised if you get a visit from Bob and Kay Creech, a very nice couple that lives across the street from the town dock and offers to provide any service you might need. Bob and Kay are Port Captains for MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) and have their boat docked inside the basin. They are very knowledgeable about the area and are also very experienced boaters.

    We have eaten at many of the restaurants that surround the basin at one time or another, including the newer Frying Pan, and found them to be excellent. The atmosphere ranges from funky outdoors to the magnificent view at The Frying Pan. The menus are typical fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches to steak and salad dishes. One important establishment is Flava’s Ice Cream Shop. We never miss it when we stop here. They were, however, about to close for the season on November 1st and had a limited number of flavors. They will open again in the spring.

    Southport Shops Along Howe Street

    Just a couple of blocks walk from the waterfront is downtown Southport. You will find another typical historic Carolina waterfront community with many shops, restaurants, galleries, antique shops and boutiques. From the town dock or anchorage, walk down Yacht Basin Drive to either Bay or Moore streets, and then head east. You may want to make your first stop at the Fort Johnston/Southport Visitors Center to pick up information before you set out on foot to explore. The friendly ladies at the center will assess your needs and provide you with brochures and pamphlets to guide you on your exploration of Southport. The beautiful building that now houses the Visitor’s Center, built in 1810, provided living quarters for military officers and belonged to the U.S. Army until 2006.

    One of the pamphlets provided allows you to take a self-guided tour of historic Southport. The Visitor’s Guide points you toward major historic sites and the innumerable shops and restaurants along Howe, Moore and Nash streets. It also lists the many events that occur annually in the seaside village including the Southport Spring Festival held every Easter weekend on the Friday and Saturday before Easter Sunday. Also, the Waterfront Farmers Market is held every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (between May and September) on the grounds of the Visitor’s Center on the Garrison Lawn at Fort Johnston. Southport holds 3rd Fridays between May and August from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. with music and food. Stores also stay open during those hours and the atmosphere is quite festive. Other local events include a wooden boat show in late September, tours of historic homes, fishing tournaments and a Christmas boat parade. A recent claim to fame for Southport is being the location for the filming of the popular television series “Under the Dome,” based on a Stephen King novel.

    Fishy Fishy Cafe and Docks

    If the anchorage and docks in the basin are full, Southport has a couple of great marinas available. Southport Marina is just to the west of the town basin in its own protected basin. It only takes one a few minutes longer to walk from there to the downtown area. They also have a service yard if you are in need of repairs. A bit farther down the waterway is South Harbour Village Marina, where we have stayed on occasion. We have always been offered a ride to the store or a vehicle to use while there. They also have a couple of eateries on site if you don’t feel like cooking. Unfortunately, downtown is not walking distance from South Harbour Village. Other than major provisioning, which will likely require a cab, loaner car or long bike ride, Southport is truly a walking town. We enjoy our visit each time we stop here and have difficulty passing it by.

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Deep Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Deep Point Marina

  • Carolina Yacht Care – Southport, NC (Statute Mile 309)

    Carolina Yacht CareHere’s a message from the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s NEWEST SPONSOR, Carolina Yacht Care, located in Southport, NC. Wow, talk about full services for your vessel, AND your crew, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. For a worry free visit to Southport’s great marinas or anchorages, click Carolina Yacht Care’s sponsorship banner, and leave all your port of call responsibilities to these good people!

    Cruisers Hank and Lisa Pomeranz, of Southport, NC completed a cruise south this past winter, visiting 17 towns and cities in the US and Bahamas.

    On their return in June, they considered some of the services along their route that helped make their trip memorable. They analyzed those stops where they were inclined to spend a few days, rather than just push through, and came up with a list of services they believe are most helpful to cruisers.

    The services include: a shuttle, provisioning, packing and shipping, mail receipt, a single, unbiased point of contact for recommending quality local contractors and responding to any other unique needs of transients.

    Founded as the town of Smithville in 1792, Southport is a convenient stop and a warm and welcoming historic city and worth staying an extra day or two to explore. Realizing that none of these services have been available in Southport, and that some cruisers might be skipping the city or just staying overnight, they decided to start Carolina Yacht Care to meet cruisers needs. They have a cruisers perspective which means they understand that, as a service business, they must be dependable and flexible to cruiser’s schedules and myriad other complexities of being a transient. For example, they started running a scheduled shuttle from Deep Point and Southport Marinas (with more to follow) but have also made the shuttle available on an as needed basis. Cruisers needing provisions can order ahead of time and then let them know where to deliver once they arrive. They will meet you at your boat to deliver or help pack up parts and get them shipped.

    Of course, consider them a wonderful resource of free local knowledge. Their love of Southport and enjoyment in meeting fellow cruisers will help make your stay memorable.

    Says Hank, “We will do whatever we can to help our fellow cruiser’s relax and enjoy beautiful Southport. If they don’t have the time to spend in Southport, we are there to maximize their short stays as well.”

    This is the kind of service every significant port of call should have. Really helps you enjoy all a destination has to offer. Looking forward to return visit to Southport. Hank & Lisa being well traveled cruisers themselves, know just what is needed by fellow skippers & crew !!!
    Skipper CW

  • Southport Marina Offers New Video Look At It’s Facilities and Services (Statute Mile 309)

    Southport MarinaSALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Southport Marina has just introduced a new video showcasing this fine marina’s facilities and services. It is very definitely worth a look.
    Southport Marina is located in the heart of the old river village of the same name. In the 1950’s and early 60’s, Southport was my boyhood summer home aboard. I have nothing but the warmest memories of my time spent on the docks of the old Southport harbor. May you too be so fortunate.
    Check out the new video at:

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • South Harbour Village Marina (Statute Mile 311)

    On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 311 – those of you who have spent a night or two at South Harbour Village Marina, near AICW marker #9, please share your experiences. Did you dine at either of the two, on-site restaurant? How was the food?

    Responses follow:

    Joseph’s Italian Bistro has a VERY loyal following with transient boaters and is open 7 days/week between Memorial Day and Labor Day (otherwise only closed on Sundays). Many return year after year to eat there.
    Dead End Saloon/Fish Factory Grill just completed a major outdoor deck re-modeling to make the dining more comfortable and very often features live music. The owner has operated waterfront restaurants in both Baltimore and Southport so she knows how to do it right!
    Bill Gregory

    Spent several nights there last fall. Joseph’s Bistro is excellent. Great food and service. Marina staff are friendly and attentive.
    Werner & Kathie Steuernagel

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For South Harbour Village Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of South Harbour Village Marina

  • Blue Water Point Marina (Statute Mile 320)

    On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 320 – has anyone left the Waterway near marker #36, and entered Blue Water Point Marina, sot the south? What sort of MLW entrance and dockside depths did you discover? Did you eat at the on-site restaurant? Is it as good as ever?

    Responses follow:

    Excellent restaurant, I know, but I’m told shallow water at 3-1/2′ (?) at docks may be a problem for you and still no fuel available?
    Bill Gregory

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of

  • Cooling Canal Anchorage (Statute Mile 311)

    On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 311 – OK, I really, really need your help on this one. Immediately west of AICW marker #8, a cooling canal makes into the Waterway’s northern shores. This is one of the only anchorages in NC, that I have never had the opportunity to personally research and sound. I have been into this stream by boat (not my own, and this vessel lacked a sounder), and I observed that vessels anchor in the squared off cove along the western banks. However, I’ve also been told that there is an entrance bar with a low tide, shallow water problem. I would really appreciate it if as many of you as possible contribute a full account of this anchorage and its depths.

    Responses follow:

    We anchored here mid April 2013. Getting in was no problem. As I recall we were close to low water and the depth was 6 ft or more. We anchored beyond the Ramp, just where the stream narrows down. Did find one spot with 4.5 ft a bit west of the canal but beyond the ramp. It was about 7 ft where we anchored. There were quite a few boats in the wide area before the ramp. Quiet and protected.
    Jean Thomason

    I’ve anchored in the cooling canal four times. Anchoring in the actual canal is fine, holding, depth and protection are good although it can be tight when wind blow 90 to the canal. A minor issue are the passing boats going to/from the boat ramp, but that dies down at night. Anchoring in the basin however is a different story. The first time I tried the basin I was able to find good depth away from other boats. Since then I’ve always been unable to find good depth away from the permanently moored boats (we draw 3ft). I no longer try to anchor in the basin.
    Roger Arrowood

    Regarding the canal at Marker 311, during my first year cruising I moored there for a few days – woke up at 4am toacrashing sound and to find me at 45 degrees in the dark!
    The bottom is hard sand in some areas – but soft mud elsewhere. I just drifted off overnight. Had to wait 10 long hours but she self righted in the end and floated off as if nothing had happened.
    Having learned that lesson, I’ve moored there several times since without incident. Use a heavier anchor and make sure it’s firmly set……
    [Minimum depth I observed] was around 5ft low tide – there is a floating red marker to keep to starboard when entering the canal.
    There is a nice park there with toilets. Also a bike ride away, plenty of shops including a great fresh fish shop and a cheap barber and a great pastry shop. It’s a well weather protected basin – but watch that anchor! :-)
    Hope you are well

    There is a shoal bar which may possibly, depending on your draft, be cleared at high tide. But then you have to time your departure to safely exit. Holding is ‘average’ and during higher winds you will see boats dragging anchors and “beached”. To be forewarned is to be forearmed!
    Bill Gregory

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Cooling Canal

  • Bald Head Island Marina (off the AICW, at the mouth of Cape Fear River)

    910-457-7380On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Off the AICW, at the mouth of Cape Fear River – who has docked at Bald Head Island Marina lately. Please give us your impressions of this marina. Did you have any problem with up and down motion at the docks due to tidal surge? Did you find anywhere good to dine ashore?

    Responses follow:

    We spent two nights tied up at the Bald Head Island Marina. Marina staff were excellent. We rode our bikes and also rented a golf cart for a few hours. The Marina restaurant was excellent. On the negative side, there can be a significant surge inside the marina . We were at C dock and danced around for two days. We did have a great time and will return .
    Tom and Melesia Goodman,
    Monk 36 “Journey” on the “Great Loop”

    We are here at Bald Head Island Marina on the end of A dock. Made “reservations” by phone. Entrance had a crane working on the S side of inlet as we came in and were able to dodge it. The current was ebbing but didn’t note it as I was trying to miss the crane. Went to fuel pier first, Will helped us there and loaned, us an adapter (50 to 30 amp) for the power. He ran around to help us tie up and plug in. Good friendly service, floating dock so goes up and down with the tide; so did not notice any current in the marina. The marina appeared less than 50% full, but was told that those slips were owned. The marina is busy with the ferries, vehicle and passenger. We bumped at the slip, but that was the wind. Most people did not seem to be on their boats so the small restrooms were not a problem.
    We ate lunch at MoJo’s the dock side restaurant, pot roast sandwich, excellent ( I ordered it out of curiosity) My wife had grilled chicken sandwich with bacon, very good, for dessert we split a creme brûlée cheese cake, out of this world! We were too full to go back for dinner. For lunch the next day we had chicken caesar wrap at the Maritime Market, best we ever had. However this is about a 3
    mile walk, one way.
    In general a friendly, laid back place would come again.
    Good sailing,

    Not a cruiser any more (cruising is how I discovered this place!) but live here full time. There are lots of choices on where to eat. Here’s the list during full season. Off season, many will close or reduce their hours. It’s too early to tell right now.
    Here goes:
    Open to everybody:
    At the Marina:
    Delphina (Opened 5/3 for linch; Should open 5/17 for dinner): Mexican, Southwestern, Cuban. Full Liq. Everything under $14
    SandPiper cafe: Great Premium Ice Cream and Super coffee/ cappuccino.
    Mojo’s at the Harbor: Full Menu, Full Liq. Could be great cruisers bar but not. Pricey! Soft serve and and Snow cones.
    Will ‘O the Wisp: At the sail shop on the marina. Self serve beer and wine. Also have Luna Pops (a fruit based popsicle known in Mexico as Paletas. Outrageously addicting and refreshing! Best place to hang out and socialize.

    Elsewhere on the island:
    Peli: At the Bald Head Island Club; by the Tennis courts. Breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. Open to everybody and you do NOT need to be a member. About 1mi from marina.
    Maritime Market cafe: At the market mid island. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. Market is slightly more expensive than mainland markets ans has most everything. Good selection of Beer and wine. About 2 mi from marina.
    Mike’s Bites: at the east end of the island. Take away only. Mostly premade sandwiches. We do expect changes this year but are not known just yet. About 4mi from marina.

    Available with temporary membership to transients (temporary memberships are available at the marina and are about $20. Rates may have gone up):
    Bald Head Island Club: Two dining rooms, great food and full use of facilities: Pool, tennis, croquet, exercise room. Golf is extra. About 1mi from the marina.
    Shoals Club. East end of the Island. Dinning room and Sandbar Grill. About 4+mi from the marina.
    That’s it. If I can supply any more information please don’t hesitate to let me know.
    Brewse Barnard
    formerly of S/V Integrale

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bald Head Island Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bald Head Island Marina

  • Deep Point Marina (Statute Mile 307)

    910-269-2380 The new 82-slip Deep Point Marina is located on the Cape Fear River in Southport, NC, and offers fuel and transient dockage, as well as daily, monthly and annual slip rentals. The marina is adjacent to the new Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal, which houses a snack bar (open seasonally) that offers grab-and-go food options, soft drinks, beer, wine and coffee. In addition, the Deep Point Marina is convenient to Southport's shopping, restaurants and historic district, and offers easy ocean access. On 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 307 – anyone who has frequented Deep Point Marina, north of AICW/Cape Fear River marker #20, recently, please give us your impressions of this facility.

    Responses follow:

    Deep Creek Marina: I had to hole up in this marina last spring to wait out a storm, facilities were above average, free use of the washer dryer, nice pool and a great friendly bunch of people. The staff was great, helpful and friendly. Fuel; available at a decent price. Only drawback was the very busy ferry terminal next door. I would highly recommend this stop to anyone AND the prices were reasonable.
    S/V “Resolute”

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Deep Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Deep Point Marina

  • Southport Marina (Statute Mile 309)

    Southport MarinaOn 5/9/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 309- anyone who has spent a night or two at Southport Marina, please share your experiences with us. What was your overall impressions of this marina and its facilities?

    Responses follow:

    We stayed there about a week ago. It is a class A marina. The dock master and dock hand were very good at giving us directions and catching our lines. We don’t use shoreside facilities, so I can’t say anything about shower and bathrooms. However, the docks and grounds are very neat and clean. The marina is within walking distance of the main part of Southport and restaurants.
    I would rate it very highly and recommend it to others. It is also very easy to access, right off the ICW.
    Tom Law

    Spent 4/30 to 5/6/13 at Southport Marina. This was our first visit and won’t be our last. We stayed several days longer than planned due to weather. Marina employees are great. The facilities are very good and kept clean. The marina is a short walk into town. Nice farmers market on Wednesday. Numerous restaurants and shops. Marina has very good outside help for any boat problems (Snyders Marine). We rented a car for 3 days and took ferry to Fort Fisher and the NC aquarium. Overall, a great stop-over.
    s/v Skye

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • Southport, NC Dining Recommendations (Statute Mile 309)

    Southport MarinaOn 5/30/13, as part of a North Carolina Wish List, we posed the following question:

    Statute Mile 309 – can someone please provide us with some shoreside dining recommendations in Southport, NC! Also, anyone got any sightseeing tips in this charming village, where I spent so many years as a young boy!

    Responses follow:

    We ate at Mr. P’s Bistro in Southport. Very good food at reasonable prices. I heard good things about Fishy Fishy, too, which is closer to the marina.
    Tom Law

    Neat, historical town. Took the golf cart tour, went through the museum, attended the Wednesday farmer’s market. Ate at several restaurants, most within walking distance from the marina. Especially liked the Provisioning Co. on the waterfront. Different but good food at a good price. Local’s is a good restaurant where the locals eat. Rented a car for a day in Wilmington and a day across the river at Fort Fisher and the aquarium. Good shopping but several miles away. Marina could use a courtesy car. Numerous movies and TV programs filmed here. Take the golf cart tour and learn about Southport.
    s/v Skye

    Fishy, Fishy – great place to eat within easy walk from Southport Marina.
    John Wild

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C. Announces $585,000 For Dredging of Carolina Beach Inlet and Intracoastal Waterway

    Here’ some really GOOD news. Congressman Mike McIntyre, the US House of Representatives member from the Wilmington, NC region, has been a LONG-TIME supporter of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. As you will see by following the link below, to an article which recently appeared in, Congressman McIntyre has secured a good chunk of change for inlet and AICW dredging.
    Let’s just hope that BOTH the AICW/Lockwoods Folly and AICW/Shallotte Inlet intersections are part of this dredging work! These two closely spaced “Problem Stretches” are currently the two worst spots on the North Carolina portion of the Waterway!

    Check out the full story at:

  • Don’t Dare Miss A Stop in Southport, NC (Statute Mile 309)

    Southport MarinaAs a boy, I spent many a summer living aboard in the old Southport Harbor. I still have many fond memories of this delightful village!
    Much of the dockage Captains Kay and Bob speak about below is located in the older, easterly basin, while modern Southport Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, lies just next door, and within easy walking distance of all the old harbor’s dining attractions.
    Really, folks, don’t miss a stop in Southport! Those who just cruise on by are missing one of the great ports of call along the AICW!

    We are from Southport, NC, and think that Bald Head and Southport are both great stops. Bald Head does charge a “day Dockage” fee for docking and dining but last summer it was $20. Their overnight dockage is between $1.50 and $2.00 per foot, and again a great stop. There are several restaurants that offer free dockage, no power or water, if you dine with them, [Yacht Basi] Provision being one of the most popular, plus the City of Southport offers one free dock for overnight, with 15 amp. power and water, in the back of the Yacht Basin.
    Also, Southport Marina is just next to the Southport Yacht Basin, $1.75 per foot, and an easy walk to the restaurants and downtown.
    We have seen the movie Safe Haven, filmed in Southport, and think that it is great, and accurately reflects our town.
    Make Southport and Bald Head Island a stop on your travels!
    Kay and Robert Creech

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Mairna

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport, NC

  • Good Words for Bald Head Island Marina

    910-457-7380Well, of course, Bald Head Island Marina is a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, as well as being an AGLCA sponsor!
    This facility is found hard by the seaward mouth of the Cape Fear River, within sight of the “Old Baldy” lighthouse! Give them a try this spring. You won’t be sorry!

    This is Janice posting from [AGLCA] Lieutenant Sponsor, Bald Head Island. This is a beautiful marina and you should be sure to stop by when you’re doing the Intracoastal in North Carolina. Ben and Doug say “Hello” to all of you!
    Safe cruising,
    Janice Kromer

    We think Baldhead is also a great stop, with a lighthouse within walking distance of the marina that you can go up in and have a great view. Most of the other North Carolina lighthouses are well off the path of loopers, so this is a good reason to stop at Baldhead as well.
    Betsy Johnson
    Rick ‘n Roll

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of

  • Praise for Southport Marina, Cape Fear River, AICW Statute Mile 309

    Southport MarinaSouthport Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – lies just west of the Cape Fear River along the northern banks of the Waterway hard by flashing daybeacon #2A.

    Southport Marina is always good and a treat! As you know, laundry and shower facilities are on site. PJ’s, a converted gas station across the street is great for breakfast. Moore Street Market, recommended by a local, was a lunchtime treat. We’d never have seen their obscure sign. Came upon a retired biology prof who’s a water colorist and such a delightful man. Love his work and the bright colors of local scenes. When we visit Southport, it’s always difficult to drag ourselves away.
    Laura Bender

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • A Happy Ending Thanks to Ocean Isle Marina and Sharky’s Restaurant, AICW Statute Mile 336 and 334

    Ocean Isle Bridge and Sharky's Restaurant - Click for Chartview

    Always good to hear of the kind of courtesy extended by Ocean Isle Marina management, the courtesies shown by Sharky’s Restaurant, as well as a recommendation of good food. A real Happy Ending!

    Cruising News:
    After we aborted our planned overnight stay at Calabash Anchorage on 10/6/2012 (see, we found nearby marinas were full. A courtesy call made by Ocean Isle Marina (MM 335.5) found us overnight space at “Sharky’s Restaurant” located at the Ocean Isle Bridge. Jim, the owner, met us at the dock and treated us like family. He has limited space, so call ahead if you are in a pinch. This was a great place to stay overnight and he offers a 10% discount for guests on the great food they serve.
    Capt. Pat Carter

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Ocean Isle Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ocean Isle Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ocean Isle Bridge and Sharky’s Restaurant

  • Southport Marina Has Dredged to 6 and 8-Foot Depths (Statute Mile 309)

    Southport MarinaLooks like this SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR just got even better! We highly recommend a stop here as you are cruising south this fall, or just spending a night away from home base, while exploring the waters of southeastern North Carolina. And, after you coil the lines, it’s an easy walk of several blocks to Mr. P’s Bistro (910-457-0801). YUMMMMMM!

    Southport Marina – Southport NC – We are excited to let all boaters know we have completed our dredging project that began in early spring. All interior marina slips have been dredged to a low tide depth of 6’ and our transient dock and approach depths average 8’. Make sure you make Southport Marina a stop on your next cruise!
    Vanessa Jenkins, MIRM

    Southport Marina is a great stop. Numerous other waterfront restaurants are all within walking distance. The grocery store is a little further. Atlantic Marine is a handy store as well.
    David Craft

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

  • Sign of the Times: The Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge Becomes a Boat Ramp (Statute Mile 338)

    Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge - As It Used to Be

    Many of us were glad to see the old Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge replaced by a modern high-rise last year. Between the mechanical problems and shoaling, many cruisers most certainly did NOT have a soft place in their hearts for the old, floating span.
    Now that it’s gone, though, I cannot help but be a little saddened at this piece of the past that is now long gone forever.
    Below, we are pleased to present another superb report from our strategic partners, Captains Dian and Mark Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water Chartguides ( Check out their NEW paper AICW Anchorage Guides (with a 42% discount until 8/10/12), by following the link above!

    Hi Claiborne,
    Passed through the Sunset Beach area a couple months ago and was reminiscing … about bridges, and about a slower pace. [smile]
    The Sunset Beach Pontoon Bridge at STM 337.9 was an historic landmark—the only vehicle pontoon bridge left in operation on the entire East Coast.
    But a floating pontoon bridge, with “zero clearance,” became more and more incompatible with modern times and schedules.
    About six times per month the tide was so low the bridge couldn’t be opened. Boats had to circle and wait through low tide. And if there were high winds, the bridge could be closed indefinitely.
    In addition to its hourly scheduled openings, the bridge opened for every commercial vessel. (Trivia Fact: Because the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway was constructed before bridges, technically commercial vessels take precedence over vehicular traffic.)
    And, of course, many island residents (local taxpayers) felt they were spending too much time waiting for the bridge …
    But the final demise of the bridge was credited to safety concerns for island residents. Emergency crews had difficulty responding promptly to calls on the island. There was also concern about the risk of a serious fire spreading, given that large ladder trucks and tankers were too heavy to cross the old pontoon bridge.
    The site of the old pontoon bridge will become a public park, with boat ramp access to the ICW and plans to incorporate remnants of the old pontoon bridge in the park design.
    As of June 2012, you can see construction of the boat ramp at the old pontoon bridge location.
    Best and see you On the Water,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle

    Soon to be a memorial park with boat ramp ICW access

  • Sunset Beach Fixed Bridge Clearance Gauge Corrected, AICW Statute Mile 338, Sunset Beach, NC

    The new Sunset Beach Bridge with a fixed clearance of 65ft MHW replaced the old pontoon bridge. The correction noted below is the result of comments from cruisers regarding the accuracy of the clearance gauge (see article below). Our thanks to Mr. Gregory of the USCG and to Mr. Carroll of the NCDOT!
    Mr. Gregory,
    We have adjusted the vertical clearance gauge to show the vertical clearance to the bottom of the Navigation Light. The tide was near low and at the time of measurement, just less than 70′ of vertical clearance existed. Thanks for making us aware of the situation, feel free to inform us of any other issues that come up.
    Trevor Carroll
    NCDOT Division 3
    Bridge Maintenance Engineer
    5501 Barbados Blvd
    Castle Hayne, NC 28429

    Excellent to see Cruisers’ Net has the ear of those able to make changes. Thank you!

    Click Here To Read a Recent Posting Re Sunset Beach Bridge

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Sunset Beach Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Beach Bridge

  • 62ft Vertical Clearance Reported at Sunset Beach Fixed Bridge, AICW Statute Mile 338, Sunset Beach, NC

    This unusually high tide could be because of the Super Moon condition we are finding both high and low tides along the east coast. The bridge and its gauge are relatively new and should be accurate. This new bridge replaced the old pontoon bridge to Sunset Beach.

    We’re seeing a 62′ reading on the tide gauge on the new bridge at Sunset Beach at high tide this morning May 7. Is the tide three feet higher than normal? Perhaps the gauge is inaccurate?

    As a follow up…4 boats went thru and radioed back reports of 62′ readings on a 65′ bridge. I don’t think the super tides were 3′ off! 2 sailboats waited a few hours before risking it. One sailboat just had their mast measured after recently clipping apparatus. The tip of their antenna is at 65′. The board was reading 63′ and nothing touched.
    This height board is different than most in that you cannot tell for sure if the depth is above, in the middle or below the number. If 63 is showing, we assume that is the height.
    So, APPARENTLY, the board is 1 to 2 feet off.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Bridge Directory Listing For Sunset Beach Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Beach Bridge

  • Favorable Tidal Currents from Myrtle Beach, SC to Carolina Beach, NC

    Capt. Miller shares good advice regarding northbound currents in the Waterway.

    Subject: Favorable Current Northbound from Dock Holiday Marina
    Cruising News:
    We departed Dock Holiday Marina two hours after North Myrtle Beach low tide and enjoyed a following or slack current all of the way to Southport.

    Subject: Northbound Boost from Current when Departing Southport
    Cruising News:
    We tried Skipper Bob’s suggestion of departing Southport one hour before high tide and found that we enjoyed a following current all the way up Cape Fear River and as far as Carolina Beach Inlet.
    Max Miller

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