An Excellent Visit To Bald Head Island (off the AICW, at the Mouth of North Carolina’s Cape Fear River)
As part of this third article in our sharing of information with Captain Cathy Gillenwater and her web-site, “East Coast Boating Adventures” (http://www.eastcoastboatingadventures.com/), the words of Captain Cathy’s story must compete with her superb series of photos for the most enjoyable portion of her article. There are so many good images, we have created a link at the end of her article to a Bald Head Island Photo Gallery, where all pics are taken by and courtesy of Captain Cathy!
If you are not familiar with the southeastern North Carolina coastline, and Cape Fear River in particular, Bald Head Island makes up the northern flank of Cape Fear River’s passage out into the briny blue. Back in my boyhood days when I spent many a summer living aboard in nearby Southport, my buddy, Donnie Potter, and I would run small outboard skiffs over to Bald Head. Except for the “Old Baldy” lighthouse, there was not a sign of development, and I have some very fond memories of wandering over the isle’s grass covered sand dunes and dense maritime forests.
Today. while much of the island remains undeveloped, there is a very tasteful community here,complete with marina and a sheltered harbor. As Captain Cathy notes, the only access is by your own boat, or a ferry which leaves out of Deep Water Point Marina in Southport!
This was our destination for Saturday morning. We took our boat so we could come and go as we pleased. I reserved a golf cart ahead of time at http://www.riversideadventure.com/Carts/tabid/127/Default.aspx. This is the only transportation on the island as no cars are allowed. The roads are narrow paved passages. It is a wonderful way to enjoy the scenery.
The lighthouse (Old Baldy) has a museum you can visit. Also a short walk and you will be at the local Post Office. Across the street is the most peaceful looking church you would ever want to attend.
If you take the road on the beach side there will be parking places all along the way for a short walk to the beach. At the end of the island is the point a beautiful beach area to set up for the day. But be sure and stop by the market to pick up what you need for a picnic lunch.
After a very enjoyable morning we headed back toward the marina. A beautiful place to dock or rent a transit slip for the night. This is definitely a place you will want to spend some time.
The afternoon was spent heading out to one of the reefs to do a little fishing. Caught a couple of blue and sea trout, nothing to brag about.
Our trip was cut short on Sunday with a little boat problem. Having some carburetor issues. Oh well that’s just life. No big deal heading home to get things fixed and ready for the next trip.
Don’t ever let breaking down with a boat discourage you. My recommendation is to make sure you are a member of “Boat US or Sea Tow” membership is very reasonable and then there is no need to worry or spoil you vacation on expensive tows.
Had a wonderful trip thanks to everyone we met along the way and now looking forward for our next East Coast Boating Adventures.