Healy Report: Southport, NC to Socastee, SC, AICW Statute Miles 309-371
Experienced cruisers, Jim and Peg Healy, continue to generously share their observations and advice as they make their way south for the winter, making good time with this 62 mile leg. Thank you Jim and Peg!
Today is Monday, 10/22/2018. Sanctuary and crew departed Southport at 06h40, traveled tp Socastee, and arrived at 15h30.
We arrived at Lockwood’s Folly at 08h15, where the tide was +3.84 ft, falling, from a 4.5 ft high. I had programmed a route through the Folly using the waypoints provided by Hank Pomeranz. The route is perfect, and I recommend it to others. The least water we saw was crossing the bar between waypoint1 and waypoint2 at 9.5, so (9.5-3.8)=5.67 ft MLW. The marker are in the correct places, and without the autopilot, simply follow the markers. There is a strong ebb current in the area, and it is easy to get set off the planned line. Following is a screenshot of the affair:
Shallotte’s Inlet was unremarkable. One green marker has been moved toward the red side, but simple follow the markers in the water for safe passage.
We found a very strong ahead current from the Calabash Crossroads all the way to Socastee. That is obviously stronger for the huge volume of water still draining from that local watershed. There was virtually no flotsam in the waterway. The Socastee Swing Bridge was operating, but at dramatocally slower speed than normal. The bridge tender said the bridge was in “maintenance mode.” Not sure what the implications are, but it took a long time for the bridge to swing open, and it was still swinging closed when we rounded the bend and couldn’t see it any more.
Cruisers should transit the area above the Socastee Swing Bridge at “slow speed, minimum wake.” The staining on the trees and buildings is heart breaking. The older homes built on ground slabs have staining above the level of the bottoms of their living room windows and half way up their garage doors.. Certainly, many homes are uninhabitable today, and it will take months for these folks to recover. Many docks are damaged or destroyed. Cruisers must ensure that their wakes do not add to their already severe difficulties.
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary, currently at Charlotte Harbor, Punta Gorda, FL
Monk 36 Hull #132