Post general cruising questions here.
Stay tuned here and Facebook for updates to the Easter Cruise.
I joined NSA for good reason and the #1 reason was not to eat and drink in restaurants. I can do that by car and cheaper. I joined so that I could have several cruises with my friends and to meet new ones. I joined so that someone would help me to decide on a destination, get a slip, use my boat on the briny deep and see and feel nature by boat, arrive at my destination and meet my like minded friends, have a cocktail with them and discuss our trip. I joined to look forward to waking up the next morning and to doing it all over again. I don't care if I meet you at a restaurant or invite you to my boat to sip and eat, so if restaurants are closed, it doesn't really bother me. I hope that it doesn't bother you either.
I want to go to Beaufort on Easter weekend. I want to see you there too. It may be considered an adventure. After all, we didn't go to restaurants when we went to Cape Lookout or the beach at West. We will be out on the water and touching nothing but our own boat parts. We will not be in restaurants or public restrooms. We will be safe. I do not want to dissolve the reason that I joined NSA. After all, we are a paper club. We don't own property or a club house to get infected in. What else do we exist for?
I can't wait to begin the year. The proposed cure will be be far more devastating to our state than the virus. RESPECT the virus DON'T FEAR IT. "All we have to fear is fear itself" Still rings true. I vote to go. I hope that you will too.
I’m thinking about a trip from Oriental to Beaufort to Masonboro Inlet. I’d appreciate advice about this trip as well as where to go once you are inside. Do most people head over to Wrightsville Beach and if so, what is your favorite marina. Are there places to anchor out right away once you clear the inlet? Where else do people go once inside the inlet?
I can't help much with marinas. We try to anchor as much as we can. As far as getting there: Inside: (my experience) past the fixed bridge to Atlantic Beach, you can next anchor in Swansboro in front of Caspers. Good holding in our experience. There are also some marinas to stay but we have not used them. Swansboro is small but very nice (restaurants, ice cream etc) but we normally don't go ashore there since we often drive through on our way to Emerald Isle. If memory serves that is the last place to stay/anchor before Hammock Bay. There are some marinas along the way (Harbor Village Marina for example)but we have never used them. I would suggest using the Waterway guide (on-line) for marinas since it has reviews etc...
We go outside every chance we get. We have anchored outside Beaufort inlet (West side) in about 15 ft of water from 1/4 to 1/2 mile out. Depends, of course, on wind and seas. You can also anchor outside of Masonboro inlet on the North side of the seawall. Also about 20ft or less off shore. We like to do that only if winds are calm and off shore. Done it several times. What we often do is (going or coming) leave early morning then, if you can't get up the inlet and anchor before dark, just anchor outside of the inlet and go in after sunrise.
We have seen people stay at Seapath Yatch club in Wrightsville but we have never stayed there. We have only anchored in Motts channel and dinghy in. We try to anchor just south of the bridge on the East side of Motts channel.
I am sure others will chime in. Lots of experience in the club.
A good strategy for the off-shore route is to dock or anchor at Beaufort or Morehead City overnight and then go out Beaufort Inlet Channel on an ebb or slack tide, at first light, if possible. Beaufort Docks is good place to dock, easy in and out, but arrive/depart at slack tide to avoid a lot of drama. Same with Morehead. Tide runs strong on the south or ICW side at the city docks, don't recommend it. On the other side of the highway is a nice marina, the Morehead City Yacht Basin.
With calm seas and a tail or beam wind, the sail from Beaufort to Masonboro Inlet is pleasant and takes about 10-12 hours. So, to get in Masonboro Inlet before dark, leave Beaufort early. Once out Beaufort Inlet, go out far enough, maybe 20 miles, to avoid the military zone off Camp Lejeune at the New River. It's on your chart. Don't sail through the marked zone or the Marines will get very perturbed. You will hear from them on 16.
At Masonboro, turn right once in the inlet and enter Banks Channel. Follow it up to just south of the Wrightsville Beach Bridge for a nice, large anchorage close to restaurants on the beach side. To dock, turn left before the bridge into Motts Channel. Seapath Yacht Club on the right is very nice, or continue over to the ICW and you'll find several small marinas just south of the draw bridge. Our favorite is The Bridge Tender Marina, which you can usually just slide up to the wharf and tie up for the night. One of the best restaurants in Wrightsville is right there, The Bridge Tender.
If you go down the ICW, Scott mentioned Casper's Marina at Swansboro. Very nice, well-run but small marina. Good restaurants within walking distance. As Scott said, check out the Waterway Guide for marinas and reviews. There are others, but depths are often an issue.
Also, if you want to continue south from Wrightsville, it's only five hours or so to the Cape Fear River via the ICW where our favorite stop is the Bald Head Island Marina near the Cape Fear Inlet to the ocean.
Hi, I thought there was a forum specific to the week long cruise, but I can’t find it.
Nancy & I plan to start Thursday, and arrive at Cape Lookout by Friday night.
We haven’t been there in this boat before, nor ever beyond there outside.
I saw Carl’s advice about going out 20 miles, etc.
Are y’all sailing to a mark, or set of them? We’d like company, chart waypoints, etc.
The Weeklong forum is under Annual Events Forum / Events Forum. Makes sure you're subscribed to it to get notifications. To avoid the Camp Lejeune Restricted zone, set your course out of Beaufort for the outermost yellow mark of the zone on tour chart, which is actually only about 12nm out.
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