The example I gave from the "Coot Club" is the simple case: one inlet, two rivers. But in some sections of the ICW, there are many inlets. Some big, some small, most unnavigable, except for small boats.
Sometimes the inlets that connect the ICW to the Atlantic are 20 or 30 miles apart. Sometimes there is more than one inlet in a single mile. The result is many, many micro-climates, each with its own current pattern. It makes playing the currents quite a challenge.
But there is one section of the waterway that is easy to predict: the Cape Fear River. This mighty river flows out of North Carolina down to the Atlantic at a rate of 3-4 knots. And when I arrived in it's vicinity last Friday, it was flowing the wrong way. No way I was going to buck that tide, so I pulled into the charming little harbor at Southport, NC, to wait for a favorable tide.
|Southport, NC -- The perfect place to wait for a tide|
I tied up Cabin Boy at the Fishy Fishy Cafe dingy dock. The restaurant looked like a typical beach shack type place. I expected the usual variety of fried whatever and hamburgers, but they had some really interesting food on the menu, including a chicken in lemon wine sauce, with artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, capers and broccolini... really excellent. Best food I've had on the whole voyage (except for Mom's home cooking of course!)
After dinner I walked around the well-preserved little sea-side town and discovered a couple of old wooden boats along the waterfront. The were on display in a small roped-off area, along with a sign saying that the 1st annual Southport Wooden Boat Show would be the very next day (Saturday.)
I figured I'd already seen both boats, so didn't think much more about it.
But the next morning, a couple of guys rowed out check out the Blue Moon. They wondered if I'd come especially for the boat show. I told them I was just passing through, and it was pure luck I was there that day. They wanted to know, would I like to participate in the show? I hesitated a moment (must catch that tide... must catch that tide...), and said, sure!
They had a slip for the Blue Moon, right in the middle of the show, so I motored over, and joined in the fun!
|Just a few of the boats at the show.|
The Blue Moon's mast is the 3rd from the right
|The Blue Moon and dock-mate|
|NC-built fishing boat|
|Flat-botom fishing skiff|
|Nat Herresoff designed yacht tender|
|I believe this is strip-planked. Notice the inlaid stem knee|
|Electric lake boat|
|And she's for sale!|
The show was a great success, and I was happy to participate! Well worth missing my tide for. There was another one the next morning.
There's a lesson in that, somewhere...
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