Ever so sorry to leave our splendid isolation of Prince Creek, a look at the calendar told us we had to move on. Our goal was to make a short ocean hop up to Beaufort, NC. The choice was to double back to Winyah Bay to depart, or drive up to Masonboro Inlet at Wrightsville Beach and avoid Frying Pan Shoal off Cape Fear. The weather was looking good for a passage two days hence, so that decided it, we would move north to Masonboro.
Back into the ICW. For the first time since starting out in February, we were sharing the ditch with lots of sailboats making their way north. As anchoring spots were rare, we were a bit nervous about finding a place for the night. But, we soon learned that many ditch drivers simply go from marina to marina, leaving us to anchor alone both nights. We were traveling during the 'supermoon' so tides were higher and lower than usual. The impact on the marshes was impressive. At the Shallotte River, we anchored near grasses that within two hours had completely disappeared and we seemed to be in a wide open basin. It is disorienting when your reference points are gone. At Wrightsville Beach we anchored just inside the inlet and had a beautiful dune beach to ourselves.
The outside run to Beaufort was easy. We sailed for a couple of hours and then the wind completely died. Again. Seems to be a common refrain for our Atlantic passages. So, motorsailing the rest of the way, the water smoothed out and we were into Beaufort and anchored a few hours before sunset.
Shallotte River: +33° 54' 51.30", -78° 22' 14.76"
Wrightsville Beach: +34° 11' 36.54", -77° 48' 41.40"
Beaufort: +34° 42' 48.00", -76° 40' 46.56"