12. Cape Fear (Southport), NC

Have crossed into the 4th state for this trip. Left Myrtle Beach in threatening rain but the weather looked more promising a little north. That and the fact that the actual thunderstorms seemed to be forming off shore. Probably had moderate rain for about 5 miles of the trip and under the hardtop it stayed dry. The last 1/3rd or more of the trip was full sun. Also experienced another swing bridge which I find interesting.

The total trip was just short of 44 nm and lasted 5 hours. I saw two familiar sights on the way. Last December I made a fast run with the motor home to Little River, SC to inspect a 45’ Silverton yacht that was for sale and I stayed in a relatively new RV park that was part of a marina on the ICW. So it was interesting to me to see the park, my waterfront RV site as well as the waterfront seafood restaurants I checked out then now from the water. As I approached the end of the trip, I cruised by Oak Island NC. In 2017 I camped at an Elks campground on Oak Island – a very unglamorous campsite nearby the ICW but with a great ocean view. Oak Island, it turns out, is quite a summertime resorty area and only a few miles from the Cape Fear Inlet. I didn’t realize that back then. Different time, different perspectives.

I am remembering that I was asked to put more fluff into these posts. Cruising thru the marshes and tidal flats doesn’t provide much fluff. So I’ll try something else.

For “fluff” I’m experimenting with time lapse photography on my iPhone. Replayed in compressed timeframe, the action is sped up. Here is the approach to one of the fixed bridges. This was taken while holding the phone in my hand – thus the jerking motion when my attention wandered changing course etc. I’ll figure out some method to keep the camera fixed in the future.
Here’s a regular video clip passing by Oak Island to starboard.

Southport is located at the Cape Fear inlet to the Atlantic Ocean. Further inland along the Cape Fear River is Wilmington, NC while the ICW parallels the Cape Fear River but closer to the ocean. Southport is a very old seaport. The restaurant area was probably a mile walk with the harbor on one side and old homes lining the other side. Most of the homes have plaques placed outside listing the original owner and year built. Most were built in the late 1700’s though probably modernized. The waterfront restaurant area is very eclectic with the half dozen or so eateries having outside wharf seating or open air ‘inside’ seating.

The marina itself was very modern and was adjacent to a full service boat yard. Took advantage of a couple night stay and the proximity of the boat yard to have the air conditioning system chemically flushed. They use a 5 gal bucket with a pump mounted inside and with inlet and outlet hoses in the bottom third. The ac seacock is closed and the boat ac pump hose is hooked to the output hose of the bucket. The boat’s ac overboard output hose is hooked to the bucket’s input creating a closed system loop. Then the bucket is filled with ‘Barnacle Buster’ which the bucket’s pump circulates through the 4 ac systems, the manifold and all the hoses. This ran for three hours with one refill of the chemical. The barnacles, crud etc that form in the system are dissolved. Unbelievable the crud that comes out. But the ac systems now do work better!!

Southport Marina consisting of 4 or 5 piers like this. I was slipped at the far end of this dock.
Bay Street home. For sale and can be yours for $949,000. The view is spectacular.
Another Bay Street residence
And another
Restaurant Row at the end of Bay Street
This restaurant is named “Provisions”
And like the others, is right on the water.
And THE REWARD! Shrimp and Crabcakes. I was about half done before I remembered to take a pic.

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