Swansboro, NC to Cow House, SC


We’d been under way for just a few minutes when the eastern sky showed a bit of brightening.  Ruth steered while I got the GPS set up to show our ETA at Onslow Swing Bridge.  Then I went to work checking tides to see if we were far enough away from high tide to get under the bridge’s 12’ clearance.  It was going to be close so we adjusted speed to arrive just a bit early.


The thin dark line under the bridge indicates we have clearance

View as we pass under the bridge

Standing immediately in front of the windshield I can set my eyes at the same height as our highest fixed antenna.  Looking at the bridge I could see just a sliver of the underside of the bridge and signaled Ruth to continue.  We passed under Onslow with inches to spare, repeated our check at Topsail Swing Bridge and passed under it also.


We’d been running for about four hours when we realized that except for the boats we saw before the Onslow Swing Bridge we hadn’t seen another boat.  We finally saw our first boat late in the afternoon on the Cape Fear River.


A rare event for us occurred on the Cape Fear River, current, tide, and wind aligned and we had a fast smooth ride down the river to Southport for a two-night stay.


Ruth did laundry while I got another Trawlercat Owners Manual ready to mail.  Then we were off by bike to explore, mail the manual, and get groceries.  We’ll hold off on getting groceries in Southport in the future since the bike ride to the grocery store is along a busy no shoulder road.


We nailed the timing and were at the Sunset Pontoon Bridge just in time for their hourly opening.   As we passed through I asked the bridge tender when the high rise bridge alongside would open. “This is my last day, bridge will always be open after tomorrow.”


Later I learned the high rise did open, but the pontoon bridge remains in operation while the old bridge is removed.  Local citizens have put together a preservation effort and the pontoon section of the bridge will become a museum ashore.


We crossed over into South Carolina, ran the crush of development at Myrtle Beach wondering why so many people love to live on top of each other and on out into the wilderness of the Waccamaw River.


We’d shopped fuel prices by phone as we headed more west than south and found Osprey Marina tucked up a cut off the Waccamaw had the best prices.  We fueled and then headed to a new anchorage for us at Cow House Creek.


The anchor bit in firmly, and we knew we were secure.  Better yet we had a view of the Waccamaw and passing boats but were in far enough so passing boat wakes didn’t reach us.  We stayed two nights enjoying the wilderness.


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