Oriental, NC to Wrightsville Beach, SC

On the third day of the trip, we woke up early in the marina at Oriental, NC. Our plan was to travel down the Intracoastal about 22 miles to the inlet at Beaufort, NC from where we would go out into the Atlantic, and motor 60 or so miles south to Masonboro Inlet then back up the ICW a few miles to a marina at Wrightsville Beach, SC.

Our day started early, and we slid quietly out of the marina just as the sun was starting to rise. (“Quietly” being a relative term for an older boat with twin Detroit diesels…they have a reputation as rather noisy beasts)

As we left the marina, we saw the boat I told you about earlier…the one that held 8,000 gallons of fuel. It was this little gem:

Clearing the marina, we headed across the wide Neuse River and saw this ICW cruise ship silhouetted against the rising sun.

Once into the ICW channel, the landscape was really beautiful in the early morning light. I love these marshy areas.

Every once in a while, you’ll see a sign like this, telling you how many miles you’ve traveled along the ICW from mile zero at Norfolk, which is where we started.

Our destination, Daytona Beach, is mile 830. Wow…long way to go.

Along the way, we passed Jarrett Bay boatworks. These folks build some top-notch sport fishing boats. This is between two and three million dollars worth of boats you’re looking at.

We made our way out of the Beaufort Inlet, and soon had nothing but water in front of us,

or behind us.

For the most part, we could always see land, but it was considerably further away than I would have been able to swim. In the middle of this photo, you can barely see a US Marine Blackhawk helicopter. We were skirting an area that the Marines use for exercises, and I was hoping this guy was just out sightseeing, and wasn’t planning to use us for target practice. It would certainly have been Marines-1, Magic Carpet-0

After about 60 miles of that, we made our way into Masonboro Inlet and turned to starboard to go to the marina in Wrightsville Beach where we’d spend the night. Again, these marshes are just beautiful in my opinion.

The colors on the buildings at the marina reminded me of Key West or Bermuda.

I stuck my head out once more before going to bed, and the scene was really tranquil.

Our planned destination for the following day was a marina called Wacawachee in South Carolina around mile 385. As it turned out, we didn’t make it quite there, but found a really nice place instead. More on that later…


About TwoCaptains

The TwoCaptains are Jim and Janet, both US Coast Guard licensed boat captains home-ported in Daytona Beach. We recently sold our 1990 Ocean Yachts 56' CPMY "Magic Carpet", and now we're in the hunt for a replacement.
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