Monday, May 10, 2010

Butler Island to Little River to Wrightsville

We left Butler Island at 0730 and had an uneventful day motoring until 1700, after stopping for fuel at Cricket Cove, fueling right on the waterway. We had hoped to see one of the gondolas overhead carting golfers from one green to the next at Myrtle Beach, but saw only water slides and Golden Arches, not a common sight on the bucolic Carolina ICW.

The Little River anchorage is very small, there were about 5 boats there and at that, it was crowded. Based on what I saw, depth at low tide at the entrance would be around 4 feet, with better water inside. I would not come here again unless it was very early in the day to be assured of a spot, and I would only do it near high tide.

For that reason we left at 0620 the next day for our trip through the Rock Pile and the most notoriously shallow spots in all of the ICW, Lockwoods Folly and Shallotte Inlets. I ran an internet search before leaving and hit upon a cruisers site that had a posting that both had been dredged in April, relieving most of the anxiety. And the dreaded Rock Pile, a 3 mile stretch of narrow waterway lined with threatening rocks just beckoning your bottom, turned out to be a big nothing too. But, there was little traffic on this day and I most certainly would not want to be facing a barge coming through here.

We took the Shinn Channel into Wrightsville which is a piece of cake compared to the Mott entrance.(As a matter of fact, when leaving through the Mott the next morning less than one hour after high tide, I saw 7 feet of water, with a range of 3.4 feet to drop at low.) As usual, by 1500 there was no anchoring room in the preferred anchorage, but plenty of space closer to the Shinn Channel if you don't mind picking your way through crab pots and moorings.

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