St James Plantation – Southport

We only have about 18 miles to go today from Carolina Beach to St James Plantation Marina. The marinas address is technically in Southport however it is far out of the town of Southport to the south in an isolated area along the ICW. As I mentioned before we didn’t want the challenge of taking on the currents in the Cape Fear River and we are in desperate need of a washer and dryer. We haven’t done any laundry since we left New Bern and it has been about 2+ weeks. So our mission was to find a good marina with laundry.

We didn’t leave Carolina Beach until about 10 am so we could time the tide and current in the Cape Fear River so we didn’t have a 4 knot opposing current slowing us down. St James Plantation is actually a very nice gated community that has gorgeous homes and happens to have a marina within the community and they also welcome transient boaters. So there is no town here to walk to, it’s very residential and quiet. They were nice enough to put us on the end of one of their docks so it was an easy in and out for us.

Here are some photos of the ICW along our way today. We have just 2 65′ bridges today to go through so no need to have any bridges open, we can just pass on by. It still is a bit freaky to see how close the mast is to the bridge.

We also have to go through an area known as Snow’s cut today. This is really a man made portion of the ICW that has been dug out to make a connection to the Cape Fear River. This section has been known for some significant shoaling and many have grounded in this area. Lucky for us they have just recently dredged this section of the ICW in the last few weeks so we should be good for our depth. Our boat drafts about 4’6″, for a sailboat this is not too bad. Luckily we haven’t run aground yet. (I don’t know if I should put that in writing…)

The rest of our time at St James Plantation was spent walking around, doing laundry, taking showers, etc. There was a great little gift shop/store next to the marina office. Walked in there to have a look around and ended up spending 30 – 45 minutes talking with the guy who owns the place who has sailed up in Alaska, he also has 2 beautiful dogs in the store and spent time petting the dogs. When you have all the time in the world and no agenda it’s really fun to here other peoples stories.

We did some planning as well for the path ahead of us. Our plan is to head as far south as Charleston and then turn around and head north once again to spend the summer in the Chesapeake Bay area. Come fall and cooler weather we will head south once again.

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