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  NC trip: Carolina Beach to Southport , Cape Fear

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Author Topic:   NC trip: Carolina Beach to Southport , Cape Fear
69boo307 posted 06-23-2009 10:27 AM ET (US)   Profile for 69boo307   Send Email to 69boo307  
I'm going to be spending a week in Carolina Beach in August, and I'm curious about making a trip to Southport for a day to eat at one of the dockside restaurants and such, and then go back. I'm trying to determine if this is a reasonable day trip in my 15' Striper.
The distance is not a problem, I havn't done measurements on my map but I'm guessing somewhere around 20 miles by water. The questionable part of the trip would be traveling down the lower Cape Fear below Wilmington. I think it could be fairly 'big water' in a 15' boat. Is anyone familiar with that stretch or made this trip before?


K Albus posted 06-23-2009 11:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I have traveled that area in my Dauntless 180. It can get rough at times, depending on the wind and tide. Just check the the wind, wave, and tide forecasts before going, and as long as they're decent, you shouldn't have a problem.

If it's too rough to head over to Southport, you should still be able to make it up the ICW to Wrightsville Beach. The ICW north of Carolina Beach is quite a bit more sheltered than the lower end of the Cape Fear River. There are a number of restaurants along the water in Wrightsville Beach with free docking. There are also a lot of very nice homes and boats to see up that way.

I'll be in the same area for Labor Day weekend this year.

69boo307 posted 06-23-2009 01:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for 69boo307  Send Email to 69boo307     
That sounds good, it would be fun to go up to Wrighstville too. I've spent alot of time there before, but not on the water.
I'll be there a bit before you, August 15-22nd. I'm hoping the weather will be decent for some fishing and boating that week!

69boo307 posted 06-24-2009 01:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for 69boo307  Send Email to 69boo307     
I posted the inquiry on the NCWaterMan board as well, and what I'm hearing is that the Cape Fear near Southport can get really nasty depending on conditions. One guy says he's made that trip in a 28-foot Grady before and was very glad when it was over.
Looks like I'll probably pass on this trip and shoot for a trip to Wrightsville beach instead.
K Albus posted 06-24-2009 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
The last time I was there, which I believe was in 2007, I made the trip from Carolina Beach State Park to Southport with no problem. A couple of days later I tried to make a trip from Carolina Beach State Park to Bald Head Island but it was too windy and choppy. Everybody in the boat was getting wet, so we turned around and headed up the ICW to Topsail Beach. The Cape Fear River is just like any other large body of water - good some days, not good on others. Since you're going to be there for a week, you should have a good chance of catching a good day or two where you can make the trip.
Spray posted 07-01-2009 03:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Spray  Send Email to Spray     
69boo307 & K Albus,

I must be a small world! I just ran across this thread. I will be making an annual trek to Southport some time the week of August 8-15 for a fresh seafood lunch however I will be traveling up from Ocean Isle in an older Montauk. We have undertaken the trip for a number of years now and enjoy the ride as much as the food. Our path is fairly well protected but is typically an interesting ride. We have spied foxes deer, mobile home parks and multi million dollar homes. Ours is a 19 mile trip. Brian, I would attempt your the trip on a good weather day, and do Wrightsville another day. You will have an entire week so you might find a window of opportunity.


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