Cape Fear. A dramatic name to welcome us to our 12th state! We arrived yesterday at this headland jutting out into the Atlantic Ocean. And our arrival was a bit scary, entering a small marina with a narrow entrance and nearby rocks on a falling tide.
We intended to stay in the charming town of Southport, where I had made marina reservations. Before pulling into the marina, we stopped to investigate the free dock offered by Provisions, a waterside restaurant in Southport. Docking at their small slip was a bit challenging, especially under the eyes of the nearby diners! (It took a few tries to get it right, due to a current we didn’t expect or see. Knowing the tide charts isn’t always enough; you need to also consider the effect on the current of nearby inlets. And this one, at the tip of Cape Fear, was a big one.) After lunch and a walking tour of this cool town, we realized our slip wasn’t protected against winds – plus, we would be gazed upon by diners all day and evening. As you know by now, we prefer privacy and nature. Carolina State Park Marina was just 12 miles farther, with hiking trails and biking opportunities. They found us a spot at the last minute. The day was still young. So why not go on?
Arriving in a falling tide at a narrow entrance, that’s why not? After we were safely secured–albeit a foot or so off the bottom–I questioned our risk-taking. (Yes, again. I’m a risk-taker myself, but a different type than Jeff.) I agreed with moving on to the park. I did study the tide charts and the marina map, but not its entrance. I wondered if I was becoming too casual. I wondered if Jeff’s type of risk-taking was rubbing off on me. Jeff’s answer: You can stop taking risks when you’re in a coffin. Well, yes. But no need to hurry the day! (To be clear, there’s a very low risk of dying or getting hurt in this adventure. Most people would say that my skydiving and white-water rafting was more risky. But for some reason, I continue to question this. It might have to do with not being in control? 😉 After all, Jeff is the skipper and boat-handler. I put myself in his hands every day — still not a role I’m entirely accustomed to, after all these months. Hmm.)
Enough of my self-confessional. Let me introduce you to Carolina Beach State Park, and our 46-mile journey here, in photos below.
By the way, the name “Cape Fear” comes from the days of sailing ships, when crews were afraid they would get shipwrecked here. Many ships did, including Confederate blockade-runners during the Civil War.