How to Enjoy a Coastal River
I feel fortunate to be able to make that river run whenever I have a few extra minutes. As long as the tides and winds are cooperating, it is a great way to start a day off with some wind in your face.
North Carolina's large coastal rivers are wonderful places for boats and pure fun. Our neighborhood river, the White Oak, which separates Onslow and Carteret Counties, is a great backyard.
I keep my boating gear ready to go at any time. All I have to do is grab a couple of water proof gear bags and our throw pillow. The bags contain our GPS, registration, cell phone, and a few other emergency items.
When I step on the boat, I mount the GPS, put the plug in and cast off the lines.
Then I lower the lift into the water until the skiff floats free, start the engine and back it off the lift. It only takes three or four minutes to idle out our Inlet to the river. Once in the river, you usually need to pick up speed just a little to maintain control of the boat.
We have a well dredged channel in Bluewater Cove, but I still pay attention to the depth of the water that shows on the depth finder. As I approach red buoy 16, which is the first marking the channel to Swansboro, I make a left turn and give the boat enough throttle to bring it up on plane.
Once the boat is up on top of the water, I just enjoy the ride down the river.
It is a wonderful trip, you can get something of an idea of the scenery by checking out this virtual tour. There are just enough turns to make the trip a lot of fun. With no one else on the river, I usually run at close to 30 miles per hour.
With the water glassy smooth, you sort of slide around the turns. Of course that is even more fun than going straight. When I get to the bridge in Swansboro, I will slow the boat down to where it is not making any wakes.
I actually enjoy poking along the harbor. No much changes, but it is still fun to see everything from the water. Once I have checked everything out, I will turn and head back to the bridge and eventually up river.
Usually the trip back home takes about ten minutes. If I have gotten out early enough, I will still have the river to myself. Running back up the river will be just as much fun as going down the river. My whole adventure usually takes about thirty minutes.
If you get a chance, do not pass up the opportunity to have a big river all to yourself. You will get hooked on it. More pictures of boating on the river and sound are available at my Picasa web albums site.
Taking a ride down the river is a nice diversion from all the dry, hot weather we are enduring.