The newly established Carolina Beach Mooring Field, just south of Snows Cut, has been getting a lot of electronic ink here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net of late. First, we published an article that was partly critical of this facility (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=95509), followed by a laudatory look at the field (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=97015).
Now, we are fortunate to present an in-depth article by our strategic partners, Captains Diana and Mark Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides. With all this data in hand, cruisers can now make an informed decision as to whether the Carolina Beach Mooring Field is a good spot to spend the evening, or not.
As many of your readers know, the Carolina Beach town moorings aren’t free anymore … but they’re still a great deal!
Until the town of Carolina Beach found a company to manage their moorings, boaters were welcome to tie up for a night or two at no cost. The moorings, ten of them placed in the well-protected bight of Carolina Beach at STM 295.1, now cost $20/night.
On the upside, you can now make a reservation in advance by calling 910-667-0004. The moorings are for boats 26 to 50 feet in length and the maximum stay is 10 days.
If the moorings are full, don’t overlook Carolina Beach’s two excellent nearby anchorages. The south anchorage has slightly better protection and is closer to the town dinghy dock than the north anchorage. Both spoil island anchorage areas are very deep, as charted, but moving to the edge affords more reasonable anchoring depths.
I’ve included a sample page from our new ICW AnchorGuide series to show the locations of the moorings and the two anchorages.
The town maintains a free dinghy dock at the southern end of the bight. It has excellent access to nearby restaurants, tourist shops, and of course the beach.
Sea Merchants Food Store, an excellent independent grocery store, is located only a few blocks away (910-458-7409). And Carolina Beach State Park, with a visitor center and jogging/hiking trails, can be reached with a pleasant walk up pedestrian-friendly Harper Avenue.
Here are pictures of the mooring field and Sea Merchants grocery store.
Best and see you On the Water,
Captains Mark & Diana Doyle