By Tyler Barrack Sea Gate Boating
Masonboro: The local favorite is back in full swing. This past Father’s Day weekend was extremely busy on the north end of the island. As always, boaters need to be aware of the large sandbars guarding both sides of the channel when turning off of Masonboro Inlet. When picking an anchorage, boaters with small children and/or dogs who are seeking calmer waters and a gradual drop off should use the western (sound side) bank while surfers and beach combers looking for ocean front access need to arrive early to find a safe spot on the limited stretch of beach available on the eastern side.
Mason Inlet: The ICW dredging from a few years ago is starting to fill back in so boaters need to be especially mindful of depth at low tide. However when anchoring, low tide is ideal as a lot of the popular beaching spots are under water at high tide. No matter the tide, boaters need to go SLOW as the depth and current fluctuate constantly.
Rich Inlet/Lea Island: Mother Nature giveth and Mother Nature taketh away. As one of the last natural inlets in the state, Rich inlet is always dynamic and this year is no exception. The popular sandbar on the Figure 8 side has eroded drastically, so those looking to set up shop there need to arrive early and plan accordingly. The Lea Island side should be accessed by Green Channel which is located off ICW marker 105. Local knowledge goes a long way when learning this area so always be cautious and mindful of the strong current.
Tyler Barrack is the boat club manager at Sea Gate Boating. Reach him at (910) 256-0638