Monday, February 15, 2016

Waterside Dining and a Ferry Boat Ride

Last September when vacationing with Laurie’s sister Bonnie and Bonnie’s husband Bill, our plan was to spend 3 days in Charleston and then move north to Carolina Beach near Wilmington North Carolina.  As it turned out this was just before the catastrophic rains and flooding hit the Carolinas. 

On our way north, we passed through St. George SC, one of the sites that incurred disastrous flooding.  We drove through Myrtle Beach as well…a quiet place in late September, although the weather forecast may have contributed to the lack of tourists…

After looking at my maps, I determined that the most direct route to Carolina Beach from Charleston SC was through Southport NC where we could take a ferry across the mouth of the Cape Fear River…

When we got to Southport, it was time for lunch.  I’d done a little research and I’d chosen the Yacht Basin Provision Company for our meal break.  I liked the fact that it was very casual, focused on seafood and it was on the waterfront!

Yacht Basin Provision Co. was very busy and hectic!  The menu was on the wall so we got in line and ordered whatever took our fancy… They take your name and call you when your order is ready.

This is a view of the yacht basin/harbor from our table at the backside of the restaurant.  It was a gray day with some wind and skies that promised rain was on the way… The Intracoastal Waterway and the Cape Fear River are part of the scenery.

The dining area at the Yacht Basin Provision Co. is outside under a covered area on the dock.  Birds flitter around looking for a handout or a spill…
One quirky twist is the manner of payment at this restaurant.  They take your order and you pick up your food… When you are done you stop at the register and tell them what you had to eat and drink and they ring you up accordingly.  It’s all on the honor system…and that’s pretty cool!

This was our table… From the left is Bill, his wife Bonnie and Bonnie’s sister (my wife) Laurie.  I think that there were at least 3 bottles of Tabasco on the table…my kind of place! 

The menu featured such items as Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna Sandwiches; a Crab Cake Sandwich; Grouper Salad Sandwich; Steamed Shrimp (in shell); Conch Fritters; Onion Rings; Steamed Clams; Tuna Dinner; Crab Cake Dinner, and; such items as chicken sandwiches and hamburgers.  For dessert, there is Key Lime Pie and Bourbon Pecan Pie. 

The food was average to good…better than just a fuel stop…and enhanced by our proximity to the seashore.  There was nothing to rave about but nothing to complain about either.

 Yacht Basin Provision Co. is located at 130 Yacht Basin Drive in Southport North Carolina.  At this time they are closed for the season but they’ll reopen on March 17, 2016.  Phone: 910-457-0654.  Website:

After lunch we drove up the road a little bit and arrived at the Southport – Ft. Fisher ferry crossing.  This is a busy ferry operation and it’s complete with rocking chairs for waiting passengers, restrooms, travel information, etc.  Laurie caught this photo of Bonnie, me and Bill just chilling while waiting for the ferry…

In this photo, the ferry is about to unload its cargo of cars and trucks at the Southport terminal. 

The North Carolina Ferry System runs 22 boats on seven regular routes across five bodies of water: Currituck and Pamlico Sounds, and the Cape Fear, Neuse, and Pamlico Rivers.  They transport about 850,000 vehicles and 2,000,000 passengers a year, making it the second largest state-run ferry system in the United States.  Two of the Ferry System’s routes, (Hatteras-Ocracoke and Ocracoke-Cedar Island), are officially part of The Outer Banks Scenic Byway.

Here we are…loaded up and just underway.  As you will see, passengers can get out of their vehicles and wander about with the deck above the cars providing the best views.

This view is from the upper deck shows the view across the Cape Fear River…which is also part of the Intracoastal Waterway.  The wind was pretty fierce and the water was choppy.  We learned that with the nasty weather front coming in, we were approaching a complete halt in ferry traffic.

Laurie snapped this photo of me with the camera on the upper deck… The wind was really humming and we had some serious spray in the air!

Part way across the Cape Fear River we passed the “Southport Ferry” on its way from Ft. Fisher to Southport.  Our Ferry was the “Ft. Fisher Ferry”.  These boats are 180 feet long and they can carry 38 vehicles plus up to 300 passengers.  These ferries make 16 trips in each direction each day if the weather permits.  The cost is $5.00 per vehicle under 20 feet in length and the trip takes about 35 minutes.

To learn more about the North Carolina Ferry System, you can just go to  I’m one of those people that seek out ferry boats wherever they exist.  In many states, they’ve just disappeared… 

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them...

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. The meals may have just been okay but they sure did look good. I didn't realize the ferries even existed - 35 minutes is a pretty good ride

  2. Dear Dave, It looks like a nice place with a really nice atmosphere. The honor system sounds like something from a time gone by.
    Have a good week. Blessings, Catherine

  3. I love these kinds of places - fabulously fresh seafood and top it off with a ferry ride - yes indeed.

  4. The ferry ride looks so similar to the one we always take in Galveston --going across to the Boliver Peninsula. Ever been there????? It's FREE though --but not as long....