Boating, Fishing, and Travel Information for Bald Head, NC
Boating in Bald Head, NC Map View
Berthage with electricity, gasoline, diesel fuel, water, ice, a pump-out station and marine supplies are available at Southport.
Click the “Map View” button above to see a chart of this harbor.
Cape Fear River, 370 miles long and the approach to the city of Wilmington, empties into the sea immediately westward of Cape Fear.
Oak Island Light (33°53’34″N., 78°02’06″W.), 169 feet above the water, is shown from a 155-foot cylindrical tower, upper part black, middle white, and lower part gray, on Oak Island on the western side of Cape Fear River entrance. It is the most conspicuous object in the approach. The abandoned lighthouse, known as Old Baldy, on the west side of Smith Island, and the buildings of the Oak Island Coast Guard Station, westward of Fort Caswell, are also conspicuous.
Water tanks at Yaupon Beach, Southport and at Kure Beach and two silver radar domes about 1.3 miles southward of the tank at Kure Beach are visible well to seaward. The floodlights at the buildings on the beach about 1 mile westward of Oak Island Light are reported to be highly visible at night. The lights on the stack, microwave tower, and on the buildings of the nuclear powerplant, on the west side of Cape Fear River 2.5 miles above Southport, are prominent at night.
Frying Pan Shoals platform tower (33°29’06″N., 77°35’24″W.) is reported to be a good radar target in the approach to Cape Fear River. It is also reported that under ideal conditions the configuration of Cape Fear and Oak Island Light prove of some value as radar targets when closer in; these targets, however, should not be relied upon too strongly.
Frying Pan Shoals are the principal danger in the approaches to Cape Fear River. Isolated wrecks, some marked, and obstructions with varying depths over them are in the approaches.
In 2007, a rock was reported with shoaling to 28 feet at 33°42’38″N., 78°02’08″W.
Bald Head Shoal and Jay Bird Shoals (Middle Ground) are dangerous shoals on either side of the bar channel.
Caution should be exercised in Cape Fear River at times when tides are higher than normal and after heavy rains as logs and floating debris may be encountered.