Incoming tidal flow at Mason’s Inlet for the Carolina Cup

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The tidal flow probably isn’t what you’d expect. When I first moved here, I assumed the water simply flowed east to west. It came from the ocean and filled in the the marshes and back bays. However, in Wrightsville Beach that is only partially true. Masonboro Inlet pulls so much water in that it pushes water both north and south through the Intracoastal Waterway (ICWW). Mason’s inlet is so small, the water flows to the ICWW and then North and West. You can see from the image that if competitors in the Graveyard are going in a clockwise direction (starting by going south and into Masonboro inlet and out Mason’s inlet, south on the ocean) the incoming tide will carry them all the way to Mason’s inlet.

When turning into Mason’s Inlet, they will be hit with a brutal upstream paddle.

If we go in this direction, you will be paddling out the inlet, through the incoming tide.

Mason's Inlet Incoming Tide

The faster water is in the eddies along the edges.

Get as close to the edge as you can without hitting land or sandbars. And avoiding sand bars is tricky. If the water is getting shallow, I have some tips on how to find and avoid sand bars and what to do when you’re already on top of them. I’ll post that this week.