Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway..minutes from Brunswick Plantation turns 100 by Kevin Anderson & Phyllis Billingsley

AICW map with BPBrunswick Plantation and Golf Resort wishes the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) Happy 100th birthday.  Voted one of the Top 50 Golf Communities in the US  Brunswick  has the best of everything! Just minutes away from Myrtle Beach, SC and conveniently tucked away from the crowds. Sparkling beaches, 27-hole gated golf resort and active living retirement community.

kayak picBoating & jet skiing,  fishing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, water skiing & wake boarding are key  activities for both locals and visitors who flock to our beaches  and waters every year.  According to The Star News of May 26 2013 (Phil Fuhrer), our coastal life would have been quite different without the AIWW.

In 1913, the Corps of Engineers was finally granted the funding to extend the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway south from Beaufort NC, past Topsail, Wrightsville, Shallotte, and Calabash, on its way to Florida.  The AIWW had actually entered the northern tip of North Carolina well before then, when George Washington, father of the country and a smart businessman, backed the digging to carry commerce, his included, down the coast to the Albermarle Sound and Edenton, then North Carolina’s capital.Add Media

fishing in backwaterToday, recreational boaters and visitors throughout the region are getting the most enjoyment out of its scenery, serenity and splendor—not the commercial shippers for whom the  so called “big ditch” was intended.

Access to the waterway’s sandy shores and docks is open to all with a love for the water.  It is a recreational boater’s dream.  You can travel its length along Southeastern North Carolina without many of the hazards of maneuvering your craft on the open sea.

Here at Brunswick Plantation we have many residents who love the boating lifestyle and enjoy the Brunswick Islands.  After you leave the Cape Fear River at Southport, the waterway begins a narrow east-west route along the region’s few south-facing beaches.  If you head west, you’ll pass Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Sunset Beach.  YES, YOU CAN ACTUALLY WATCH THE SUN SET OVER THE WATER AT SUNSET BEACH.

Once you cross under the Ocean Isle bridge, the landscape opens up again, and depending on the size of your boat, you may wander off the path into creeks.  The views are breathtaking and you’ll imagine you are gliding through the Florida Keys.

kindred spiritWest of Sunset Beach is the undeveloped Bird Island.  A local treasure known as the Kindred Spirit Mailbox (for which this BLOG is named) is nestled amid the dunes and holds notebooks full of written thoughts from visitors.



sunset on aiww


To enter Calabash from the water, you’ll have to dip into South Carolina just a bit and meander through the Little River Inlet and Milliken Cove.  The town of Calabash (3 miles from Brunswick Plantation) is so close to the docks, plan to stay awhile for shopping at the mega store Calabash Nautical Gifts and dinner at one of the famous dockside restaurants—Capt. Nance’s, Coleman’s, Dockside, Capt. John’s or Ella’s.  Ella’s was made famous in the 1950’s when Jimmy Durante visited and ate there and coined the phrase:  “Good night Mrs. Calabash wherever you are.”

As our small section of the AIWW turns 100, it has less commercial and more recreational use.  Without consistent dredging maintenance, the waterway could degrade.  As with everything of value, we must continue to support its upkeep for future generations of boaters and fishermen.  The AIWW opens a world of beauty for all of us.

Have any good pics or stories about fun on the AIWW? post to comments or share them on our Facebook page

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