Tours by boat bring bountiful sights

Taking a guided tour by boat gives guests a new way to view and appreciate land and marine environs, and the Grand Strand boasts a bunch, all the way northeast into Wilmington, N.C. It’s an easy escape where sights from the water take on giant proportions.

An Independence Day weekend voyage from Wilmington Water Tours on the Cape Fear River by Eagles Island – named after an entrepreneurial family, not the national bird – south from downtown filled 50 minutes with a close-up ride by tugboats and N.C. State Ports Authority shipyards.

Just going under the 65-foot clearance of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge, a vertical lift span connecting U.S. 17 between Brunswick and New Hanover counties, Capt. Ed Oeters said that when opened in the late 1960s, it carried 22,000 vehicles crossing daily, and that traffic has more than doubled since then.