The waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Intracoastal Waterway, and Cape Fear River come together in front of the little harbor town of Southport, North Carolina, where they lap against the rock-strewn shoreline. Incongruously, a hulking 900-foot oceangoing freighter cuts through the freshwater/saltwater mix, while a little john boat floats nearby. A sailboat rests behind it, jib gently waving in the wind. Kids run on the long, grassy field of Waterfront Park behind the gray benches that face out to sea and shout out to the giant boat, which looks stretched to Mr. Fantastic proportions with crewmen visible on deck.
From the swings in Waterfront Park, visitors take in barrier islands, Oak Island Lighthouse, Old Baldy Lighthouse (as if one lighthouse isn't lovely enough!), and boats of all kinds.