ONE MIGHT SAY IT’S JUST ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE
FOR A CAPE FEAR RIVER PILOT.
FOR MOST MORTALS, HOWEVER, THE BALANCE SHEET OF THIS OFFICE COULD
ONLY BE MEASURED IN INCREMENTS OF SHEER TERROR.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF WILMINGTON CAPE FEAR PILOTS ASSOCIATION
Today the Wilmington Cape Fear
Pilot’s Association, which is governed
by the Cape Fear River Navigation
and Pilotage Commission originally
set up by the state legislature in 1784,
has seven pilots and is housed on the
beautiful Southport waterfront in
a calm harbor safe from the ocean’s
roar. From there, they carry on the
business of piloting coastal and sea-
going vessels, continuing to play a
critical role as keepers of shipping on
the ancient Cape Fear and promoting
and assisting in the commerce and
prosperity of our port.
Container ships tower over the
smaller vessels that service them
on their journey along the river.
Right: The pilots give over com-mand
to tug boat captains when
making the final approach at the
port. Below: A river pilot boards a
container ship in rough seas.