Masonboro is a great inlet, all usual precautions. Winyah is good too, and Cape Fear is in there and sounds like you plan on calling on Southport. You probably know this, but Cape Fear and up snows cut to Masonboro, then out to Beaufort
or Cape Lookout is very direct. Catch the Cape Fear on a rising tide and it will whisk you up towards Wrightsville.
Like others, I don't recommend these inlets at night, but I must confess, I've done it before, mostly putting out to sea though. Cape Fear is probably the easiest at night, with not as much light noise
, but by far, more shipping
traffic than the others. I have ended and embarked on passages many times at Cape Lookout after dark -- easier than Beaufort
. Acres of 20'+ depths and good protection after an easy entrance with no major wind/current issues in moderate conditions.
Never really get tired of doing laps from SC- NC. If you like to eat fish
, make sure you drag a ballyhoo rig behind you for some mahi, or some spoons for Spanish. Can't wait to finish corn planting, barley harvest, etc and get out there... Hope you have a fun, safe passage-