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Archive For: NC5 – Alligator River to Pungo River

  • North Mouth of Alligator River AICW Problem Stretch – Captains Mark and Diana Report (St. M. 81)

    On the Water GuidebooksBelow, our strategic partners Captains Mark and Diana Doyle, founders and owners of On The Water ChartGuides, give a concise and accurate report of the current situation at the northern mouth of the Alligator River, where the AICW flows south from Albemarle Sound into this body of water. Note that Diana and Mark confirm our earlier posting here on the SSECN (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=98565), that the infamous “magenta line” is charted on the WRONG side of marker #8A. Be SURE to pass this marker to its EASTERLY side!

    Hi Claiborne,
    Diana and I crossed the Albemarle Sound southbound last week and re-surveyed the known Alligator River Entrance ICW trouble spot … with its westward shoal and mis-charted Magenta Line.
    As you can see from the attached screenshot, the depths are fine if you follow the navaids, NOT necessarily the Magenta Line.
    Southbound, you would honor R6 and the G7-R8 pair, then (importantly) depart the charted Magenta Line, honoring floating navaid Red 8A, to stay off encroaching Long Shoal Point, finally re-joing the ICW and the charted Magenta Line at G9.
    I’ll re-survey the other known ICW trouble spots as we continue southbound and share these with your SSECN readers.
    Best and see you On the Water,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
    http://www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

    Cruised through the northern Alligator River dog leg. No problem. Follow the marks.
    Raymond W. Smith

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the North Mouth of Alligator River

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • CHARTING ERROR Discovered By Way Of Good Advice on Transiting the Northern Alligator River/AICW Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 80

    Over the weekend of 10/6/12 to 10/7/12, we received the message below from Captain Sykes DeHarrt, concerning the perennial AICW Problem Stretch at the northern mouth of the Alligator River.
    Clearly, this is good advice, but as you will see, Captain Syke’s info pointed out a potential problem.

    Cruising News:
    Came thru there going south 2 days ago. There is absolutely no problem at the entrance if one follows the marks. The problem area has apparently been near marker 8. If you stay half way between 7 and 8 the depth never gets below 12 feet. Go from this point straight to marker 9 and don’t do the dog leg I think a lot of chart plotters show. They have added marker 8A to help keep you away from that shoal.
    Sykes DeHart
    sv Aquarius

    After reading Captain DeHart’s welcome input, we consulted the latest edition of chart 11553, and immediately spotted marker #8A mentioned in the article above. WHAT REALLY CONCERNED US WAS THE DEPICTION OF THE INFAMOUS MAGENTA LINE SHOWN AS PASSING TO THE WEST OF #8A. BOTH THIS MARKER’S COLOR, AND CAPTAIN DEHART’S COMMENTS SUGGESTED THIS AID TO NAVIGATION SHOULD BE PASSED TO ITS EASTERLY QUARTER.
    We all know that navigators CAN’T trust the magenta line, but many cruisers do follow it all too closely, so a charting error at this crucial intersection needs to be called to the immediate attention of the cruising community./
    First, we sent out a special SSECN Alert on the morning of 10/8/12, asking for input from our fellow cruisers, and, in particular, confirmation that marker #8A should be passed to its EASTERLY side. By the same afternoon, we had much appreciated, plentiful evidence from multiple captains, that CHART 11553 IS INDEED IN ERROR, AND THAT ALL CRUISERS SHOULD PASS TO THE EAST OF #8A!!!! IGNORE THE DEPICTION OF THE MAGENTA LINE PASSING WEST OF #8A, ON THE CURRENT EDITION OF CHART 11553!
    Read the input below, say a thanks to our fellow cruisers, and then mark your version of 11553!
    Can’t sign off without noting that this is a clear case of the Cruisers’ Net model working to perfection. We hear a report, professionally research the problem by bringing the 50+ combined years of our staff’s Southeastern USA cruising experience to bear, and then ask for on-site input from fellow cruisers. The cruising community responds, and within hours, we have a solution. Pretty neat, huh!

    We passed through on 9/28 and had no problems following the markers. If you stay towards the green markers 7 & 9, you should be ok with good depths around 10-12 ft. Our chart plotter had the 8A and the magenta line correctly place left [East] of 8A.
    Susan Leaf

    Hi Claiborne
    We passed there yesterday 10/7/2012 No problem if you follow the markers not the plotter Passed to the east of 8A water depth was never under 11 ft.
    Larry Ross
    Wanderin’ L&M
    55 Hampton

    We passed through this area on 9/16/2012 with a 130 foot motor yacht and didn’t have any problems. We ran the channel the same way Captain DeHart did, leaving “R” 8A to starboard [#8A’s EASTERN side] and had 10 feet or more all the way through. We were drawing 8 feet at the time and got a call from another large yacht behind us who was aware of our draft. He was watching us on AIS and saw that we appeared to pass the marker on the “wrong” side according to his plotter and the magenta line. After assuring him to forget the line he also ran through with the reds to his right and had plenty of water.
    Captain Bill Hipple
    M/Y Lady Kath

    10/6/2012///Sailed to a point approximately 1nm NW of 1AR, joined with the charted magenta line approx half way to G3. Maintened the charted center (magenta line) until through the opening. Experinced nothing that was not charted, in fact we consistantly had 1-2 ft more than charted. Left the chart to proceed to the AR “Marina”.
    We have a shoal draft 4′-9″ but were sailing with another boat with 5 (or more) draft. Again no issues.
    Bob

    If you track the magenta line and draw more than 3 feet, at low tide, you WILL ground in a number of places, North entrance to Alligator River being one.
    The magenta line does NOT provide lateral information, nor indicate a channel. What it does do is indicate the body of water containing the AICW and provide the basis for the mile markers – the chart preparers measure the line to establish the mileages.
    There are a number of points on the ICW where the magenta line passes the wrong side of the mark, not just by gps location, but shown on the NOAA raster charts. There is a location south of Barfoot landing where you will not be able to track the magenta line unless your boat is amphibious.
    A few years ago, one of the revisions of the NOAA raster chart showing Shallotte Inlet provided some wiggles in the magenta line between marks. This would suggest the line might have tracked the channel. Not only did it not, but when we went through the marks had been moved to respond to the recently sounded shoaling pattern.
    John Ferguson

    I was through the intersection of Albermarle and Alligator River on 10/12 and 10/17 with no problems. With my 5 foot draft I always had at least 7 feet under the keel by using the westerly green 3 and hugging the greens all the way through.
    Gray Riddick

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For Northern Alligator River

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch at the Northern Mouth of Alligator River

  • Good Report on Upper Pungo River Anchorages, AICW Statute Mile 127.5

    These anchorages lie just off the AICW, north and northwest of Waterway marker #23 and a short jog west of the Alligator River–Pungo River Canal’s shoal-prone southerly entrance. The easternmost haven is, in our collective opinion, about as good as it gets!

    We anchor here on a regular basis. It is a great location just prior to a northbound entry to the canal. Leave the ICW at marker 24 and you will see no less than 8 foot to the charted anchorage. Good holding in soft mud. It is exposed to the East – South but if it is really blowing you can find more shelter further up the creek. There is a small beach if you have pets. Verizon service comes and goes.
    Dave Boxmeyer

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Upper Pungo Anchorages

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Upper Pungo Anchorages

  • Pungo Creek Marina Back Up and Running (North Carolina AICW, Statute Mile 136)

    A few years ago, the cruising community was actively commenting on what was then a newly revamped marina facility, just off the Waterway, south of Belhaven, NC, on the northern shores of Pungo Creek. Pungo Creek Marina was pumping fuel, had a newly opened ship’s store and lounge, and was (and still is) set in one of the most peaceful places imaginable.
    Then, along came strong storms and this facility was all but laid waste. I visited here in March of this year, and could not find any management to speak with, but a long time resident boat owner was most helpful, and it became apparent from our conversation that the future, if any, of this marina, was “iffy.”
    Now, we are very happy to report that new owners have taken over, fuel is once again being pumped, and transients accepted for overnight dockage. And, it just so happens, the boat owner I spoke with back in March, Captain Allen McMurtry, is the new, and super friendly, dockmaster!
    There are no restaurants that can currently be accessed from Pungo Creek Marina’s docks, but Captain Allen will help with landside transportation to the local Food Lion supermarket, and to propane tank exchange and tank refill dealers in nearby Belhaven.
    Of course, it’s only fair to point out that this facility must be weighed against SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Belhaven Waterway Marina, just to the north along the shores of Pantego Creek and the Belhaven waterfront. BWM has the advantage of being within easy walking distance of downtown Belhaven, with its restaurants and historic attractions.
    However, if you prefer a marina that is far, far from the maddening crowed, give Pungo Creek a look as well.
    We would LOVE to hear from fellow cruisers who have spent some time at the new incarnation of Pungo Creek Marina. PLEASE send your impressions to Contact@CruisersNet.net, or click the “Contribute Cruising News” link/button on the upper right of this, and all Cruisers’ Net pages (except Chart View pages).

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Updated Listing For Pungo Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pungo Creek Marina

  • Belhaven, NC Guest Dock Welcomes Boaters – Captains Mark and Diana Report (Statute Mile 135.5)

    On the Water GuidebooksWe have run several earlier articles here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net concerning the relatively new Belhaven Town Dock (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=77961 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=86346). Now, we are treated to an in-depth report on this facility, courtesy of our “On The Water ChartGuides” strategic partners, Captains Mark and Diana Doyle.
    Note that Belhaven’s new city dock is located along the northern shores of Pantego Creek, just west of SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Belhaven Waterway Marina! Follow the “Chart View” link below to see the exact location!

    Hi Claiborne,
    As the summer draws to a close and folks saddle up to begin the migration south, we just wanted to remind everyone that Belhaven, NC now has another option for visiting boaters—and it’s free! For now at least…
    The town completed a guest dock on “Wynn’s Gut,” a small cut right along the town’s waterfront. The dock is located on the side of a small channel, alongside a sidewalk with benches and picnic tables. The town promotes the tie-up as “room for nine 30-foot boats.” There currently are no utilities, but pump-out is planned and will be less than $5, thanks to funds from the Clean Vessel Act. The town also hopes to add electricity and water in the future.
    We visited the dock a couple of months ago, and surveyed depths of 4.5 to 7 feet alongside. There is room for several boats, but the “cut” is narrow and shallows quickly along the opposite (western) side. In other words, it may be easy to pull in, but larger vessels might have trouble turning around to exit.
    Dredging is planned but currently this convenient and affordable option in Belhaven is probably best for somewhat smaller vessels with moderate draft. Larger trawlers, cats, or boats with limited maneuverability, are better served by the anchorages and Belhaven Waterway Marina or Dowry Creek Marina.
    Here is a picture abeam the guest dock, looking southwest back out to Pantego Creek.
    Belhaven has always been a popular cruiser’s stop. The village has a handful of fun little restaurants. It’s also one of the few places along the ICW where you can access a hospital by boat. The supermarket (and fast food and discount store) is along State Highway 99, best accessed from the dinghy landing at the fixed bridge upriver.
    I’ve included a sample page from our new ICW AnchorGuides showing the two Belhaven anchorages and the new town guest dock.
    Best and see you On the Water,
    Captains Mark & Diana Doyle
    www.OnTheWaterChartGuides.com

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Belhaven Town Dock

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Pantego Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Belhaven Waterway Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Marina Listing For River Forest Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Belhaven Town Dock

  • Praise for Staff of River Forest Manor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    252 943 2151. River Forest Manor & Marina is truly a special stop for the Intracoastal yachtsman. For over 45 years, the Marina has been home to the World Famous Buffet Smorgasbord which is served nightly and the incomparable Sunday Brunch (served from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)  Specialties include many Southern style, mouth -watering dishes. Seafood delights such as crabmeat casserole, oyster fritters, and our unique homemade sausages & desserts -- all are prepared daily in our kitchen!River Forest Marina and Manor will be the first facility on your starboard side upon entering Pantego Creek and Belhaven Harbor from Pungo River. And they are A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Came into the marina on July 1 to get out of a 70kt thunderstorm. The storm produced an area-wide power outage and the owners and staff wanted to get home to deal with the outage. In spite of that they stayed at the dock, guided me in (first time in Bellhaven), and stayed until I was secure at the dock. They couldn’t offer any amenities as the power outage lasted for more 36 hours, but I was impressed with the level of personal service they provided.
    Agree, it’s not the prettiest marina I’ve been, but it definitely was a good port in a storm.
    John

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For River Forest Manor Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of River Forest Manor Marina

  • Good Words for Belhaven Town Dock, Pantego Creek, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    Construction on this municipal dock was begun this past fall and its completion is very welcome news for folks wanting to visit the charming town of Belhaven, NC. Docking is free with a 24 hour limit and the dock also provides dinghy dockage for cruisers anchored in the nearby Pantego Creek Anchorage.

    Great stop, walk to restaurants, hardware store and real estate offices. The Belhaven Water Street Bed and Breakfast is a block down the street.
    Andrew Fisher

    We stopped at the Belhaven Town Dock a week or so ago, on a Sunday. Across the street we talked to the hardware store owner who is also the Town Manager. He’s very enthusiastic about the dock and told us that by the end of the summer he expects that water and electric hook-ups will be installed.
    BTW, there is no place in town after 2pm on Sunday to go for a meal.
    Wade Ehlen

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For the Belhaven/Pantego Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Belhaven Town Dock

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Belhaven, NC

  • Dowry Creek Marina Continues to Please, AICW Statute Mile 131.5

    Dowry Creek Marina is a fine family owned and family run marina that has received MANY laudatory reviews here on the Cruisers’ Net. This facility lies off the AICW/Pungo River, north of Belhaven.

    We seldom go to marinas, and there are all sorts of places to anchor out nearby, but this time we stopped just to be sociable, and we were not disappointed. There is a lovely pool, important when the weather is hot, and Mary gathered up everyone she could and had a gathering in the party room, just because I mentioned we were hoping for some visiting. You can’t get more gracious than that. We will make this a must do stop in the future as so many of our friends have always done.
    Beverly Feiges

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Dowry Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dowry Creek Marina

  • Rocky Night at River Forest Manor Marina, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    252 943 2151. River Forest Manor & Marina is truly a special stop for the Intracoastal yachtsman. For over 45 years, the Marina has been home to the World Famous Buffet Smorgasbord which is served nightly and the incomparable Sunday Brunch (served from 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)  Specialties include many Southern style, mouth -watering dishes. Seafood delights such as crabmeat casserole, oyster fritters, and our unique homemade sausages & desserts -- all are prepared daily in our kitchen!River Forest Marina and Manor will be the first facility spied upon entering Pantego Creek and Belhaven Harbor from Pungo River. And they are A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    Took 2 footers on the swim platty while berthed there and got no sleep. Lesson learned. Nice people, complimentary golf cart to go into town and decent wifi. Would stay there again, but not with an E SE or S blow.
    KJ

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For River Forest Manor Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of River Forest Manor Marina

  • More Praise for Dowry Creek Marina, AICW Statute Mile 131.5

    Dowry Creek Marina is a fine family owned and family run marina. Off the AICW/Pungo River, north of Belhaven, NC, Dowry Creek Marina has long been a favorite among cruisers, as Jim and Talley attest below.

    Cruising News:
    We all tend to remember things being bigger, prettier, and brighter than they really were. Then we return to the best marina on the entire AICW, Dowry Creek Marina, and we see that it is just as big, just as bright, and Mary is just as pretty as we remember. Maybe even more than we remember. And, suddenly, the whole world is a good place to be, and Dowry Creek Marina is the best place to be. Wherever we cruise, we always measure how far we are from Mary, and how long it will take to get back to her.
    Jim and Talley Powell

    We totally agree! Dowry Creek is our favorite stopping place and Mary and her crew are tops!
    Marshall and Patty Timm

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Dowry Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dowry Creek Marina

  • High Praise for Alligator River Marina, AICW Statute Mile 84

    Alligator River Marina lies on the western shore of the mouth of the Alligator River/AICW, just north of the swing bridge and southwest of flashing daybeacon #12. This facility provides the ONLY readily available dockage and fuel along the patch of the AICW between Coinjock, Elizabeth City and Dowry Creek/Belhaven!
    This facility has always inspired strong feelings from cruisers. Some, like Captains Jim and Talley below, really like it. Others have had different sorts of things to say here on the Cruisers’ Net. Speaking personally, we have always gotten along famously with “Miss Wanda,” but, then again, we’ve known each other for many years!

    Cruising News:
    The Alligator River Marina is the oasis we all try to find when we’ve been out too long. It is the fertile ground where new friendships spontaneously grow, and where old friends are glad to see you again.
    Great fried chicken and hamburgers. Outstanding breakfasts. Clean showers and laundry facilities. Friendly staff.
    The only reason we ever leave Wanda and the gang is so we can have all the fun of coming back again. And, we will. Again and again.
    Jim and Talley Powell

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Alligator River Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Alligator River Marina

  • Report from Belhaven/Pantego Creek, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    Belhaven/Pantego Creek Anchorage is found on the waters of Pantego Creek, off the Pungo River, west-southwest of unlighted daybeacon #8. The town of Belhaven is within easy dinghy distance, and there is NEW dockage available at the recently opened city dock. (see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81838)

    Belhaven anchorage is much the same today as it was when we first read about it in your “Cruising Guide to Coastal North Carolina” – plenty of room to anchor in 10 ft but still having a couple of shallow places near G11. You can still anchor beyond the daymark, which is within rowing distance to the National Wildlife provided boat ramp, where we left our dinghys. Additional dockage for dinghies is provided by the city at mid-town, but it’s a higher step up to land. I’ve heard it said that Belhaven is not good anchoring because of the soft mud but in the several times I have anchored here there’s been no trouble in up to 20 knots of wind. River Forest Marina still has diesel, water and pump out and charges $1.50 per foot for dockage. At a separate location River Forest also has a full service yard with an excellent mechanic.
    We ate out at the one restaurant we could find, Fishhooks, where we had cocktails and and excellent meal at very reasonable prices. An Ace Hardware is in the middle of town and has it’s own library (of all things) with very inexpensive used books for sale on an amazingly wide variety of subjects.
    Fair Winds and Following Seas,
    Brian Walter

    Belhaven has new town docks in the center of town with no fee ! No electric or pumpout for free but nice.
    The best seafood we have had in a long time is 4 blocks from the dock at Georgies in Belhaven. Georgies is a great value too.
    Keith and Joy Reising
    aboard “Great Mates II”
    44 Atlantic MY

    We stayed at the new town dock at Belhaven, NC this last week.
    Narrow entrance, but basin to turn around. Room for three to four boats depending on size. Tie to poles, no cleats. No water or power, No assistance unless someone is there.
    Right in the middle of town, short walk down to Georgies Sports and Oyster bar, where the seafood is great. Sitting at the bar the guys will shuck your steamed oysters. We rafted up to companion boat comfortably for the night.
    I would stay here again.
    Mike and Gail Preston

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Belhaven Town Docks

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Belhaven Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pantego Creek/Belhaven Anchorage

  • Praise for Dowry Creek Marina, AICW Statute Mile 131.5

    Dowry Creek Marina is a fine family owned and family run marina. Off the AICW/Pungo River, north of Belhaven, NC, Dowry Creek Marina has long been a favorite among cruisers.

    Dowry Creek Marina always has been a good stop. Mary and her crew are the best and the accommodations are fabulous!
    Marshall

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Dowry Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dowry Creek Marina

  • Good Report from Alligator River Marina, AICW Statute Mile 84

    Alligator River Marina lies on the western shore of the mouth of the Alligator River/AICW, just north of the swing bridge and southwest of flashing daybeacon #12.

    On a recent ICW trip we were unsure about stopping at Alligator River Marina after reading some reviews. On March 22,2012 we stopped and were met at the gas pumps. We ate in the grill and found all of the staff very friendly and helpful. Wanda went out of her way to help our overnight stay comfortable. We were in a small ( 19′ ) boat so our spending was limited to 20 gal. gas, slip fee, two meals in the grill. Very pleased, they had only been open one week after being closed for Winter.
    James Truckner

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Alligator River Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Alligator River Marina

  • Praise for East and South Lake Anchorages, AICW Statute Mile 82

    The entrance to East Lake and South Lake anchorages lies along the AICW/Alligator River’s easterly shoreline, east of flashing daybeacon #10. We strongly suggest that you NOT attempt to access this anchorage without a well functioning GPS chartplotter aboard. A portion of the approach runs through a narrow, unmarked, neck-like channel. Easy to do with a chartplotter, but very difficult with DR navigation.

    Heading northbound. Winds were howling today, gusts to 30 mph. Hopeful that the bridge would open. Great bridgetender. Went to the anchorage in Little Alligator River…nasty, crossed the river to the East & South Lakes. Followed our GPS to the middle of the South Lake. Five boats anchored here tonight in very calm water despite the 15 MPH winds. Will definitely keep this anchorage in mind the next time we are in the area. Our 5’5″ draft had no problem getting in here! (3/29/12)
    Just noticed the statement for sufficient room for 38 foot vessels, every boat in here tonight is over 40 feet. Can’t believe the room back here. So much room, a beautiful anchorage.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For East and South Lake Anchorages

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of East and South Lake Anchorages

  • Report on Jordan Creek Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 140

    Jordan Creek lies well to the west-northwest of the Waterway’s flashing daybeacon #4, along Pungo River’s westerly banks. This stream plays host to the River Rat Yacht Club, one of the most fun loving organizations of its type to be found anywhere.
    Cruisers sometimes anchor on the waters of Jordan Creek, and we do list this haven in our “North Carolina Anchorage Directory.” However, while we have always found 4 1/2 foot depths if this stream is carefully approached, the thin water reported below by Captain Beard is for real!

    I have gone in here and anchored off the club. Entrance is marked but shallow, less than 4ft.
    Earl Beard

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Jordan Creek

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jordan Creek

  • Belhaven Town Dock Open for Business, Pantego Creek, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    Construction on this municipal dock was begun this past fall and its completion is very welcome news for folks wanting to visit the charming town of Belhaven. Docking is free with a 24 hour limit and the dock also provides dinghy dockage for cruisers anchored in the nearby Pantego Creek Anchorage.

    Just thought you might like to know the Belhaven Town dock has been finished. I have attached three photos of the 1st two boats to dock. The BYC (Belhaven Yacht Club) found and assisted the town of Belhaven in getting the grant to do this project.
    Andy Fisher

    Cruising News:
    Had the opportunity to be the first boat docked at the ‘New’ Bellhaven Town dock. Spent the night of 28 December there while aboard a Pearson 424… found pleanty of water for the 6′ draft. We took soundings in the dingy before we went in, and found 8′ all the way in (stay close to the old pilings). The entry channel has good water just stay in the middle until you see the new dock (near the hospital). Stayed the night with a friend on a Southern Cross 31 and were joined by another sailboat the next day. Local paper came out and officially pronounced the dock “open” (we made the front page).
    The dock was constructed with money from a grant, and while no signs are up now, there is to be a 24hour limit. Trash disposal is available, and there is a public restroom across the parking lot. Close to the hardware store, and restaurant… great stop!
    S/V Faith

    Great News! I will make it a regular stop. And if there is any $$$ left over, how about installing a HarborCam so I can see from the waterway if there is room at the dock? Just asking.
    Roger Hitchner
    Painter, Hershine 41

    Amenities? I don’t see power hookups,etc.
    Al Ross

    There is power and water as well a pump out.
    At the very end of the main channel just before the bridge. Have to go in through a very small channel lined with rickety pilings. Looks improbable, but it is there. Wouldn’t have found it without the photos.
    Keith

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For the Belhaven/Pantego Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Belhaven, NC

  • Upper Dowry Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 131.5)

    The anchorage referred to below by Captain Anderson lies upstream of Dowry Creek Marina, a facility that many other cruisers have reported favorably upon.

    While I agree that this anchorage is a very solid location to get out of strong winds, our experience at Dowry Creek Marina was an eye opening!
    When I went in and spent money for fuel and ice I even asked if they wanted a fee for trash and water and was told no thanks. Later in the day, after we bought more fuel, (again by our dinghy) we were befriended by a fellow cruiser on the dock and were invited to the happy hour that night by him. When we showed up we were told by the marina that only docked boats could participate. Further they said they did not have dinghy facilities and that we would have to leave the premises! Next time the gentleman said, “take one or our docks!”.
    Note that we sail a very low freeboard trimaran and the docks at the marina were not even considered by us. Too high to reach and facing the wrong way for the forecasted bag weather. Why would we want our boat pinned to rough pilings during the big wind when we can swing with the weather that was forecasted??
    Right now we are at a dock (a beautiful floater) so we do spend money! I’ll anchor in Upper Dowry Creek perhaps again but will NEVER set foot at the marina. It has easily been the low point of our cruise south to date!!
    Dick Anderson

    Why would you expect to benefit and enjoy the amenities of the marina while anchored. It just makes sense to me that if you want to participate then pay the slip rate. I would resent you getting the same treatment as a paying customer.
    Rick Bearden

    Sorry You had a bad experience there, it has been one of our favorite stops, and always been friendly, of course we did pay for dockage, so I guess that’s why. I know the Lady lost her husband and is having a hard time keeping the place going. I am still a bit surprised that they treated You that way, and understand Your post. They seemed to be real sail friendly when we were there, did the marina change hands? Do You know?
    Captain Clay

    We’ve stayed at Dowry Creek marina at least four times, the most recently 11-3-11. They are the most friendly and accommodating people we’ve had the pleasure to meet. They have very nice facilities (restrooms, showers, pool, boaters lounge.) They go out of their way to assist anyone paying for a slip, with hands always ready to help with lines. I saw them out in driving rain and winds on 11-4-11 assisting boaters dock. Later that evening, well after dark they stayed after hours to assisted a small sailboat dock in nearly 30kts winds.
    No they don’t have floating docks or a dingy dock for boaters that don’t want to pay for a slip. If you chose to anchor do so just don’t expect to use a nearby marina’s facilities.
    Lamar

    I bought a boat from a man who owned a slip at Dowry Creek Marina a couple of years ago. I stayed on the boat for about 3 days getting it ready to move. She knew she would not be getting any slip fees from me. Mary was nice and accommodating. Not overly friendly, but it was a good experience over all. But, while I was there, I was buying ice, chips, candy, soda, a couple extra things from the store. I don’t know her or her business plan, and I can understand her frustration of people sailing by and anchoring within sight of the marina. But if she would have let him stay, he might have spent some more money. (I know I would have probably bought more!) I own a retail store, and ANY customer is a good customer.
    Mark s/v Windbag

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Upper Dowry Creek Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Upper Dowry Creek Anchorage

  • Unhappy Times at Alligator River Marina (Statute Mile 84)

    We present the report below without prejudice or further comment, except to say that over the years many cruisers have written to praise Alligator River Marina and its proprietor, while others have reported just the opposite. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground in regards to cruisers’ feelings towards this facility.

    Well, I’ve never before posted negative comments concerning a marina… but after 40 odd years of cruising, Captaining and being in the marine industry, our experience at the Alligator River Marina merits commenting…
    We were heading North during Mid/late August 2011, called ahead during the late afternoon to see if a slip was available. A very pleasant young lady advised that there would be space available and to tie up on the south dock and come inside to register. We called again just prior to arrival and ordered food, as the store/restaurant closes at 1930.
    Upon arrival we found the staff (gas station attendant and grill cook) to be pleasant, accommodating and rather friendly for being at the end of a days work. Our food was ready, we filled out the dockage form- paid for the slip and food and tipped the clerk and cook well for their kindness.
    There was only one other transient boat at the marina, the place was essentially empty.
    In the morning we took on almost $1,400.00 in fuel and bought breakfast for our crew of three. Between the prior night’s dinner, dockage, breakfast, and some odds and ends from the store, we spent near $1,700.00.
    Our main concern was staying ahead of Hurricane Irene, as she was about 4 days behind us when we arrived. Our destination was Long Island.
    In fairness, the marina is an adequate, no frills facility, with clean hot showers, laundry, a lounge with TV and internet access, all in a good location. The owner, Ms. Wanda on the other hand is someone we won’t soon forget…
    Shortly after departing, we had a minor mishap and damaged one propeller. We telephoned the marina and asked (as their welcome package indicated) if they could arrange for a diver to change the prop. Ms. Wanda indicated that she would arrange for a diver to come to the marina, took our phone number, and said to come back.
    Upon returning to the marina, she advised (with a smile) that the diver would not be available until the following afternoon. I explained that we would explore other options, as we wanted to stay ahead of the Hurricane, and that I wished we had known about the diver’s availability prior to returning.
    Her displeasure (actually anger to near the point of rage) over our electing to explore our options was evident in her tone of voice, facial expressions and posture….
    She simply said, “I doubt you’ll find another diver”. We telephoned a local marine surveyor friend and were able to arrange for a diver who could have been there in two hours. I advised Ms. Wanda that we had located a diver who would be there by late morning, thanked her for calling her diver, and asked that she please cancel his appointment for the following day.
    A short while later she came to the boat… banged on the hull and said, “Make sure your diver gives me a certificate of insurance naming me and my marina”…. I called the diver and relayed her message… he said it was not a problem, and that he had dealt with “Wicked Wanda”(His characterization…not mine!) in the past. He then asked that I give her the phone…
    This is where it got rather interesting… Ms. Wanda repeated the issue about the insurance and then told the diver that he would have to see her upon arrival, and pay her $30 “for the pleasure of diving from her dock”… an argument ensued between the diver and Ms. Wanda…she returned my phone and said, “I told you you wouldn’t find another diver”
    I would have gladly paid the additional $30 to be on our way and ahead of the hurricane.
    As I walked back to the boat she turned and said, “I guess you’ve got a real problem now”…
    Throughout this situation I chose to maintain my self on the high road and was nothing less than polite… I simply responded, “Well Ms. Wanda, I must tell you, never will I spend $1,700.00 at anyone’s establishment to be treated this way… you have a nice day, we’ll be leaving shortly”
    Before I could hit the start button she had us untied and free of the dock….simply unbelievable!
    We got underway and arranged for the diver to meet us at Coinjock later that evening. Upon arriving at Coinjock we learned that she had called ahead… we assume in an effort to get us shut out. As always, Coinjock was a pleasure with Louis’ pleasant staff, excellent food, and live music.
    Unfortunately, the diver was unable to remove the prop… we limped up to Portsmouth, VA where we were hauled by Full Throttle Marine at Tidewater Marina. It is without reservation that I recommend Full Throttle. They were prompt, friendly, courteous, and quite reasonable for the short haul and changing of both propellers.
    Later we were told (but could not confirm) that Ms. Wanda had actually requested the diver to come the following day… If that is true I find it unconscionable that she would attempt to delay us by more than a day in the face of a hurricane for a few paltry dollars in dock fees and food from her store.
    Would I stay there again?…Likely not, but anything is possible while on the water! Granted her fuel prices are as good as you’ll find in NC… but whoever you buy fuel from, she gets a piece of the pie… she is the local marine fuel fuel distributor!
    Capt. Jerry

    We, too, have had a very bad experience with the Alligator River Marina. It was several years ago, we were traveling south and needed fuel. We, of course, did the usual callings and everyone was polite and nice.
    Upon arrival at the fuel dock, the wind was blowing very hard (~25k) directly away from the pier. We tried to approach normally but could not. So I called to the dock attendant that we would approach nose on and asked if he could take a line from us and tie it off so we could then use the prop wash on the rudder to force the stern in. He used some choice words about my bad seamanship and told me if I didn’t know how to bring a boat in properly I shouldn’t be boating. He started to walk away. I called to him that I really needed his help and he turned back to us. When we got the bow of the boat near the pier, Suzi tossed him a line and indicated the cleat where we would like him to tie it. He ignored her and short tied the bow to the pier so tightly that there was no way we could bring the stern in. And again he walked away, ignoring our protests. Another boater volunteered to help and we got tied up.
    Then, the dock attendant came up to us carrying the fuel pump nozzle and laid it next to our boat, gave me what I would consider a dirty look and walked away. A few moments later I picked up the nozzle and started to fuel our boat. After pumping several gallons the dock attendant came back cursing at me and saying he had not told me to pump yet, and that he was in charge and I wasn’t to do anything until he told me to. I apologized (probably not too sincerely) and he said that he wasn’t finished taking the reading from the last boat which had taken on fuel and that since I had pumped before he zeroed it out, I was going to have to pay what the pump showed was owed and that the previous boat had taken on over a thousand gallons. I explained to him that that was simply not going to happen. We were quite low on fuel or I would have paid for the 3 gallons which I pumped and left. We had intended on taking on over 100 gallons. As it was, we took 30 and went in to pay.
    I told the lady inside that her dock attendant was extremely rude. She said, rather coldly, “That’s my husband.” I said, “I’m sorry.”
    We will never go back there.
    Larry MacDonald

    Your timely posting is appreciated. We have not “done the ditch” in about 3 years and will be in that vicinity this weekend. We were discussing whether we should stop in the event that there was new management, but now that we know that WWW is still there, we will–as has been our custom–plan our stops accordingly.
    Sharon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Alligator River Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Alligator River Marina

  • More Good Words for Dowry Creek Marina, AICW Statute Mile 131.5

    Dowry Creek Marina is a fine family owned and family run marina. Off the AICW/Pungo River, north of Belhaven, NC, Dowry Creek Marina has long been a favorite among cruisers.

    Cruising News:
    What can be said after everyone has already sung the praises of Dowry Creek Marina? Only that this is the nicest facility we have ever been to. This isn’t just a bunch of cruisers. It’s family. Every evening you miss the ones that sailed on, and welcome the ones that just came in. You search the room for familiar faces, and always smile when you see Mary.
    Jim and Talley Powell

    Made our first visit to Dowry in early Nov 2011. Will be back. Mary is a great host, the folks around the marina are a good group of cruisers who enjoy what we are all doing. Clean facilities, good staff and a very nice daily social gathering each evening…quick easy on / off the AICW.
    Doug Jacoby..m/v CHANGER

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Dowry Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dowry Creek Marina

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