The following question appeared on the MTOA List-Serve:
Does anyone have any information about Frying Pan Landing? From the air it looks like a nice anchorage half way between Coinjock and Belhaven.
Here is my reply to Captain Powell:
Good Morning Captain Powell:
I have been researching the Frying Pan Landing anchorages for almost thirty years now, and I can pass along some fairly reliable info.
First, the incoming channel is unmarked. Do NOT attempt this passage unless you have a well functioning GPS chartplotter aboard, and be SURE to make your approach during fair weather and times of good visibility. As you can tell this is NOT a navigationally simple anchorage to enter.
If you do make the attempt, use your chartplotter to cruise between the charted shoals. Watch for any number of stumps and snags which will be visible above the waterline. Stay well away from these hazards.
Eventually, you will make a turn to the north, and actually enter the channel leading to the Frying Pan, which will soon turn west again.
Note that you can NOT actually cruise into the Frying Pan. There is a stretch of VERY shallow water between the entrance and the large bay-like “Frying Pan.” However, there are several anchorage possibilities between the entrance channel’s westward turn and the shallow stretch. Follow this link for more info!
Also, I noticed someone else recommended that you anchor on South Lake instead. The route to this anchorage runs east from the AICW, north of the Alligator River Bridge. I agree that this is a better anchorage, though you will still need your chartplotter to keep to the unmarked entry channel. More info at:
Hope that helps. Good luck and good cruising!!!