First off, we never saw anything less than 8.4ft of depth, and most of the time it was over 10ft, on the way into the marina. From what I understand, the only thing driving the depth is changes in wind speed and direction, and even then it doesn’t vary much. I can’t speak to that though. The entry was easy – turn to the west immediately north of the bridge, follow along the bridge to the green mark and then head straight for the green/red entry markers to the marina. We came in with a 20kt south wind with some uncomfortable choppy seas, and the second we entered the marina the wind stopped and the waves were gone. Interestingly enough, a small bobcat was swimming across the entry channel just as we were entering. That’s the first time I had to yield right of way to a feline!!!! The marina is comprised of slips with short piers (i.e. you have to back in and put lines on pilings) or face docks. The face docks are slightly more expensive. The facility is basically an automobile gas station with a marina added behind it, but it seems just fine. They have a separate building with clean, private bathrooms with showers, laundry and a “TV Room” with a 13″ TV with satellite. The free WiFi signal is strong. I can’t say that my phone call to make the reservation or our reception upon arrival was overly friendly. They did seem annoyed to have to talk with us, but they are the only game in town and the facilities are decent. The station part of the facility has a short order restaurant (burgers but also steaks, alligator, and HARD ICE CREAM) and the regular assortment of drinks and snacks. Outside of that, it’s in the middle of nowhere, so there’s nothing else to see.
We stopped at Alligator River Marina twice this past summer – mid-June and end of July – on a trip up to the Chesapeake from Oriental. The facility is very good for fuel (good price) and overnighting, with very nice bathrooms / showers and laundry. The TV room with tiny TV was OK, but the room could use additional lighting to facilitate reading & card playing. The dockage rates are reasonable and we were able to dock bow-in just fine. The folks are friendly, especially if you are, but are not overly outgoing as you often find at larger, commercial full service marinas. I think this is because the ‘gas station / restaurant’ staff is pressed into doing the fueling and dockage assistance. There is no marina staff as such, once you have fueled and docked. The food is great – cooked to order. Our grandsons really enjoyed the ‘alligator bites’. The cook handled our docking and fueling (give that nice lady a raise!). Overall it’s a well placed stop after the boring Alligator / Pungo Canal and long run up the Alligator River, or a good rest after a rough crossing of the Albemarle. We plan to stop every time we pass thru.
Lee & Penny – S/V Gypsea
Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Alligator River Marina