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Archive For: NC5 – Alligator River to Pungo River

  • Belhaven Marinas (Statute Mile 135.5)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    25. The delightful community of Belhaven will be spotted to the northwest of the Waterway, hard by marker #10 (near Statute Mile 135.5). Here you will find two marinas, River Forest Manor, and Belhaven Waterway Marina (a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR). Can anyone describe a recent experience when staying at River Forest? Those who have coiled their lines at Belhaven Waterway Marina have had, I’ll bet, a great experience. Those who have stayed here with Brenda and Les recently, please tell us about your stay!

    Responses follow:

    We stayed at River Forest Manor. The staff were friendly and helpful. The marina is in serious need of a facelift. The shower facilities were relatively clean. On a scale from 1-10 with 10 being able to eat off the floor I would give it a 6.5 or 7.
    It needs updating.
    The laundry room was more like a 3 but while the machines that worked were old, they are the big commercial type and I was able to throw all of my cockpit pillows/cushions in them………huge capacity. 
    The restaurant was pretty good.  The pool is small but clean.  The marina is dog friendly. Pumpout was broken.
    We will probably stay at Dowry Creek on the way back.

    Belhaven [Waterway] Marina is a great spot and a MUCH better place to stay the night than River Forest. As charming as the “big house” and restaurant appear to be at River Forest, the docks are old and in need of repair, the fuel is questionable coming from old and rusting above ground tanks, the head facilities are not the greatest and the food at the “inn” is sub-par to say the least. Stay at Belhaven Marina – easy docking, good folks, nice facilities, great little Tiki bar and you can walk into town or ride a bike and enjoy a nice dinner there.
    Pete

    [Belhaven Waterway Marina is] One of our favorite stops – spring and fall. Les & Brenda will help with whatever the problem is. Les is a very good mechanic, and they have a railway in the yard to handle larger boats for repairs/maintenance.
    We do enjoy Belhaven and have to have a Farm Boy sandwich! Don’t miss the museum – you won’t find another like it.
    Hardware store is well-stocked and has a good gift area too.
    Linda & Ed Thorn

    Click Here For More Information About River Forest Manor Marina

    Click Here For More Information About Belhaven Waterway Marina

  • Pungo Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 136)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    26. Just south of Belhaven and Pantego Creek, Pungo Creek offers superb anchorage. Anyone dropped the hook here recently?

    Responses follow:

    Excellent anchorage, even when wind is from the east.  You can find a place to snuggle up to the windward shoreline for protection from any direction.
    Rick


    Click Here For More Information on the Pungo Creek Anchorage

  • Dowry Creek Marina (Pungo River, Statute Mile 131.5)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List, I posed the following question:

    24. Dowry Creek Marina guards the northern shores of the AICW/Pungo River hard by marker #15. This facility has an unfailing reputation for friendliness. If you have stopped here within the last year, please describe your experience.

    Responses follow:

    We were at this marina in 2008.  Very nice people.  Loaner car available.  Great, great, great boaters lounge and pool.  The photos they have in the lounge of the hurricane that hit NC a few years back really ripped up their docks, so the message was clear……..don’t get caught there in strong SE winds.  We planned to stay one night and ended up enjoying the place so much we stayed for 3 nights just because it was so relaxing.
    Rick

    I stopped at Dowry Creek Marina once on the way south last November and again on the way north in late April and early May. I stayed two days in November and a week on the way back in April and May. This is a truly great marina and a great place to relax for a couple of days. Mary, the owner, will let you use the marina’s SUV to go to town and stock up on supplies and visit the local restaurants. All she asks in exchange is that you put gas in the vehicle. Dowry Creek Marina has wonderful bathrooms. Each bathroom is complete with its own commode, sink and shower. No gang showers and slippery floors. They are also kept spotlessly clean. Friday night the marina hosts a get together with light snacks and drinks.
    The marina is extremely well protected. The approach to the marina is clearly marked and had 8’ at MLW plus the marina has around 8’ at MLW. I’m 47’ LOA with a 6’ DRAFT and the marina is very easy to get in to, out of and visit the fuel dock. Dowry Creek has diesel, gasoline and a pump-out station at their fuel dock. They do enough volume to maintain fresh fuel. There are plenty of liveaboards, seasonal renters and dockhands to help you get into your slip anytime of the day or night. Due to severe head winds and thunderstorms I was late getting to Dowry Creek in April. I called the marina and told them that I could not make it there by 6:00pm and it would be closer to 7:30pm. They told me that would be fine and had four people at the slip when I got there around 8:00pm in the dark. They helped handle my lines in a 20 knot crosswind. That was much appreciated. The marina is also very pet friendly.
    As a bonus I caught the largest Speckled Trout of my life fishing from the bow of my boat while in the slip.
    I recommend this marina without hesitation.
    Regards,
    Ric Seymour

    We’d heard so many positive things about Dowry Creek Marina that we stopped there mid-July 2009 for 1 night. Mary has fresh veggies in a basket on the porch –ours for the taking. We enjoyed the use of the pool, lounge, laundry facility, and courtesy car. It’s a long trip into Belhaven for groceries but a nice, restful stop.
    Bill and Laura Bender

    Stopped there three times. Last Fall stayed for two days due to weather. A wonderful place to be, so kind and caring. I shared a minute at the site she has for her [late] husband, a Vietnam Vet, and a Marine> I share this moment to reflect, alone with him, and what we shared. He will always be a “Brother In Arms”. May God Bless You Always. You will always be remembered. That is one reason why I return each year.
    See you soon————-
    Greg Timko

    Click Here For More Information on Dowry Creek Marina

  • Alligator River Anchorages (Statute Mile 102)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    22. After cruising south for a some 17 miles the AICW/Alligator River channel turns sharply west near marker #39. Between #39 and the northeastern entrance to the long, Alligator – Pungo canal, there are multiple place to anchor off Deep Point, Bear Point and Tuckahoe Point. Who has dropped the hook on any of these havens? Please describe what you found.

    Responses follow:

    We anchored north of G43 in August 2008 and June 2009.  Lots of mosquitoes and flies both times, so we used our hatch screens and stayed inside.  Not the most protected place we’ve been but better than it looks on the chart.
    Rick

  • East and South Lake Anchorages (Statute Mile 82)

    The unmarked entry into East and South Lakes, comes up along the AICW’s eastern banks, just as southbound craft enter the northern mouth of Alligator. I really like anchoring here. These waters have a feeling of being long forgotten, ands those who enjoy the feeling that every puff of air, or turn of the screw, carries them a bit farther from the maddening crowd, will love these waters. I do suggest employing a well functioning GPS chartplotter to navigate the entrance channel. As mentioned above, it is unmarked, and surrounded by shallows.

    We anchored between the two 8 foot depths off Boranges Point on July 15, 2009. We had about 7.5 feet of depth. Beautiful, remote anchorage with no cell phone (Verizon) or aircard reception. We cruise with a dog, so a place to get ashore is important. Found one along a grassy shore on Boranges Point, near the 3 foot depth mark. Other areas on shore with cypress trees had knees, making a dinghy landing difficult. We were relatively far from shore, but did not try to get closer. As we moved south into South Lake, water depths seemed to fall off sharply, and we stopped going farther south. Our anchorage was at 35-55.813, 75-54.960. We had good holding.
    Norman Mason


    Click Here For More Information on East and South Lake Anchorages

  • Important – Deadheads on Alligator – Pungo Canal

    7/14/09
    Deadheads (nauticalese for logs or stakes temporarily anchored to the bottom) can really ruin your whole day on the water, if they make contact with your underwater hardware! Pay close attention to Captain message below. This is just the sort of navigational warning that the Cruisers’ Net excels at getting the word out!

    Subject: StM107-121 Deadheads on Alligator River – Pungo River Canal
    Cruising News: We traveled through the Alligator River – Pungo River Canal on July 11th and found it littered with deadheads/snags.  There is one marked (PA) on the chart – it is in the channel just south of the centre. We also found numerous other logs between mile 107 and 121. Most were between mile 115 and 121 and were all pretty close to the centre of the channel. By the time you get there they may be gone due barges running over them, but be aware for them.
    If they haven’t moved, we saw the deadhead logs in the following positions moving Northbound on the ICW:

    Obstn PA on chart
    Mile 120
    35°43.61N 76°19.07W
    35°34.68N 76°18.99W
    35°34.69N 76°18.57W
    35°34.71N 76°18.47W
    35°34.92N 76°17.27W
    35°34.97N 76°17.00W
    35°35.00N 76°16.82W
    35°35.07N 76°16.43W
    35°35.10N 76°16.29W
    35°35.19N 76°15.70W (floating, may not be there now)
    Mile 115
    35°38.28N 76°09.15W

    Geoff
    SV Geru

    Several large deadheads in ICW around entrance to canal but warned by cruisers in front of us – thanks to them. 
    John Thayer

  • Accolades For Dowry Creek Marina (Statute Mile 131.5)

    The good comments on Dowry Creek Marina, directly off the AICW/Pungo River, a short hop north of Belhaven, keep coming!

    While I generally anchor out most of the time, Dowry Creek is a ‘must-stop’ for me. Aside from being one of the friendliest marinas on the AICW, they are well protected . . . . Mary is doing a great job of maintaining the facilities and ambiance that makes Dowry Creek such a great stop. I have left EOS there twice for a month and, in addition to being very reasonable, found that she was very well looked after. An additional plus is that if you need a good mechanic, Capt. Frank Smith is on of the finest around. ….anyone know of a good place north of the 32 parallel?
    Bill & Ana
    Knot Tide Down

    Dowry Creek Marina (MM131) With all due respect to the recent post, this marina is not well protected from the south and south east (also possibly east) as the photos in their scrap book will attest.  Other than this, I couldn’t agree more with anyone who praises the facility and people at DCM.   It is super friendly, laid back and oh so comfortable.  Just watch the forecast and choose another spot if winds are predicted to be strong from the SE quadrant.
    Rick Parish
    s/v Sea Breeze


    Click Here For More Information Concerning Dowry Creek Marina

  • Crab Pots Along AICW/Albmarle Sound Passage

    Crab Pots has always been a problem on Albemarle Sound, and not just along the AICW passage across the sound from Alligator River to either North River (NC – VA Route) or the Pasquotank River (Dismal Swamp Route). This year, though, it looks as if they are a particularl concern.

    All, we just transited the Albemarle Sound (northbound) today.  Please use caution if you any concerns re hanging a pot.  The sound is solid pots from the Alligator River up to the CG station in the Pasquotank River (on the magenta line).   This is the Dismal Swamp route.  A companion cruiser went up the to the Virginia Cut and experienced the same.  He’s done this route back and forth for 14 years and has never seen the like.  I’ve never seen them as dense as we experienced, I thought I was in Maine.  The zig zags added a third more time to the transit.  Of course the 20-25 knots winds
    gusting to 30 out of the wsw   didn’t help any.  So much for the forecast of 15 out of the south with 1′ to 2′ ers.   Perhaps this is a reflection of the economy and folks trying to make ends meet.  Any case be careful up here!
    Joe
    “Carolyn Ann”

    The location of pots and numbers was explained to me by a local friend who is a good friend of a local commercial crabber( fishes over 400 pots).  The large #1 males are coming out of the mud at the eastern end of the Albemarle Sound hence the high concentration of pots in the areas of the two ICW routes at this time of year.  As the season progresses the pots will be moved further west up the sound with the crabs.  The unemployment rate is 13+% hence more folks are crabbing to survive this tough economy.  I wish them well, it’s a tough way to make a living. 
    I plan to continue my efforts to avoid depriving them of a single pot.
    Joe
    “Carolyn Ann”

    We took the Virginia Cut route almost a  month ago and noticed the same. The good news was that they seemed to all be placed on the edges of the channel making it hard not to stay in the channel.
    Gil

    I’ve never seen so many pots as lower pasquatank and up the sound to little river (early July 09). My full keel seems to miss them and sailed that whole section but do not envy those with exposed props.
    Chase

  • Good Words About Dowry Creek Marina (Statute Mile 132)

    Dowry Creek Marina is an excellent facility, which I highly recommend.
    Another great choice lies just to the south in Belhaven. Belhaven Waterway Marina (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) can be relied upon for very cruiser friendly services!

    Kismet arrived at Dowry Creek Marina @ MM132 on the NC ICW today just in time to beat the high winds. If you have not been before this is a nice place with a friendly staff. The daily rate is $1.50 plus electric, diesel fuel is $1.99 if you stay at the marina and $2.09 if you do not. Gas is $2.38 and $2.48 and they have a courtesy car available for up to 90 minutes.
    Jim & Lisa Favors – Kismet
    Fathom 40

    I agree.  We have been to Dowery Creek several times and enjoyed each time. Very friendly people. Nice Captains Lounge, very clean facilities, barbeque and grill area.  Our Power Squadron has been there for rendezvous several times.
    Rick Johnson
    Rick ‘N Roll II


    Click Here For More Information On Dowry Creek Marina

  • Dowry Creek Marina (Statute Mile 131.5)

    Dowry Creek Marina has the reputation as one of the most cruiser friendly marinas on the AICW. Captain Pat’s message below will do nothing to hurt that enviable reputation.

    Dowry Creek Marina is my home tonight.  Nice facilitises and staff.  Not Cable but wifi works great.  Captains lounge with nightly get together.  They also have courtesy car for trip to Belhaven for food or booze or….Channel depth coming in was between 8 to 10 feet.  Docks are fixed with about 15 foot finger piers so some lines will have to be hung on pilings.  Southeast to south, souteast is exposed but other directions are protected.  They also have a pool and seem to have tennis courts.  Chairs and patios for lounging in the sunny weather.  Small ships store.  Easy in and easy out from ICW.
    Take it easy have a nice evening.
    Pat Banyas
    s/v Marguerite


    Click Here For More Information On Dowry Creek Marina

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