Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Ocracoke is a charming town to visit at anytime and this festival makes it even more alluring! There are three choices for mooring: Ocracoke National Park Service Docks, Anchorage Marina and Silver Lake Anchorage.
Welcome to the Ocrafolk Festival 2015, June 5-7. We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend and hope that you will be able to join us! Some of the information below is still tentative, but this will give you a general idea of the festival weekend. Thanks!
How much does the festival cost?
The Ocrafolk Festival is held in the heart of Ocracoke Village on a combination of public and private properties. Although we won’t restrict access to the festival (aside from specially ticketed events), we do ask that all festival attendees purchase an admission button for the weekend. This helps ensure that the festival stays happy and healthy for years to come! Buttons can be purchased starting Friday and throughout the weekend at the info/merchandise booth (Don’t worry about having a button for the Friday night events).
Click Here for more information and schedule.
Last summer, the National Park Service Docks had closed in anticipation of Hurricane Arthur, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143288, but re-opened for business after having suffered only minimal damage from the storm. Now as Skipper Noel confirms, the docks and businesses in Ocracoke are all open.. Certainly good news for summer visitors to this beautiful village on the Outer Banks.
We are currently at the NPS docs and they are up and running. This is pre-season, but there have only been a few boats in and out. Dockage is $1.25 per foot per night, power is $2.00/$5.00. There is an updated sidewalk leading to the village. We had a great meal at Dajio and a great one at Eduardo’s Taco Truck. We enjoy the relaxed pre-season vibe on Ocracoke!
Shoaling in the Oregon Inlet has become so severe that it undermined the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet resulting in the closure of the bridge to road traffic in 2013. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129461. Oregon Inlet is definitely not a recommended passage.
NC – OREGON INLET – BONNER BRIDGE REGULATED NAVIGATION AREA
Mariners are advised that Coast Guard Sector North Carolina is enforcing a regulated navigation area IVO Herbert C. Bonner bridge in Oregon Inlet, NC in accordance with 33 CFR 165.520. Any vessel with a draft greater than 2 feet may not transit within 100 yards of the Bonner Bridge. The U.S. Coast Guard will continue to monitor the conditions of the waterway and update the Regulated Navigation Area as necessary. For any questions or concerns, please contact Sector North Carolina Command Center at (910) 343-3880. Chart 12204 LNM:13/15
With the disabled Alligator River Bridge closed to navigation, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147457, longtime contributors George Barr and Rick Brass offer alternatives to the Alligator River portion of the Waterway. Rick Brass even offers free dockage at Washington City Docks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! Information on all the marinas mentioned below can be found on SSECN’s Homepage under CRUISING NEWS AND REFERENCE DIRECTORIES – North Carolina. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147457 for more discussion of alternate routes.
To any northbound cruisers in the interim. The alternate route starts at Oriental …down the Neuse River and into the Pamlico Sound heading north.
Possible stops/marinas are Silver Lake in Ocracoke, Big Trout Marina in Englehard (45 miles from Oriental on the Western shore of the Pamlico), Manteo Waterfront Marina off Shallowbag Bay on Roanoke Island 45 miles from Big Trout…and then north through the Albemarle to Coinjock 35 miles away.
The passage is open and deep and has only one fully 65′ bridge and is 17 miles shorter than the ICW. Of course, weather must be considered as it is less protected. Hope this helps in the interim.
If northbound cruisers are on a schedule during the bridge repairs, and need an alternate route, I would suggest leaving the ICW at the crossing of the Pamlico River (at about SM 150) and swing east. You will go through Pamlico Sound, with potential stops in Engelhart on the west side of the sound and Manteo on Roanoke Island, and return to Albemarle Sound and the ICW on the north side of Roanoke Island. Manteo, BTW, is a nice cruising destination and well worth the trip.
If you have time to wait for the bridge to be repaired and are looking for an hospitable spot to wait and explore, swing west about 25 miles on the Pamlico River and visit the Washington Waterfront Docks. Easy access with deep water slips. A number of good restaurants and places to explore. A good place to provision, with West Marine and a number of parts suppliers and repair opportunities. And if you need a free slip without power and water (but with nice heads and showers, and laundry facilities for boaters) you can mention this post and I will waive the 48 hour limit on free dockage.
Washington Waterfront Docks
According to a National Parks spokesperson, the National Park Service Docks in Ocracoke, which had closed in anticipation of Hurricane Arthur, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143288, have re-opened for business after having suffered only minimal damage from the storm. The spokesperson confirmed, too, that most businesses in Ocracoke are open as well. Certainly good news for summer visitors to this beautiful village on the Outer Banks.
The last report SSECN received was in May of this year (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=140772) indicated that the docks were closed for renovation. However, the very nice folks at nearby Anchorage Marina confirmed today that the National Parks Service Docks are now open. So if you have stopped into Silver Lake and can provide further confirmation, please do so! The Ocracoke National Park Service Docks lie on the northern shores of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake, just east of the harbor entrance.
July 2: A spokesperson with the Park Service confirmed that all facilities at the docks are fully functional.
Anybody have an update on the repair/re-wiring of the federal docks???
I have heard all is completed and are now open but cannot get confirmation.
This anchorage is west of West Thorofare Bay’s #11WB marker; West Thorofare Bay lies south of West Bay; West Bay cuts the extreme southern shore of Pamlico Sound. We don’t hear much about this anchorage, so we are grateful to Skipper Merriman for this report.
First of all, shame on me for my poor chart reading. This anchorage is a long way off Pamlico Sound.
The route in is fairly easy with a chart plotter. Had plenty of water under the boat all the way in. There was 8 feet of water in the anchorage.
The winds were out of the West @ 21kts when I anchored and got settled in. The boat did a lot of swinging and turning. Not much bouncing though which was nice. Some time during the night I dragged the anchor a bit. When I hoisted the anchor this morning, it came up clean so I am unable to say what the bottom is like. Grass maybe??
This anchorage is in a marsh. There is no “land” nearby, so there is no stretching your legs or giving your pets a break.
I was in the anchorage by myself. Had one boat come by the next morning. Other than that it was peaceful.
The Air Force bombing range was active but too far away to see anything.
W. Merriman, s/v Sheila B
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of West Thorofare Bay
34 56.585 North/076 23.529 West
Waterfront Marina is located on the western shores of Doughs Creek, northwest of Shallowbag Bay marker #10, off Roanoke Sound, and north of the great Pamlico Sound.
Our thanks to Assistant Dockmaster, George Barr, for sending this list of waterfront activities. Note especially the need to reserve a slip immediately for July 4th! Manteo
I’ve also enclosed a list of special events in Manteo for the summer & fall that boaters will want to be aware of:
Manteo Special Events Summer/Fall 2014
*Saturdays…8am till noon Downtown Manteo Farmer’s Market…produce, crafts, gifts
*First Friday…of every month 6PM, great street music, merchants hospitality &specials&late hours
*Dare Day… June 7th, art, crafts, special events, kid fun and street food.
*July 4th… Take a trip back to the 1950’s with an old fashioned 4th..FIREWORKS SHOW and events all day.
Minimum 2 day reservation for boaters. Almost FULL as of 5/14…reserve NOW!
*New World Art Festival…dockside August 13/14…wonderful art and crafts of all kinds.
SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina has produced a really useful video about how to successfully navigate the Shallowbag Bay entrance channel from the waters of Roanoke Sound to the Manteo waterfront. Not only does the commentator describe the channel via NOAA Chart 12205, but there is a HIGHLY useful on-the-water sequence where navigators can visually review exactly what they will see from the water while running the channel.
This video is especially useful for these waters, as they are populated by a huge collection of aids to navigation, some of which are founded in shoal water, and the channel is narrow, in spots, and changeable.
So, if you have any idea of visiting the popular port of call in Manteo, NC, may we strongly urge you to follow this link!
Thank you so much Claiborne and Manteo Marina. I’ve approached that turn several times with my heart in my throat because of uncertainty with all those markers. I’ll be there next week once again, but this time, I’ll be confident thanks to the video.
The Ocracoke National Park Service Docks lie on the northern shores of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake, just east of the harbor entrance.
Ocracoke Park Service Docks
At the moment we are tied up at the Park Service Dock. We are waiting for someone official to throw us out. The docks are in sound shape but under construction. There are new cleats, large enough to hold a battleship and new fire extinguishers. That is it, no water or electricity. The lady in the office told us we had to move but at the moment we are under a tornado watch. With the heavy weather coming I prefer to remain. Which we shall until someone official throws us out. Our government at work; leave a perfectly good dock to anchor out in bad weather. makes you feel good to know these people always have your best interest at heart.
Big Trout Marina, on the mainland shore of Pamlico Sound, guards the northerly banks of Far Creek and Engelhard harbor, a short distance west of flashing daybeacon #10.
Attached are a few photos from the Neuse Sailing Association’s visit to Engelhard in 2013. In the photo with me in the foreground on my Catalina 34, Blue Wind II, you can see the masts of the sailboats behind me lined up down the marina’s dock. We filled every open slip and the full length of the wharf. The marina is a little sketchy for boats drawing more than five feet, and the channel is narrow coming ( sailboats are advised to “hug the greens”), but the marina owners were very hospitable. They cooked up a big dinner of fried fish, hush puppies and fixins just for our club. They knew we were coming, of course. On the down side, the showers leave much to be desired and some of the boats along the outer dock had some polarity lights coming on because of some power issues. But all in all, we had a great one-night stay.
Ocracoke Island, mentioned in this article from the AGLCA forum, is part of the North Carolina Outer Banks and lies on the eastern edge of Pamlico Sound. The National Park Service Docks lie on the northern shores of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor, just east of its entrance.
The “outside” route to the ICW is definitely through Pamlico Sound, not the ocean, where you have to go way around Cape Lookout then around Diamond Shoals.
The Pamlico Sound and adjacent waters are subject to very nasty conditions due to its very steep, close chop. You don’t see many boats out when strong winds are forecast with 2-3 foot waves… each wave is like running through a 3 foot brick wall. This is why they built the ICW. When calm, it is a fun cruise, especially if you stop and enjoy Ocracoke, a GREAT cruising destination, and Manteo, another fun little town and area to explore.
This has been our home cruising grounds for a few years now, and we used it a lot when doing our cruising up and down the entire east coast and adjacent waters.
Shoaling has been steadily increasing in the main channel of Oregon Inlet for several years (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=52021) prompting SSECN to recommend that cruisers with a draft over 3ft avoid the inlet and that only shallow draft vessels should attempt the inlet only with very exact local knowledge. Shoaling had become so severe that it was undermining the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet resulting in the closure of the bridge to road traffic. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129461
Dredging of the inlet was last completed in December of 2013. and this most recent shoaling virtually closes the inlet to all but shallowest draft vessels.
HATTERAS ISLAND, N.C.
Oregon Inlet has shoaled to a depth of about 2 feet and is too shallow for dredging. The channel under the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge connecting Hatteras Island to the northern Outer Banks will be left to the elements, according to a news release from the Army Corps of Engineers. The side-casting dredge Merritt was unable to operate.
“I had not seen the conditions that bad before and that when we were able to move enough sand to float, the surrounding sand would fill the hole we had dug, immediately filling in behind us and trapping us in place,” Ray Bleam, a dredging master, said in a statement. There are no immediate plans to resume dredging, said Hank Heusinkveld, a Corps of Engineers spokesman. The Coast Guard will broadcast safety information every hour on VHF marine channel 16 to alert sailors to the conditions, according to the release.
Claiborne, here is the latest on this, they have a dredge back on the scene. Sportfishing boats are reporting getting through. Would advise calling the CG, and/or folks at the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, or Pirates Cove for up to the minute news.
Claiborne, I had no trouble getting through the inlet on Saturday, May 5th. There was a dredge working at the span when I came back in that afternoon. Charter and private sport fishing boats can make it through without too much problem. We have not given up on keeping the inlet open.
The Ocracoke National Park Service Docks are on the northern shores of Silver Lake Harbor, just east of its entrance.
Would love to hear if anyone has stayed at the NPS dock in the past few months. We sailed to Ocracoke about a year ago and the NPS docks were covered in bird droppings and looked to be in disrepair. The fellow at the desk at the adjacent museum (or whatever that building is) wasn’t happy to be answering questions about it! So we just anchored that time, but would like more current information for an upcoming trip.
I’m reporting in [from Ocracoke] that the NPS docks are closed and “under construction”. There is obvious construction on the sidewalks and there was a tiny sign saying the docks were closed. There is a new dingy dock that is very nice. We used it, though it’s behind the construction area, so it probably couldn’t be used during the work week. Had a delicious dinner at the Flying Melon. I did forget to say that the docks are supposed to be ready for service in May. We’ll see; I’m not confident!!
Headed to Belhaven tomorrow to wait out the yucky weather. Will post a review of that visit too!
Hatteras Inlet lies well off the Waterway, on the eastern edge of Pamlico Sound. This narrow, unstable seaward passage cuts the southern reaches of Hatteras Island and the northern strands of Ocracoke Island. We have had Navigation Alerts posted in this inlet for some time (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76962 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=76962) and, despite recent dredging (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=123320), we still advise that no one attempt to make use of this inlet channel without very specific local knowledge!
NC – CAPE HATTERAS – HATTERAS INLET – SHOALING
Shoaling to a depth of 2.0 feet MLW has been reported between Hatteras Inlet Buoy 2 (LLNR 28645) and Hatteras Inlet Buoy 4 (LLNR 28650). Chart: 11555. LNM: 06/14
Shoaling in the Oregon Inlet has become so severe that it is undermining the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet resulting in the closure of the bridge to road traffic in October. A on-going dredging project of the Inlet channel has become critical with the weakening of the Bonner Bridge. For more on this story, go to: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129461
NC – CURRITUCK BEACH LIGHT TO WIMBLE SHOALS – OREGON INLET – BRIDGE REPAIRS
Emergency repair operations will be conducted on the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge commencing 05 December, 2013 and will be continuing until completed. Operations will be conducted 24/7. Mariners are requested to remain clear of the work area and transit at a NO WAKE speed. Chart: 12204. LNM: 50/13
Shoaling has been steadily increasing in the main channel of Oregon Inlet for several years (http://cruisersnet.net/?p=52021) prompting SSECN to recommend that cruisers with a draft over 3ft avoid the inlet and that shallow draft vessels should attempt the inlet only with very exact local knowledge. Shoaling had become so severe that it was undermining the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet resulting in the closure of the bridge to road traffic. The dredging project had been ongoing since October and became critical with the weakening of the Bonner Bridge. The article below is taken from Dredging Today, http://www.dredgingtoday.com/
“I want to sincerely thank all of the hardworking NCDOT crews and the dredge crews for pushing through the harsh elements to try to complete this repair work as soon as possible,” said Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. “I also want to thank the residents of the Outer Banks for their patience during this process, and our outstanding NC Ferry employees for all of their efforts to keep the residents connected.”
Initial scans are promising; however, it will be several days before NCDOT can determine the success of the dredging. Approximately 30,000 cubic yards of sand were pumped during the weekend from the main navigation channel of the Oregon Inlet to the location at Bent 166 underneath the Bonner Bridge where scour, or the erosion of sand from bridge pilings, caused NCDOT to close the bridge on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
For the rest of the story and more photos, go to: http://www.dredgingtoday.com/2013/12/10/usa-initial-dredging-work-at-bonner-bridge-completed/
For a Local Notice to Mariners on repairs to the bridge, go to: http://cruisersnet.net/?p=129657
Local Notice as of December 17, 2013:
NC – CURRITUCK BEACH TO WIMBLE SHOALS – OREGON INLET
Dredging in Oregon Inlet has been completed at the main navigational span under the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge to a depth of 15.0 feet MLW. Mariners are cautioned to use only this channel due to shoaling in other areas. Chart 12204 LNM 51/13
As with Chuck and Susan, Manteo has always been our very favorite port of call on the North Carolina sounds. We even liked to dock here many years ago when the only wet slips available sat right behind the town septic tank, now the position of the restored lighthouse which looks out over the intersection of the Shallowbag Bay channel and Doughs Creek. Fortunately, that old system is now long gone!
Back to the many good qualities about Manteo, there is excellent dockage here, particularly at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina (on Doughs Creek), a reasonably good anchorage with a plethora of nearby dinghy dockage, and plentiful shopping and dining within easy walking distance. What’s not to like!
In regards to the outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony,” first of all we highly recommend taking advantage of superb outdoor production, in which the late Andy Griffith once acted. Motorized transportation is need to reach the outdoor theater, as it is located several miles to the north. You can take a taxi, or pick up a rental car.
In the article below, Chuck and Susan state that the “mystery” of the Lost Colony remains unsolved. I have no doubt that is what they heard from all the locals in Manteo, but, as a matter of fact, historians pretty much know what befell this intrepid group of colonists. But, that’s another story for another day.
So, take Susan and Chuck’s advice, don’t dare miss a turn to the east and south from the AICW’s traversal across often rough Albemarle Sound, and visit this shining gem of a port of call. Be sure you have the latest charts aboard, and loaded into your chartplotter! Proceed with caution, and before you know it, your bow will slip quietly and safely into the calm waters of Doughs Creek.
SEE YOU THERE!!!!
We are once again highly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, contained in the article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!
Manteo, North Carolina
by Susan Landry and Chuck Baier
The locals pronounce it Man-e-o. This jewel, located on the northern end of Roanoke Island just about 22 miles east of where the AICW channel exits the north end of the Alligator River, is often passed by boaters as they rush north or south to get to their seasonal destination. How unfortunate for them. During our current cruise north, we have encountered weeks of lousy weather and delays, and we were looking and hoping to find a good spot to relax and spend some quality time. Did we ever find it in Manteo. It all began while anchored in the Little Alligator River. We called Carl Jordan, Dockmaster at Manteo Waterfront Marina. Being cruisers, we often lose track of time including days or even months. Just as we called Carl, we came to the realization that the next day was July 3rd and we would be asking for last minute accommodations during the 4th of July Holiday. To our delight and surprise, Carl told us to “come on ahead and we’ll find room for you.” And that’s exactly what they did despite a full marina with reservations for the holiday.
Manteo is most famous for, and celebrates, the first settlement in the new colonies and the now famous “Lost Colony.” The town was named after an American Indian Chief named Manteo that acted as a liaison between the colonists and the local Indian tribe. In 1584, English settlers established a fort and settlement on the northern end of the island. In 1587, Capt. John White returned to England for supplies, and upon his return to the New World, all of the colonists were gone with only one word carved on a tree as a clue, Croatoan. The fate of the colony is still a mystery today. But the town of Manteo does an excellent tribute to those hardy souls that established the first foothold on the Outer banks. Known as Festival Island, a small island on the northeast corner of Manteo is dedicated to the celebration of those settlers. Visit the Settlement Site and step back in time to 1585. See how the settlers dressed, worked and lived their daily lives, all in authentic costumes. Explore the Coastal Algonquian Indian village and sample the culture and discover how their community functioned. Board the replica of the Elizabeth II and help the 16th century costumed crew raise sails, plan navigation and even swab the decks. The Park’s Performance Series offers young entertainers presenting year-round music, dramas, dance, operas and children’s shows. Many concerts and events are held in the open-air pavilion with seats on the grass.
We were fortunate to be in Manteo during the 4th of July celebration which is held every year. And does the town know how to celebrate. Flags and red, white and blue bunting flutters in the breeze all over town. Street vendors are set up on the streets and parking lots selling everything from pizza and flavored smoothies, to chocolate covered bananas, cotton candy and lots more. Music can be enjoyed from the bandstand and bleachers set up in front of town hall. The shops and restaurants are full of locals and visitors alike, having a great time and enjoying the festive atmosphere. And then there are the fireworks. From our slip in the marina, we had ringside seats on our flybridge. This was the fun and relaxation we desperately needed. But you don’t have to wait for the 4th of July to celebrate in Manteo. The town celebrates First Friday, every month on ….the first Friday. The celebration is the same, minus a few flags and the fireworks. The restaurants stay open late, the street vendors are set up and music can be heard everywhere. And just to be sure Saturday doesn’t get jealous, they have a Farmer’s Market each Saturday from 8:00 am to noon. Dare Day is the first Saturday in June, celebrating the birth of Virginia Dare, the first baby to be born in the new colony, and the people and history of Dare County. The event features live music and street dancing. In August, there is the Arts festival, in October, the Bluegrass Festival at the Amphitheater, and on the first Friday in December, the Christmas tree lighting, followed by the Christmas parade the next day. And these are only the bigger events. There is also now a brand new Wildlife Museum and a popular aquarium.
To get to Manteo, you must first negotiate Shallowbag Bay. Just from the name, do we need to say more? We found it’s not as difficult as some of the guide books might have you believe. The channel off Roanoke Sound is well-marked. Follow the markers, keeping the reds to port [if you are southbound – editor], and make no turns until you have nosed up to red 30A. Turn to starboard and keep to the green side until past greens 3 and 5, then move back toward center channel. Turn to starboard again at red marker 8, depending on which marina you plan to visit or if you might be anchoring.
Manteo is still a boater’s destination. If the conditions are good, the alternate route through Croatan Sound can cut off 17 miles from the AICW route and for sailboats it can mean a good sail all the way. Strong winds can make the Sounds very uncomfortable, so you will need to watch the weather. Strong southeasterly winds can make the harbor uncomfortable and pile in water. If the winds are blowing from the northeast for a time, the water levels can be lowered quite a bit, but when they switch to the west and northwest, the levels return to normal almost immediately. Prevailing winds in the summer are southwest and in the winter, northeast. The town tends to get busy shortly after the Annapolis Boat Show, as soon as many insurance companies allow the boats to go south of Cape Hatteras. During those times, it may be best to make reservations at one of the marinas in advance.
There are three marinas in the harbor proper. Shallowbag Bay Marina, Marshes Light Marina and Manteo Waterfront Marina. Manteo waterfront is probably the most well-known and Carl Jordan, the Dockmaster, is one the most helpful and knowledgeable folks you will meet in the Outer Banks. The marina has 23 transient slips and is pretty flexible, as we found out. Carl is also the Dockmaster for the free town docks. These marinas are some of the closest to the Outer Banks. Transportation is available via rental cars from the local Ford Dealership. They will bring a car to you right at the marina.
Manteo has a very extensive town dock system for the use of boaters. Upon approaching the harbor [on Doughs Creek] from the [Shallowbag Bay] channel, a long dock with a gazebo on the end is visible. There are docks with finger piers on one side and side ties on the other. These are all part of the town dock and are free for 24 hours. The town docks extend farther into the small basin near the Maritime Museum. Water depths for the first 50 feet on the docks near the gazebo are 5 ½ feet. Beyond that, the water shallows to about 4 feet. There is no power or water on the town docks and registration with Manteo Waterfront marina is required. If in the anchorage, any of these docks can be used to land the dinghy. Use of the marina showers, restrooms and laundry for boats at anchor can be had for a fee of $10.00 per day. Since the City owns all of the seawalls in the harbor, tying a dinghy up just about anywhere that won’t interfere with other boats is okay.
For supplies, the Food-A-Rama and Piggly Wiggly grocery stores are out on the main highway, about a half-mile from the waterfront. The laundry, pharmacy, post office and several fast food places are all in the same few blocks. The downtown area is a delight, with many shops and restaurants to enjoy. A small general store just off the waterfront offers basic grocery items, beer, wine and soft drinks if the walk to the grocery isn’t needed. Just a few of the popular and excellent restaurants are right on the water or one block over. For lunch, try The Hungry Pelican or Poor Richards. For dinner, we really liked The Avenue Grille. You will have additional choices of The Full Moon Café and Brewery and, for a real treat, but a bit on the expensive side, 1587 is located in the Tranquil Inn. The staff is dressed in period costumes. The Coffee House offers many varieties of coffee, pastries and smoothies in a relaxing atmosphere. A visit to Mabel’s Scoop Shop for ice cream was one of our favorites. A stop at the Wanchese Pottery shop is a don’t miss with a small gallery of hand crafted items, and you can watch the owner create on her pottery wheel.
One of the best known attractions is The Lost Colony stage production. For 19 days each May, over 200 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers rehearse to bring The Lost Colony to life for another summer season. The production is enormous. The stage itself is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York. You will be seated in the center of the stage area with action happening on three sides of you and even sometimes right next to you in the aisle with epic battles and Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Witness the pageantry of the Queen and her court and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare. There is music, laughter, romance and dance. The Lost Colony is widely acknowledged as the precursor to the modern American Broadway Musical.
What more can we say. Our time in Manteo has been one of the most interesting stops we have made along the east coast on this cruise. There’s something going on all the time and something for everyone. If you’re looking for a true cruising destination, look no further. Take that 22-mile detour and you will not regret it. Rather you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before, over and over.
Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
Trawler Beach House
Beach House Publications
Big Foot Slough Channel is the primary entrance from Pamlico Sound to Ocracoke and Silver Lake Harbor and is used by the vast majority of cruising craft and both Ocracoke car ferries. It is a narrow channel and caution should always be exercised. Based on Capt. Deharts’ observations, last year’s shoaling in the channel seems to have been alleviated by dredging completed last November, 2012. Therefore, we are cancelling the Navigation Alert posted early last year.
No problems with Big Foot Slough channel into Ocracoke. Minimum depth I saw on a trip there last week was 14 feet. Still some shoaling on the green side just after you enter the channel, but these areas are well marked by cans. If you have never been there or haven’t been there in a while, remember it is green to starboard when approaching Ocracoke from the sound!