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
Nine Foot Shoal Channel has been slowly losing its depth for several years now and this missing daybeacon does not help. Heed the warning Skipper Chaplik sends.
Boaters heading to Okracoke via Nine Foot Shoal Channel should be advised that marker Green 5 is missing. In anything less than perfect visibility conditions it is possible to stray from the channel into extremely shallow water on either side.
CLICK HERE for an excellent report on Nine Foot Shoal Channel
Silver Lake Harbor Anchorage lies in the venerable shadow of the 75 ft. Ocracoke Light and is accessible from the NW via Nine Foot Shoal Channel or by Big Foot Slough Channel, which has been recently dredged, and from the south via the Ocracoke Inlet.
Just thought I’d update this. The park service has a very nice floating dock right by the ferry terminal, but if you stay more than three hours you have to pay. They call it their small boat dock rather than a dinghy dock.
There is a labeled dinghy dock in front of the grocery store in the square, but there is only one small cleat on it and it is used to secure the bow line of a powerboat in the slip next door. In front of the visitors’ room in the Square, however, there is a very narrow, small dock wedged in next to the fishermen’s exhibit that is in very shallow water. Two kayaks are on a stand in front of it. I’ve asked around and no one knows who it belongs to; and I have parked my dinghy there for two days in the shallow part with a note displayed asking anyone concerned to call me if I am required to move. No calls yet so I think this is probably a pretty good place to park a dink.
We like to think that Skipper Pozun is responding to recent postings extolling the virtues on Manteo, NC, especially a FOCUS ON – Manteo Waterfront Marina. If you sail with a 6ft draft and can offer advice on the areas mentioned, please let us hear from you! Thanks!
I am traveling south on the ICW to Fla this winter. After entering Albermarle sound N C, i plan to head east to Manteo, Roanoke is., and then south to Ocracoke harbor, Outer Banks NC. Afterwards i will head south to Oriental. I draw 6 feet (SAILBOAT) I want to know the difficulty of maneuvering the route and channels to, in and out, of the first two harbors.
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina is located on the western shores of Doughs Creek, northwest of marker #10. Click Here for a video on the entrance channel.
Visited here recently twice. A great stop and stay for at least two days. Rent car from local Ford dealer is best. The channel while challenging for first timers is actually easy. This channel is a good example of fear of unknown.
Also see FOCUS ON – Manteo Waterfront Marina
We heartily recommend a visit to Manteo, NC, with its really good restaurants, plentiful shopping and access to multiple historical attractions. And, you simply can’t do better than to coil your lines at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina. Tell Captain Carl we sent you!!!
Cruisers who have not visited Manteo in the past fifteen years will hardly recognize the waterfront or the downtown district. The city docks have been completely rebuilt and expanded and the downtown is filled with interesting shops, restaurants, shoreside businesses of all descriptions with classical-style buildings that await exploration by visiting cruisers.
The Manteo Waterfront Marina was constructed as part of Manteo’s redevelopment for the celebration of America’s 400th Anniversary, but its history starts long before the pleasure boats and boardwalk. The waterfront in Manteo acted as the hub of industry and commerce in Dare County for many years. There were oil tanks and fishing boats dotting the old wharfs and fish houses. There was an ice plant to package fish for transport, where Roanoke Island Festival Park now hosts concerts and performances. What was once the center of life in Dare County with busy court days and mail arriving by ship is now host to a quiet marina, maritime history center, and a replica of the Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse.
The Manteo Waterfront Marina, situated on Doughs Creek, is one of three marinas in Shallowbag Bay and the best escape from a hard northeast wind on the north end of Roanoke Island. A short pleasurable cruise following the alternate route Manteo Waterfront Marina is approximately five miles off the ICW. Numerous boatyards and service providers are close by and can be contacted with information provided by Dockmaster, Carl Jordan. It needs to be noted, that Carl runs a “tight ship” for Manteo Waterfront Marina and is a wealth of local knowledge as to what is happening in the area. Visiting cruisers’ can rest assured they are in excellent hands while staying in his marina.
Manteo Waterfront Marina welcomes transient cruisers. This quaint marina has 53 slips and can accommodate vessels up to 150’. Power (30, 50, and 100 amp) service is available along with water, cable and wifi. There is a well-kept comfort station with laundry services, shower facilities, and boater’s library with varied titles. A pump station is available with fuel docks close by. The amenities at Manteo Waterfront Marina are complemented by colorful landscaping set against idyllic Doughs Creek. Few will find a visit here to be anything less than appealing. There is over a mile of public boardwalk with on ground grilling facilities and dining area set up to host clubs.
There are restaurants and shops steps from the marina and the grocery store is a quarter of a mile away. Roanoke Island is also host to numerous attractions. The Lost Colony, the longest running outdoor drama in the country, plays nightly from May through August. North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is open daily and features numerous exhibits. Also on Roanoke Island are Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, the Elizabethan Gardens and the Alligator River National Wildlife Visitors Center. See where your seafood really comes from by visiting the very southern end of Roanoke Island and pick up todays catch straight from the docks.
A quick drive over the Washington Baum Bridge and you are at the beaches of the northern Outer Banks. There are many sites to visit and restaurants. Be sure to catch the sunset from Jockey’s Ridge State Park and don’t miss the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the Wright Brothers at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.
For more information please visit: http://www.townofmanteo.com/marina
Or contact Dockmaster, Carl Jordan at 252-305-4800
The Marina monitors channel 16 and uses Channel 9 as their working channel
Already on your way? Check this video for helpful tip to approach the marina:
Still contemplating a trip? This should seal the deal.
As you will see by the Navigation Alert symbols on the Chartview page, shoaling has been par for the course through this area. And, as we have been advising for years, no one should attempt to make use of this inlet channel without very specific local knowledge!
NC – HATTERAS INLET – SOUTH FERRY TERMINAL – SHOALING
Mariners are advised that an aera of shoaling has been reported IVO of Hatteras Inlet between South Ferry Terminal Lighted buoy 1SF (LLNR 28699.1) and South Ferry Terminal Buoy 6SF (LLNR 28707) to depths as low as 2.6 feet mean low water. Mariners are requested to transit the area with caution. Chart 11555 LNM 31/15
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!