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The Salty Southeast
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McCotters Marina, Washington, NCEdenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!Whether you want to revisit the past or satisfy your curiosities, discover the arts or explore your true nature, you can do it from the heart of the Inner Banks - Washington, North Carolina. 800 546 0Nautical Wheelers - New Bern NCR. E. Mayo Docks910-269-2380 The new 82-slip Deep Point Marina is located on the Cape Fear River in Southport, NC, and offers fuel and transient dockage, as well as daily, monthly and annual slip rentals. The marina is adjacent to the new Bald Head Island Ferry Terminal, which houses a snack bar (open seasonally) that offers grab-and-go food options, soft drinks, beer, wine and coffee. In addition, the Deep Point Marina is convenient to Southport's shopping, restaurants and historic district, and offers easy ocean access.
Southport MarinaBridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCManteo Waterfront Marina is now run by the Town of Manteo.  It boasts 53 slips that can accommodate boats up to 140 feet.  The marina is situated right next to  historic downtown Manteo on a boardwalkToucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCPort City Marina - Wilmington, NCOur marina  is your boating access to Albemarle Sound, the largest freshwater sound in the country—55 miles long and 15 miles at its widest point. Placed strategically at the mouth of Yeopim Creek, the marina is just beyond the high insurance line saving boaters significantly on their insurance rates.Morehead City Yacht BasinDowry Creek Marina

Archive For: NORTH CAROLINA – All Cruising News

  • Captains Chuck and Susan Report on Southport, NC, AICW Statute Mile 309

    Southport MarinaZimmerman Marine Southport, NC, which plays to three SSECN sponsors, Southport Marina, Zimmerman Marine and Carolina Yacht Care, is a delightful riverside community with which I have long lasting, personal ties. It was on the banks of the “Old Basin” that I had the good fortune to live aboard my parents 48-foot wooden sportsfishermen during the summer months, between the ages of 10 and 15. Talk about an idyllic existence.
    My father had a good friend and local skipper here, Captain Sonny Potter. If Captain Sonny couldn’t find where the fish were biting, it was time to return to the dock. We had many a rare day fishing off the Frying Pan Shoals at the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
    Carolina Yacht CareWhile today, Southport is far more frequented by visitors than was true during my boyhood days, this delightful community’s charms remain very much intact, and it is one of my very favorite personal ports of call.
    And so, when SSECN strategic partners, Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, filed their delightful article below, it was with much pleasure that I set their account up to be published here on our web site.
    We are once again greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” ( for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, set below! THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!

    Southport Town Dock - on the Old Dockage Basin

    Southport, NC by Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Southbound from Wrightsville Beach, it can be an easy run down the AICW and the Cape Fear River if you have the right wind and tide conditions. On the day we made the trip, it could not have been better. It was anchor up at 0730 in Wrightsville and we were tied to the town dock in Southport at 1045. Light winds and the outgoing tide made for a fast, comfortable trip and as we entered the basin at Southport, it was like seeing an old friend once again. The basin is just off the AICW channel as you make the turn off the Cape Fear River. This is a small basin with room to anchor a few boats, and several free docks available at some of the restaurants: The Provisioning Company, Fishy Fishy Cafe and The Yacht Basin Eatery. They allow overnight dockage if you eat at their establishments. There is no power or water at the docks and these are floating docks. The tidal range here is about 5 feet.

    Southport Visitor's Center

    At the end of a long dock at the west end of the basin is the town dock where you can tie up for free for 48 hours. There is water on the dock and a 20-amp power outlet if you can make it work for the boat. Depths at the town dock can be 4 feet at low tide and with the tidal range, climbing onto the dock at low tide can be a challenge. Boaters do offer to allow others to raft up at the dock and it is much deeper even just a boat width off. Don’t be surprised if you get a visit from Bob and Kay Creech, a very nice couple that lives across the street from the town dock and offers to provide any service you might need. Bob and Kay are Port Captains for MTOA (Marine Trawler Owners Association) and have their boat docked inside the basin. They are very knowledgeable about the area and are also very experienced boaters.

    We have eaten at many of the restaurants that surround the basin at one time or another, including the newer Frying Pan, and found them to be excellent. The atmosphere ranges from funky outdoors to the magnificent view at The Frying Pan. The menus are typical fresh seafood, burgers and sandwiches to steak and salad dishes. One important establishment is Flava’s Ice Cream Shop. We never miss it when we stop here. They were, however, about to close for the season on November 1st and had a limited number of flavors. They will open again in the spring.

    Southport Shops Along Howe Street

    Just a couple of blocks walk from the waterfront is downtown Southport. You will find another typical historic Carolina waterfront community with many shops, restaurants, galleries, antique shops and boutiques. From the town dock or anchorage, walk down Yacht Basin Drive to either Bay or Moore streets, and then head east. You may want to make your first stop at the Fort Johnston/Southport Visitors Center to pick up information before you set out on foot to explore. The friendly ladies at the center will assess your needs and provide you with brochures and pamphlets to guide you on your exploration of Southport. The beautiful building that now houses the Visitor’s Center, built in 1810, provided living quarters for military officers and belonged to the U.S. Army until 2006.

    One of the pamphlets provided allows you to take a self-guided tour of historic Southport. The Visitor’s Guide points you toward major historic sites and the innumerable shops and restaurants along Howe, Moore and Nash streets. It also lists the many events that occur annually in the seaside village including the Southport Spring Festival held every Easter weekend on the Friday and Saturday before Easter Sunday. Also, the Waterfront Farmers Market is held every Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (between May and September) on the grounds of the Visitor’s Center on the Garrison Lawn at Fort Johnston. Southport holds 3rd Fridays between May and August from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. with music and food. Stores also stay open during those hours and the atmosphere is quite festive. Other local events include a wooden boat show in late September, tours of historic homes, fishing tournaments and a Christmas boat parade. A recent claim to fame for Southport is being the location for the filming of the popular television series “Under the Dome,” based on a Stephen King novel.

    Fishy Fishy Cafe and Docks

    If the anchorage and docks in the basin are full, Southport has a couple of great marinas available. Southport Marina is just to the west of the town basin in its own protected basin. It only takes one a few minutes longer to walk from there to the downtown area. They also have a service yard if you are in need of repairs. A bit farther down the waterway is South Harbour Village Marina, where we have stayed on occasion. We have always been offered a ride to the store or a vehicle to use while there. They also have a couple of eateries on site if you don’t feel like cooking. Unfortunately, downtown is not walking distance from South Harbour Village. Other than major provisioning, which will likely require a cab, loaner car or long bike ride, Southport is truly a walking town. We enjoy our visit each time we stop here and have difficulty passing it by.

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Southport Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Southport Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Deep Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Deep Point Marina

  • More on Town Creek Inner Anchorage, Beaufort, NC, AICW Statute Mile 201

    Town Creek Anchorages - Click for Chartview

    Town Creek is east of the south end of Gallants Channel in Beaufort, NC, east of unlighted daybeacon #1.

    I anchored in town creek. It is a nice location. It is crowded and there are some long term boats there (and some sunken boats). They are on multiple anchors. When I pull my anchor I had picked up someone’s rode. I was able to easily free it with the boathook.

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Town Creek Inner Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Town Creek Anchorage

  • Dismal Swamp Welcome Center Winter Hours, AICW Alternate Route

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate Route

    Dismal Swamp Welcome Center - Click for Chartview

    Our thanks to Sarah Weeks of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center (A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) for this update on the Center’s hours.

    The winter schedule at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center starting Dec. 1st is as follows:
    Monday – Saturday 9am- 5pm
    Closed Sundays
    Sarah M. Weeks
    Assistant to the Director
    Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center
    2356 Highway 17 North
    South Mills, NC 27976
    Phone: 877.771.8333 ~ Fax: 252.771.2055

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Praise for Beaufort Municipal Docks, AICW Statute Mile 201

    Captain Hipple’s comments are in response to recent widely varying points of view concerning the Beaufort Municipal Docks in Beaufort, NC. See

    Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2013 12:41:17 -0500
    I have been stopping at the Beaufort Town Docks, along with just about every other marina along the AICW, for over 25 years. I have done this in everything from a 30 foot cruiser to the 130 foot motor yacht I currently operate. During all those years I have never experienced anything other than professional, knowledgeable and pleasant service from the entire dock crew at the marina.
    While it is true that the laundry and showers are of no consequence to us on this boat, they were for many years but were never a major problem. I been there for an overnight stop and have also spent a month there rebuilding an
    The docks may not be state of the art but they are strong and safe. I have ridden out 2 tropical storms there. One on a 70 foot Hatteras and the other on the 130 foot tri-deck motor yacht without any problems. All the dock guys were there to assist in securing the boats and some stayed through the night to help if needed. They were there along with TowBoat US to remove this sail boat that broke loose from its mooring, before it damaged, or sunk the trawler it got tangled with.
    Some of the power pedestals are indeed made of wood but who cares? The power is good and reliable. This is one of the few marinas along the coast where we can get 2, 208V 3 phase power outlets on several docks, while there are still 50 amp and 30 amp outlets for the smaller boats. This is something you will not find in most marinas, even the “state of the art” ones. The Charleston City Marina’s Mega dock is great but 90% of the time we can’t get electric.
    The water is good and fuel is available in most of the slips. The Wi-Fi works fine and is free.
    The location is among the best on the coast with shops and restaurants across the street. Anything else you desire is easily reached by one of several courtesy cars that the marina makes available at no cost.
    As for cost, $1.95/ft. and $6 for electric described in the article, is in the range of similar stops, many of which do not have amenities like loaner cars or Wi-Fi___33. Moorhead City Yacht Basin is $2.00/ft. or $1.80 BoatUS, Oriental Marina and Inn is $1.90/ft., River Dunes is $1.50/ft. and $5 for electric, Beaufort SC is $1.85/ft. and $6 electric.

    I consider the Beaufort Docks one of the best stops on the East coast and I look forward to our next visit in the spring.
    Captain Bill Hipple
    M/Y Lady Kath

    There is a lot less current at the marinas in Morehead City and a lot more protection. And the “Praise” comments mentioned the cheapest, under 35ft rate or $1.95, not the $2.30 rate that applies to boats over 36ft. While the dock crew is indeed good in Beaufort, they have to be because the location is swept with current and the channel occupied by untended boats on moorings, none of which exist at the other options available in the area. Beaufort simply overcharges for a less attractive boating experience. If that appeals, great.
    Roger Arrowood

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Beaufort Municipal Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort Municipal Docks

  • A Visit to Belhaven Town Dock, Belhaven, NC, AICW Statute Mile 135.5

    Belhaven Waterfront - Click for Chartview

    Belhaven Town Dock is just west of Belhaven Waterway Marina on your starboard side of the Pantego Creek channel. For questions about docking at the Town Dock, contact Les Porter, Harbor Master at Belhaven Waterway Marina, as well as Dock Master of the Town Dock, at 252-944-0066.

    Stayed at Belhaven town docks 11/9/2013. The entrance is directly above the Waterway Marina. You must navigate between a group of old pilings to reach the long face dock. The first length of dock has a low wooden fence and we were told it is for short tie ups only (a pump out is in this area). As you continue in the basin there are electric & water connections. Looks like there may be space for five or six vessels. We saw depths at the seven and eight foot levels.
    Earlier we had attempted to phone the dock master but couldn’t contact anyone. Shortly after we finished docking the dock master came over and said we should expect a few more vessels and should be ready for tight quarters. The fee was $1.00/ft and included electric and water. Self operated pump out was via a $5.00 token. The dock master said the town had yet to post any signs or entrance aids at this dock.
    The docking was fine although no other vessels ever showed up. The dock master mentioned the “new free” docks so we thought we would check them out as we took a walking tour of town. We walked the river front all the way out of town till we reached a fenced commercial facility about 1/2 mile out of town. We took several grassy paths out towards the river but never located these new docks.
    The town itself appears a little down on its luck as though “its time had passed”. The few people we encountered on the street were friendly as was the dock master.
    Jim Murtha

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Belhaven Town Dock

    Click Here To View the Eastern Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Belhaven Waterway Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Belhaven, NC

  • Reports of Severe Shoaling at AICW/Mason Inlet Intersection, Statute Mile 280.5

    AICW/Mason Inlet - Click for Chartview

    Mason Inlet separates Figure Eight Island and Wrightsville Beach and intersects the Waterway at mile 280.5. SSECN has had a Navigation Alert posted for reports of shoaling at this intersection since August of 2013. See

    On Nov 13, 2013 at approximately 1:00 pm (mid tide) our keel bumped & then slid over shoaling on the “ocean side” of ICW channel very near G121 (Mason Inlet) . Our IP350 sailboat has a draft of 4′ 3″. We were very surprised as we had checked this cruiser site for any problem areas and found no mention of problems in this area.
    Jim Murtha

    In light of Captain Murtha’s last comment, SSECN would like to remind everyone to always check our Navigation Alerts, which can be reached both via our top of the page menus, and by way of the red, vertically stacked menus on the right side of all (except Chart View) SSECN pages. You can also set a bookmark for (though, do note that this “ALL Navigation Alerts” page is sorted chronologically by publication date, while the regional Nav. Alert pages (e. g. “EF Nav. Alerts at are sorted geographically!

    Came through Mason Inlet [intersection with ICW] yesterday 2 hrs after low tide. Two boats already grounded near floating green can. Bumped as started through further toward red but grounded and backed off only to bump again. TowboatUS near by came to pull off and led through. Ignore floating green, less than 4 ft of water with rising mid tide. You need to be as close to red side docks as possible then angle back to channel past G23. TowboatUS captain said this location had started shoaling badly 2 days ago.
    John Lark

    11/19/13 – We traveled the area AICW at Mason Inlet at MLW. We had 2.9 feet of water under our boat, we draw 5’7″.
    John Sims

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Mason Inlet

  • More Anchoring Space Available in Oriental Harbor, Oriental, NC, AICW Statute Mile 181

    Click Charlet Above to Open a Chart View Page Centered on Oriental

    Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCWe are grateful to Carol Small for sending us this article from Town Dock, Oriental’s waterfront news source. See At least one of the “homesteading” boats which have been the source of much discussion and debate over the last few months have now departed. See

    Wednesday November 13, 2013
    There’s more space for visiting boats to anchor in Oriental’s harbor now that the French-crewed sailboat, Primadonna, has been towed to Morehead City. Primadonna has been anchored in Oriental’s harbor since it arrived last November. It was one of four such homesteading boats taking up space normally used by many cruisers on their annual treks south and north. The other three boats continue to homestead in the anchorage.
    Carol Small

    Oriental Harbor - Photo by Town Dock - "Look at all the available space!"

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Oriental Harbor Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Oriental Harbor Anchorage

  • Good Words for and Good Memories of McCotters Marina and Repair Yard, Pamlico River, Washington, NC

    McCotters Marina, Washington, NC

    McCotters Marina - Click for Chartview

    McCotters Marina and Repair Yard is located on Broad Creek (off the Pamlico River), a few miles downstream of the Washington, NC waterfront. McCotters is one of the largest marinas in North Carolina, and its repair capabilities are impressive. Of course, they are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    As a circumnavigator I know boating embraces all manner of people and places. If you want the Hilton, McCotters Marina isn’t it. However, if you want a laid back, easy to work with marina with old fashioned values, this is it. Mark Henley was responsive and responsible, and took care of our trawler when we weren’t around. Most of all he was honest, that rarest of traits in a now-we-see-you-now-you’re-gone business world. The facilities are simple, the environment at the marina, serene. Overall it’s quiet and relaxing. Serenity and simplicity mixed with quality service when you need either one.
    Lee Gunter

    My family kept our Post sport fishing boat at McCotters back in the 60′s and 70′s, many great memories as a kid around that dock in those days. I remember a character with a boat named “So Good Foamy”. Boat never left the dock as far as I can remember although he was there every weekend in the summer with the hatches up working on the engines, cold one in hand! That was his therapy, what’s yours?
    Matt Richter

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For McCotters Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of McCotters Marina

  • Captains Susan and Chuck Visit Swansboro, NC, AICW Statute Mile 229

    Swansboro, NC - Click for Chartview

    We are once again greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” ( for providing the superb, in-depth article and photographs, contained in the article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!

    Swansboro, NC
    Located directly on the Intracoastal Waterway is Swansboro, NC. Rich in history, Swanboro was established in the 1730s but not incorporated until about 50 years later. It initially thrived via its shipbuilding industry which lasted until after the Civil War. After the decline in shipbuilding, the town then changed its focus to the fishing industry which, along with tourism, now supports the local economy.

    Swansboro Waterfront

    Swansboro doesn’t get nearly as many visitors as its nearby cousin of Beaufort, NC, but it is a little town with a big personality, and a great little place to stop by and visit. You can cover the downtown area by foot in just a few minutes. Although small in size, Swansboro has a lot to offer. If a marina is what you are looking for, both Dudleys and Caspers are available. Dudleys is across the bridge and a bit of a walk from downtown, but the price is right (75 cents a foot, includes power). It is not fancy, but the staff is friendly and the marina even provides a courtesy car. Just beyond the shops and restaurants downtown, close to the ICW, is Caspers. They, too, are reasonably priced. Or, you can anchor just south of the bridge near R “4” in 14 feet of water and dinghy in to the town dock at the park toward the north end of town and the bridge.

    Swansboro Anchorage

    A number of restaurants are available if the crew wants to dine ashore. Captain Charley’s Seafood Paradise is the boater’s choices for fried seafood. Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant, just next to the bridge in Swansboro, comes highly recommended by locals. Saltwater Grill, also with a very good reputation, is a bit pricier, but also a good choice. Saltwater Grill offers dock and dine slips for customer with power at some docks. Church Street Irish Pub gets rave reviews. Yana Mama’s has been around forever and has unique décor and 50s memorabilia. A unique find on the waterfront is Bake Bottle & Brew, a second story waterfront shop that sells coffee, beer, wine and ice cream. Enjoy watching the ICW traffic while sipping your favorite brew or nibbling that sweet treat. For such a small town, you sure won’t go hungry. And, there are even more restaurants available than listed here.

    Bake Bottle and Brew

    If shopping is on your list, Lighthouse Boutique and Tidewater Gallery sit on the waterfront and tempt visitors with their wares. The Olde Brick Store, an historical landmark dating back to the early 1800s, houses a number of shops. Poor Man’s Hole, back on the waterfront, carries handmade furniture. The Cigar Shop, behind the Harry Pugliese Pavilion, is a popular spot for the gents to hang out and swap a few yarns. The Mercantile carries nautical gifts. And don’t forget Russell’s Olde Type Shoppe for those handmade gifts. Many more shops with a variety of wares line Water and Front Streets as well as the neighboring side streets.
    After all of that eating and shopping, take a stroll down to the end of Water Street to Ward Shore Park, for a front row view of the ICW. The sunsets from here are spectacular. We like this sleepy little town and would encourage boaters traveling along the Intracoastal Waterway to stop, spend some time, and have a closer look.

    The Olde Brick Store

    Chuck and Susan, Trawler Beach
    The Great Book Of Anchorages
    Navigation Notices
    Our Blogs
    Trawler Beach House
    Voyages of Sea Trek

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Swansboro

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Dudley’s Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Dudley’s Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Casper’s Marine Service

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Casper’s Marine Service

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Swansboro Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Swansboro Anchorage

  • Good Words for Deep Point Marina, Southport, NC, Cape Fear River


    Deep Point Marina - Click for Chartview

    The marked entry channel to Deep Point Marina – A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! – lies northwest of Cape Fear River/AICW marker #20. And this is certainly not the first time we’ve received confirmation of the fine quality of work by Bennett Brothers Yachts, also A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!

    We’ve stopped here before. liked it, and will stop again. The dockmasters are very helpful and gave us good info on highly qualified assistance we needed from Bennett Brothers. Also, very nice people live here on their boats. We’ll be back.
    Bru Brubaker

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Deep Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Deep Point Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina

  • Washington, NC and Bath, NC – Two Ports of Call off the North Carolina AICW, Well Worthy of ALL Cruisers’ Attention

    Whether you want to revisit the past or satisfy your curiosities, discover the arts or explore your true nature, you can do it from the heart of the Inner Banks - Washington, North Carolina. 800 546 0Both Washington, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, and Bath, NC, are some of the most delightful ports of call on the North Carolina coastline. Both are located off the direct path of the AICW, but it’s usually a pleasant 30 mile cruise upstream on Pamlico River from the Waterway’s passage across this body of water to the Washington City Docks. The Pamlico’s waters are usually not as rough as its sister stream to the south, Neuse River.
    Along the way, you will first pass Bath Creek, on the northern bank, followed several miles farther along by Broad Creek, also indenting the northerly banks, and home of Washington Yacht Club and SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, McCotters Marina.
    Susan and Chuck’s superbly written article below will whet the appetite of any true cruiser, and bring on an irresistible craving to explore Washington and Bath. We heartily suggest you heed the call! Read on!
    We are once again greatly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” ( for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, set below! THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!

    Approaching the Washington City Docks and Downtown Waterfront

    The Towns of Washington and Bath, North Carolina
    by Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

    Washington, NC
    About 30 miles upriver from the spot where the Intracoastal Waterway crosses Pamlico River lies the town of Washington, NC. For the many boaters that speed south to reach their winter destinations, missing these side trips is a shame. We have been just as guilty in the past, but decided that on this transit of the ICW, we would stop and smell the fish fry. The Pamlico can be daunting and a careful eye on the weather is required. The payoff to visiting this well protected harbor and yet another historic site along the North Carolina waterway is more than worth the additional time and miles.

    The Washington Harbor entrance is marked by a very old railroad bridge that is always open unless a train is coming. The channel is narrow, and once inside the harbor it’s best to call the town dock Harbormaster on VHF Channel 16 for docking instructions and slip assignment. There are two options for staying at the town dock. One is the free docks along the lovely promenade and park that lines the harbor. Docks G through K are side ties and we stayed on G dock which was reported to have the shallowest water. We found 14 feet on approach and 7-8 feet alongside. There are no tides to speak of, but the winds from one direction or another for prolonged periods can raise and lower the water levels. The second option available is to take one of the slips at the other docks which have power and water. Those slips are rented at $1.00 per foot per day plus $3.00 per day for 30 amp and $6.00 per day for 50 amp service. Water is included on the paying docks but not on the free docks. Free docking is good for 48 hours, but if you want to stay longer, the charge is 75 cents per foot per day.

    Washington City Docks

    The Dockmaster was on the dock ready to assist us as we arrived. The harbor is well protected from all directions and docking was straightforward and easy. Once the boat was secured, the Dockmaster filled out a simple form to register us and gave us a brief rundown on what to find in the area, along with a warm welcome. A very nice brick walkway runs along the seawall and is very popular with friendly local folks that always took the time to wave and say hello. A few even stopped to chat a while. There are restrooms attached to the park near the free docks, however they are locked in the evening. The showers and restrooms for the docks are a long walk down the promenade and are located in a trailer behind the Dockmaster’s office. They are accessed by a code provided by the Dockmaster, so are available at any time.

    It wasn’t long before we were off exploring this quaint river town. Our first discovery was Scoops Ice Cream & Candy near the waterfront. Several of the shops and restaurants back up to the waterfront with an entrance there as well a front entrance on Main Street. It was a little sad to see so many storefronts and shops closed and empty. This seems to be a fact of life in many of these small towns. Washington appears to have been hit rather hard. There are still many interesting stores and restaurants to spend your time and money. We sampled the cuisine at Down On Mainstreet, directly across the street and parking lot from the boat and also visited a number of shops downtown including Nautilife, with its nautical themed gifts, River Walk Gallery and Arts Center, with great pottery items and paintings by local artists and Little Shoppes, a large building containing 20 little individual vendors all under one roof. It was impossible to walk away without making a few purchases for Christmas gifts.

    Downtown Washington

    Just north of the docks is the North Carolina Estuarium. The Pamlico/Tar River Estuary is second only in size in the U.S. to the Chesapeake Bay. The Estuarium provides an educational experience highlighting the importance of this vital body of water. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A boardwalk begins just behind the Estuarium just where the brick promenade ends. One can then walk the boardwalk the entire distance up to the railroad bridge ending up on Main Street. Just around the corner to the right you will spy a bright red building housing the Coffee Caboose, open for breakfast and lunch. If you head back down Main Street toward the docks, you will then find the Blue Door Café and the Panaderia next door, a Mexican bakery. Our friends on S/V Casual Class gave both of the latter a thumbs up. Any serious provisioning will require a bike or cab ride of a couple of miles as there is nothing near the downtown area.

    Bath, NC
    A 2-3 hour trip back down the Pamlico brought us to the entrance to Bath Creek. It is well marked by G “1” and immediately followed by R “2.” Then head north up the creek to G “3” followed shortly thereafter by R “4.” Near the fixed bridge with 13 feet of clearance you will see a small marina with a number of smaller sailboats. Just before you reach the marina you will see a long dock with a T-head marked with a green sign reading “State Dock.” Depths at the creek entrance were approximately 14 feet and continued with adequate depths all the way to the dock. The depths at the end of the dock were 7.5 feet while depths halfway down the dock where Beach House tied were about 6 feet. As with Washington, depths can vary here with any significant winds for a period of days, either raising or lowering the depths in the creek.

    Bath State Docks

    A sign on shore instructs you to complete a form and drop it off at the Visitors Center, a short walk up the street to the left on Main, to Carteret then to the right, to register for your stay. A maximum stay of 72 hours is requested to allow other boats to have the opportunity to tie here. There is no water or electric provided, however there are trash cans and a recycling bin at the top of the yard to the right near the road. Once you are registered, the town will provide you with a small map which shows the historic sites of interest and other information you might need.

    We chose to spend our first full day in Bath touring the historic sites. The recently refurbished Palmer-Marsh House is directly across Main Street from the dock. The Van Der Veer House contains a museum and is just across the parking lot and around the corner from the Visitors Center on Harding Street. A short walk down Harding takes you to Craven and the St. Thomas Church, one of the oldest churches in the country, built in the early 1700s. The Bonner House, on the corner of Main and Front, has been lovingly maintained and continues to maintain its vigilant watch over the Bath Creek entrance from its hilltop perch. A pleasant surprise on the walk back to the dock was the Pirate’s Treasure gift shop, located in the two front rooms of a private residence on Main Street. The Christmas ornaments made from shells and starfish were too irresistible not to purchase a few.

    We needed to mail some packages and top off our provisions with fresh produce. A ½ mile or so walk east on Carteret will bring you to the post office and a small ABC package store. A little farther along on the opposite side of the road brings you to the Country Kitchen, one of 2 sit-down restaurants in town, and the Bath General Store. The store had a small but fresh selection of fruits and vegetables and a surprising interesting selection of wine. The owner even asked if we would like a free bunch of overly ripe bananas with which to make bread. We accepted.

    Strolling Bath's Quiet Streets

    We had our usual ice cream hankering while in Bath and were able to fulfill the craving at a little store/marina, the Quarterdeck, at the bridge on Back Creek off of Bath Creek. The store sells ice cream, non-ethanol gas, grills food for all 3 meals and has a variety of marine and novelty items. If it’s warm enough outside, you can have your meal in one of the rocking chairs or picnic tables provided.

    The next day left us wanting lunch after a hike over the bridge toward Washington and we choose to stop at Blackbeard’s Slices and Ices, very close to the State Dock, just next to the bridge. We can recommend them for tasty club sandwiches, burgers and fries.

    Our detour up the Pamlico River has been well worth the time and fuel. We only regret not doing it sooner.

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Washington City Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Washington City Docks

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For McCotters Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of McCotters Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Bath State Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Bath State Docks

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bath Harbor Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bath Harbor Marina

  • Possible Shoaling Beginning at Statute Mile 225, AICW, Bogue Sound

    Statute Mile 225 in Bogue Sound - Cclick for Chartview

    Most of the recent shoaling in this area has occurred at Markers #45 and #45A  at the intersection of the Waterway and the Bogue Inlet , an area which SSECN has designated as a Problem Stretch. Captain Baier relates a possible depth issue just north of the intersection at Markers #40 and #40A. If others of you find any indication of depths beginning to shoal at mile 225, please let us know!

    We found the depths in Bogue Sound, heading south from Beaufort to be in the 13 to 15 foot range until we reached markers R”40″ to R”40A” off Guthrie Point. The depths dropped from 14 feet to 8.9 feet between the two markers, both in the center of the channel and on the red side. This was near high tide for the day and would put the depths at 6.5 feet at mean low water. Not a problem for many boats, but deeper drafts should use caution.
    Chuck and Susan, Trawler Beach House

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To Statute Mile 225

  • Praise for Morehead City Yacht Basin and Area, AICW Statute Mile 203

    Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Morehead City Yacht Basin - Click for Chartview

    Captain Bell’s remarks follow a report on less-than-favorable conditions at Beaufort City Docks ( We are pleased that Captain Bell chose to recommend A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Morehead City Yacht Basin, located on the southern flank of the marked channel that runs west from the AICW, just north of the Morehead-Beaufort, Newport River high-rise bridge.

    Make a change for the better and dock at the Morehead City Yacht Basin. With BoatUS the rate is $1.80 per foot. The two dock hands take care of everything, even putting a carpet over your power cord so you don’t trip. Then go to Floyd’s Restaurant, two blocks away, with GREAT food. Bring a signed business card from the dock master and they will give you a FREE desert. To food is the BEST. We found this place because the Sanitary Restaurant put in a new floating dock, charges $25.00 per night, must eat there, customers eating at the new outdoor dining keep you up at night, lots of wakes and we almost got hit by an old sport fish boat coming into dock. Never Again. Go to Morehead City Yacht Basin, you will have a great time.
    Dave Bell

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Morehead City Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Morehead City Yacht Basin

  • Another Good Report from Carolina Beach Mooring Field, AICW Statute Mile 295

    Carolina Beach Mooring Field - Click for Chartview

    The Carolina Beach Mooring Field lies south of the AICW channel, and also south of Snow Cut’s easterly entrance, in the harbor channel leading to Carolina Beach commercial district. SSECN continues to receive good reports on the mooring field and the services provided. Another recent cruiser said that Randy even offered to take their trash ashore.

    A very nice anchorage/mooring field. Depths are 18-25 ft (with a lot of current), so I’m glad there are mooring balls.
    Randy came out at 5pm to collect the $20 and gives us the lay of the land. Although the mooring field was not full you might want to call him in advance …(929) 667-0004.
    Overall, a very pleasant stop.
    John Loving

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Carolina Beach Mooring Field

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Carolina Beach Mooring Field

  • Carolina Yacht Care – Southport, NC (Statute Mile 309)

    Carolina Yacht CareHere’s a message from the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net’s NEWEST SPONSOR, Carolina Yacht Care, located in Southport, NC. Wow, talk about full services for your vessel, AND your crew, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. For a worry free visit to Southport’s great marinas or anchorages, click Carolina Yacht Care’s sponsorship banner, and leave all your port of call responsibilities to these good people!

    Cruisers Hank and Lisa Pomeranz, of Southport, NC completed a cruise south this past winter, visiting 17 towns and cities in the US and Bahamas.

    On their return in June, they considered some of the services along their route that helped make their trip memorable. They analyzed those stops where they were inclined to spend a few days, rather than just push through, and came up with a list of services they believe are most helpful to cruisers.

    The services include: a shuttle, provisioning, packing and shipping, mail receipt, a single, unbiased point of contact for recommending quality local contractors and responding to any other unique needs of transients.

    Founded as the town of Smithville in 1792, Southport is a convenient stop and a warm and welcoming historic city and worth staying an extra day or two to explore. Realizing that none of these services have been available in Southport, and that some cruisers might be skipping the city or just staying overnight, they decided to start Carolina Yacht Care to meet cruisers needs. They have a cruisers perspective which means they understand that, as a service business, they must be dependable and flexible to cruiser’s schedules and myriad other complexities of being a transient. For example, they started running a scheduled shuttle from Deep Point and Southport Marinas (with more to follow) but have also made the shuttle available on an as needed basis. Cruisers needing provisions can order ahead of time and then let them know where to deliver once they arrive. They will meet you at your boat to deliver or help pack up parts and get them shipped.

    Of course, consider them a wonderful resource of free local knowledge. Their love of Southport and enjoyment in meeting fellow cruisers will help make your stay memorable.

    Says Hank, “We will do whatever we can to help our fellow cruiser’s relax and enjoy beautiful Southport. If they don’t have the time to spend in Southport, we are there to maximize their short stays as well.”

    This is the kind of service every significant port of call should have. Really helps you enjoy all a destination has to offer. Looking forward to return visit to Southport. Hank & Lisa being well traveled cruisers themselves, know just what is needed by fellow skippers & crew !!!
    Skipper CW

  • Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry Report on AICW/Browns Inlet AICW Problem Stretch (Statute Mile 237)

    The AICW stretch south of Swansboro, NC, where the Waterway runs behind ultra shallow Browns Inlet is shaping up to be the single worst North Carolina section of the AICW during the fall, 2013 transient season. Of course, the Waterway’s intersections with both Lockwoods Folly Inlet and Shallotte Inlet, south of Southport, NC, are pretty bad as well, but at least dredging is planned for these latter areas later this year.
    We asked SSECN strategic partners, Captain Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (, to take an in-depth look at this AICW Problem Stretch, during their fall, 2013 journey south. As you will see in their report below, this cruising duo has done a wonderful job of putting together a plan to keep to the best depths, at least for the moment. Depart from this plan of action, and you can find your vessel is less then 3 feet of water at MLW!!!

    Passed Browns Inlet at 10 AM [10/29/13 – Editor], that was at exactly low tide, and found the problem spot without any effort. We passed mid way between the mainland side and floating green “61A” and found depths of 2.9 to 3 feet. Of course we draw 4 feet. Passing red “60” stay well to the mainland side and the channel will carry 9 feet as you approach green “61A”. Passing “61A” consider the mid channel point the ocean side of the deep water and the shore the mainland side of the channel. That will get you through just fine. The shoal is abrupt as it goes from 8 feet to 2.9 in a short boat length.
    Chuck and Susan
    Trawler Beach House

    We just passed Brown’s Inlet statue mile 237 as the US Coast Guard was repositioning G61A around 11:15 Oct 31/13.
    Phyllis Davenport

    We passed through this spot on 11/8/13 about mid-tide and observed red floatie “60″ and green floatie “61A”in nearly a straight line heading southbound. The owner of Caspers Marina in Swansboro said these markers had just been reset. We passed close aboard the red, turned to starboard, rounded the green about 100 ft off our port side,
    and then returned to the main channel. Our lowest sounding was 6.3′. Three other vessels with 5′+ draft passed through following the same route with no problem. I don’t think I would want go through at low tide.
    Jake Smith S/V “Ginger’s Mercedes”

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Browns Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

  • Very Different Views of Conditions at Beaufort Municipal Docks (Statute Mile 201)

    I can’t remember when an article here on the SSECN has brought about so much controversy as the one authored by the veteran cruising duo of Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, concerning the Beaufort Town Docks, originally published on 10/28/13. While some agreed with Chuck and Susan, other cruisers were ardent supports of the Beaufort Town Docks, and some took real exception to Chuck and Susan’s review. Most troubling of all, in many cases there was a combative attitude expressed towards the reviewers, rather than a civil exchange of different points of view, experiences and an honest reporting of the facility’s stats and prices.
    At Chuck and Susan’s request, we have removed their original article. However, we have left in place many of the subsequent contributions, both positive and negative, hoping that all this verbiage will help the cruising community make an informed decision about whether or not to patronize the Beaufort Town Docks.
    We suggest you read all the messages below, and make up your own mind.
    I would like to personally comment on two points originally raised in both Chuck and Susan’s article, and in the notes from Beaufort City Dock’s supporters. The nearby laundromat is located behind a local business called, “The General Store.” If your vessel is berthed near the eastern end of the dockage complex, this facility is indeed located just across the street. If you are on the western end of the docks, then it’s a walk of a block to a block and a half to “The General Store.”
    Next, it is quite true that during the spring, summer and fall months, there is a LOT of foot traffic along the Beaufort boardwalk, only a few paces from the Beaufort Town Docks wet slips. This is a case of “you like it, or you don’t.” Karen and I always found the diversity of people and the energy they produced, one of the most delightful aspects of visiting Beaufort. Over the years we met more than a few fascinating people wandering the Beaufort boardwalk.
    Not all cruisers will agree. Some like a more quiet and private dockage experience. And, I should also note, this high traffic situation is a not a typical marina dockage experience. I can only think of a handful of other Southeastern USA marinas where this much humanity is found within such close proximity of the docks. Again, you may like this, but if that’s not your thing, there are certainly alternatives that still allow a visit to Beaufort.
    Let me also note that the responses below deal with Beaufort Town Docks, NOT the community of Beaufort, NC which remains one of the most popular ports of call anywhere on the AICW, and with GOOD reason! It also remains one of my personal favorite places anywhere, anytime!
    Wherever you berth in Beaufort, or drop the hook, once you are ashore, Beaufort offers a range of attractions that are the envy of many a port of call. There is absolutely first rate dining available, particularly at places like Spouter Inn (see and Beaufort Grocery Company. Also, interesting shops dot the downtown landscape like grains of sand on a beach.
    If you want to spend a night or two with solid ground under your feet, then Beaufort boasts a wonderful selection of B&B inns. We think the Pecan Tree Inn and the Ann Street Inn are particularly wonderful.
    Is it time to reprovision, then Beaufort is ready for you. Taylor Creek Grocery, an unusually well outfitted mini-grocery store and deli, is located either just across the street, or within an easy one block walk (see A walk of several more blocks will bring you to the Coastal Community Market (606 Broad St), with a great selection of organic and all-natural foods. And, Beaufort Town Docks does indeed have courtesy cars which allow for ready visits to the local supermarkets.
    Beaufort is a wonderfully historic community. If you have not taken a dream-like stroll along Ann Street, and viewed the historic homes, not to mention their incredibly landscaped and well manicured lawns, you have simply missed some of the best that the cruising life has to offer. Don’t believe me, well just take a look at our Beaufort Photo Gallery (
    Then, there is the nearby North Carolina Mariner’s Museum, and particularly its adjacent (across the street) wooden boat building shop. Be sure to take a few moments to watch the craftsman at their work from the visitor’s gallery.
    So, there is every reason to visit Beaufort, NC, and much to see and do (and eat). Again, the subject of this string of articles is the Beaufort Town Docks, and, as you will see below, there is a wide range of opinions, ranging from the mixed, to those who believe that the Beaufort Town docks are a fine facility. Again, we strongly suggest you take in all this verbiage, and make an informed decision for yourself.
    However, wherever you park your vessel, don’t dare miss a visit to this wonderful and historic community!

    We always anchor up Taylor Creek, a short dinghy ride up away from the docks. Unless you are rowing, there is no need to be in front of the docks. Better yet we go the Morehead city and stay at the Sanitary Restaurant.
    Greg Han

    Sad. Used to enjoy going there. The owners don’t “get it”.
    Paul Eckenroth

    Upon visiting again (still alongside) I feel compelled to respond to a recent review on Cruiser Net.
    It saddens me when someone completely misses the point of a location.
    The marina does have a local laundry facility, far better than a single washer and dryer and a four hour Que, there is a professional grade laundry service less than 100ft from the offices.
    The trash is kept away from the boaters by perhaps 15ft from the dock head, nice and discrete by the car parks so as not to trouble us with fowl odors as we enjoy the views from the cockpit, or trip over the trash cans on the dock.
    The docks float, so yes they can be made to wobble, nothing new there, unless you are used to securing on industrial wharfs on a millpond.
    The marina staff are excellent at ensuring a vessel is safe and secure before they dash off to the next vessel requiring their services, for note I would suggest handing the upstream “Brake” line before the downstream one that is pointless when coming alongside on a tidal flow!
    It is also vital to understand that most of the staff here have worked this location for decades, and are trying to assist more than one vessel at a time, when the bridge opens they are inundated with arrivals in a very short time frame, and work frantically to keep as many vessels safe as they are able.
    One of the great charms of Beaufort City Docks is that the generally informed public can wander down to the boats and stop for a chat, I have met some truly wonderful people here and sincerely hope that the marina experience is not diluted by fort Knox type security gates!
    I am surprised that anyone is upset by the marina rates, they can be obtained prior to arrival, and if you don’t like them there are plenty of more expensive choices nearby, or you could anchor off and try to make use of facilities you are not entitled to!!
    I hope that people are able to read through the negative experience and understand that they are a minority. I can understand that goofing up your arrival may leave you with a sour taste.
    For reference, the power posts are mounted through the docks, and upon inspection I can see they are through bolted, no nails evident upon the 4 x 4inch timbers.
    The review above fails to mention how the quirky courtesy cars save an easy $30 round taxi trip to grocery facilities, this (if you are so minded) makes the mooring rates look more attractive ?

    As a boater who has visited the Beaufort Docks at least 60 times since 1985, my experience has little in common with Landry and Baier’s. In the winter and spring of 2012-13, I cruised the ICW from North Carolina to St. Augustine, stopped at many marinas and came away with a greater appreciation of Beaufort Docks. No, Beaufort is not the cheapest marina – but it’s not the most expensive marina either, including some with fewer amenities.
    In my view, Landry and Baier were unfairly critical of the Beaufort dockhands. On many occasions, the dockhands under veteran Dockmaster Jeb Brearey have skillfully guided my boat into a slip against tricky currents without incident. No, they don’t always hang around offering to plug in your power cord – it is, after all, a busy marina and they are often needed to help other boaters. I give the Beaufort guys credit for being most helpful when it counts. For example, they remain knowledgeable about weather conditions within 100 miles and are able to offer guidance to mariners. If you are arriving late, a dockhand will stay on duty to help you tie up. And they are familiar with local experts who can perform boat repairs at modest rates, as I know from experience.
    I also disagree with your reviewers’ comments about the facilities. The bathrooms are not new, but they are cleaner and more spacious than those at most of the marinas I visited during my ICW trip. Your reviewers could have asked for a slip closer to the bathrooms if that was an issue for them, but even the most distant slips are a shorter walk to the bathhouse than at many other marinas.
    The docks are in good condition, and while it is true that washers and dryers are in a private business that closes on Sundays, they are directly across the street from the marina – not “blocks away.” I am surprised your reviewers had trouble finding the trash cans, which are in enclosures spaced along the boardwalk. What’s more, recycling is available – a rarity elsewhere. As for the issue of security, well-placed placards limit access to boat owners and guests.
    I urge all boaters visiting the area to stay at the Beaufort Docks. Be sure to take advantage of the complimentary beer or glass of wine that Beaufort Docks offers all visiting crewmembers and enjoy one of the jewels of the North Carolina coast.
    Dudley Price

    Be advised that Captain Tillett’s remarks below refer to the original introductory text to Chuck and Susan’s article.

    Dear Mr. Young,
    As a long-time cruiser, resident of Beaufort – and, yes, part-time employee of Beaufort Docks, I found the recent review of Beaufort Docks on your website to be very troubling. The review by the owners of ‘Beach House’ was neither “in-depth” or “un-biased.” As a matter of fact, I found it to be largely inaccurate and vengeful. And, I might add, for you to say this cruising duo “nobly accomplished their goal” casts real doubt on your commitment to accuracy and fairness. To go so far as to encourage cruisers to seek alternatives to the Beaufort Docks based upon this one highly suspect review unfairly damages the reputation of the Beaufort Docks – if not that of the town of Beaufort in general.
    I don’t know where to start in refuting this so-called “noble,” review. To begin with, the floating docks at Beaufort Docks are not narrow and unstable – far from it. There is one set of docks with smaller fingers on which smaller boats (Beach House) are placed. The remainder of the marina has full-size floating docks that are in very good condition. The reviewers, in their zeal, completely misrepresented the type and condition of the docks.
    Not sure why the reviewers chose to criticize the “power posts” at Beaufort Docks unless it was because the one they hit didn’t stop their boat to their complete satisfaction. In actuality, the Beaufort Docks has several types of “power posts” in service – the smallest of which is constructed of 4×4 material — not 2×4! “Power posts” at Beaufort Docks a problem? Laughable.
    To even mention wakes from passing boats at Beaufort Docks is a joke. I can’t recall the last time I witnessed Beaufort Docks being rocked significantly by a passing boat.
    The laundry mentioned is not “a few blocks away.” It is directly across the street – no more than 30 yards from the marina office. Where did the reviewers come up with this stuff?
    “Head stalls” at Beaufort Docks are of various sizes. To imply they are all “very narrow” is totally inaccurate. And, the showers are not “painted.” They are, in fact, fiberglass.
    The reviewers cited location and availability of trash receptacles. This one is totally baffling, as groups of receptacles large enough to accept large bags of trash are positioned at three different spots along the boardwalk. They’re in wooden enclosures for esthetics, all readily accessible.
    To imply Beaufort Docks needs some type of security gates to keep folks from wandering down on to the docks is totally out of touch with reality. This is yet another example of the reviewers “reaching” for a predetermined result.
    Beaufort Docks doesn’t have “a courtesy car”. Beaufort Docks has multiple courtesy cars -beloved old Buick RoadMasters. They’re a joy to drive, often favorably commented on, a trip down memory lane.
    There is not a pump out hose on each dock. There is one pump out hose located at one pump out station. And, yes, there is a fee. Is this unusual? Hardly.
    No mention whatsoever of the fact Beaufort Docks delivers fuel to virtually every slip in the marina and that the wi-fi is state of the art – oh, excuse me, those are positives and would not fit into the reviewers narrative, would they?
    “The marina really has nothing going for it other than location.”
    Weymouth Tillett
    Beaufort, NC

    The messages below were received after we published a summary of this message string in the 11/15/13 SSECN Alert. As you will see, there are, again, many different points of view. In a nod to our department of redundancy department, we again suggest that you read ALL this input and form your own impressions!

    The comments on Beaufort are of interest to me, as one who loves Beaufort, and who has stayed at Beaufort Town Docks many times. I no longer stay there, as the cost has gotten way beyond what it should be. We were last there returning from Florida in April of 2010. At that time, we were charged $2.25 per foot, plus a higher than usual electricity charge. For such poor rest room facilities, which someone on this website once compared to 1950′s Boy Scout camp, and no laundromat, it is not worth it, no matter how wonderful Beaufort is. Yes, there is a laundromat across the street, BUT it is not open on Sundays, the day we happened to be there, and it is not part of the marina.
    Now, we go to Morehead City, and walk or bike to Beaufort. The marina costs are reasonable, and the restrooms are very nice. I hope that at some point in the future the cost will come down. We love Beaufort.
    Norman Mason
    Norfolk, VA

    Sanctuary and crew used to stop regularly at Beaufort City Docks. We gave it up as a stop several years ago. It’s the ambiance of the Town, certainly not the Marina experience, that makes the place at all desirable as a stop. The Marina experience is average to below average at the price point. Definitely, boater’s pay a premium to stop here. I liked the comment to “wait for slack.” What ill-considered advice that is to cruisers! When I’m tired and it’s getting toward sunset, or when I want to depart and get moving for my cruising day, that’s neither practical nor well-considered advice. I also liked the comment that only the fingers where “small boats like Beach House” are placed are narrow and wobbly. I guess that makes the fingers where I would be placed narrow and wobbly. It appears Susan and Chuck’s reporting is “correct,” confirmed by the admission of one who actually works there. Of course the marina *COULD* fix that, but I suggest one not look for conditions here to change. Enough people do stop that the town has no market incentive to change what it’s doing. They’re milking a cash cow, and for the locals, town revenue flowing from the marina beats local property taxes any day; property taxes they, themselves, do not have to build into their own cost recovery pricing. Management here (municipal government) is not motivated by customer service. So, I do support the recommendation to stop elsewhere in the area. Swift tidal currents and an average marina at above average prices? You can if you want to, but for us, “Nah!”
    Jim and Peg Healy

    It has been quite a while since we have used Beaufort City Dock. We used to stay there regularly because of atmosphere around, but this had nothing to do with the marina employees. We enjoyed music festivals and other venues convenient to the marina and also the plethora of eating places available. We did not mind that the laundry was across the street and although not really impressed with the baths, we found them adequate. What made us stop coming was the attitude of the docking personnel. They were RUDE. Sometimes we found docking just a bit difficult due to the very strong current. We had to listen to their constant criticism like, “well are you going to dock this boat or not.” We had no problem with the office personnel except maybe when one of the dock crew took over while the regular went to lunch. Consequently we either stayed at Town Creek Marina or just skipped Beaufort completely. Among our friends, we have heard the same stories. Also, the price per foot is astronomical. We were told that because they were the only game in town, they could do that. Would we call the marina cruiser friendly? Absolutely not! We even stopped anchoring in Taylor Creek a long time ago because of all the derelict boats anchored there and all the “private” mooring balls which probably have not been checked for ages. This is a real shame because Beaufort used to be one of our favorite stops.
    Tom and Pat Denni

    I could use pages describing the positives at Beaufort City Dock, but will not waste anyone’s time refuting the negative comments made against this facility & it’s staff. THEY MUST HAVE A PERSONAL PROBLEM. Keep up the great work at my semi-annual home away from home.
    Thomas J Comber

    All I can say is that Chuck & Susan on Trawler Beach House sound like very very novice cruisers. Yes the curent may run fast, but as the captian its your decision when to dock..maybe next time wait for slack! Do not depend on dock hsnds saving your docking experience.
    I am sure you will find more expensive and poorer condition dock on the ICW. Enjoy cruising and except each new place as a grant adventure.
    We spent two week this spring and enjoyed every minute!
    Larry Hemmerich

    OK, I have to weigh in. I’ve been visiting Beaufort by water since 1985 and it remains a “must” stop on the ICW. I must admit to not having used the municipal docks in a few years, but I have tied up there numerous times. It can be a very difficult place to get in and out of, particularly when the current and wind are strong. This often leads to unpleasant docking situations, which can color your entire stay there. Personally, if at all possible, I temporarily anchor until the current is slack and the wind is reasonable or else you are in for an exciting time of it. There are times when you I wouldn’t go anywhere near the docks–too tricky to get in there safely, no matter how wonderful the dock attendants. And, I have had some very difficult exits too. However, the laundromat, even though it is across the street, is one of the best close to the ICW–I suspect I have used it 20-30 times at least. Can’t comment on the restrooms or the power posts as I haven’t tied up there in a few years. I will only add that a visit at any marina is often shaped by the people you meet, whether it is the marina staff or the locals, and you will probably meet quite a few in Beaufort strolling along the waterfront. Mostly they have been great, but occasionally you get too much noise at night or someone asking too many questions while you’re trying to tie up in that current.
    John Kettlewell

    We’ve stayed at Beaufort Docks twice a year (North & Southbound between FL and NY) since 2005. We have never had a bad experience at this Marina. The Dockhands have always been helpful, their instructions clear and the Marina has let us use their ‘lender cars’ when we needed them. We enjoy the local residents walking the docks and chatting with them. When I read the original post, I wondered if they were speaking about the same place that we have always enjoyed. Judge for yourselves folks…
    Bob Scalia

    We have docked Vouivre at Beaufort Docks several times in the past, with our last stay being in October. We were traveling with friends in their boat Island Passage. The dockhands met our friends boat first (larger boat); got them tied up and then they were very responsive and helpful in getting us tied up. Both were very friendly too. Docking at Beaufort Docks, we enjoy being right there close to all the shops in town. Getting the chit for a beer was also nice. As far as the dockage rates, while they may be higher than some, they are also lower than other locations we’ve stayed. The marina is in a prime location and I would expect that their local taxes are higher than other less desirable locations; thus the need for them to set their fees at that rate. Bottom Line: If you want to enjoy being close to all the action, you may need to pay more….
    Reid Gantt

    There is a lot less current at the marinas in Morehead City and a lot more protection. And the “Praise” comments mentioned the cheapest, under 35ft rate or $1.95, not the $2.30 rate that applies to boats over 36ft. While the dock crew is indeed good in Beaufort, they have to be because the location is swept with current and the channel occupied by untended boats on moorings, none of which exist at the other options available in the area. Beaufort simply overcharges for a less attractive boating experience. If that appeals, great.
    Roger Arrowood

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Beaufort Municipal Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Beaufort Municipal Docks

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Town Creek Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Town Creek Marina

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Anchorage Listing For the Taylor Creek Anchroage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location ofthe Taylor Creek Anchroage

  • Good Depths Reported in Russell Slue – Gallants Channel Route From the AICW to Beaufort, NC and Taylor Creek (Statute Mile 201)

    In the “good old days,” cruisers could continue southbound on the AICW all the way to marker #35, and then cut directly southeast on the Gallants Channel,thereby cruising past Town Creek, under the Grayden Paul Bridge, and thence to Taylor Creek and the primary downtown Beaufort, NC waterfront. DO NOT TRY THIS ROUTE NOW UNLESS YOU ARE PILOTING A CANOE!
    For many years now, the northwestern tip of the Gallants Channel, where it intersects the Waterway at #35, has shoaled in completely. Thus, southbound AICW craft, bent on a visit to Beaufort, must abandon the Waterway between markers #29 and #30, and run the marked Russel Slue Channel, until intersecting the Gallants Channel southwest of marker #7.
    Below Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” ( provide an in-depth review of the Russell Slue – Gallants Channel route to Beaufort. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN!
    Before getting on to Susan and Chuck’s article, let’s just quickly note another alternative passage to cruise from the AICW to Taylor Creek and the Beaufort waterfront. There is an unnamed (at least on the chart, though the locals call it the “Bulkhead Channel”) channel that leads from Beaufort Inlet to Taylor Creek. This is the deeper and easier to follow of the two routes to Beaufort, discussed here, and it should be your choice if your vessel draw more than 5 1/2 feet. We should also note this Beaufort Inlet to Taylor Creek route is much more convenient for northbound AICW vessels, but, by going out of your way just a bit, any vessel navigating the Waterway, or entering from the briny blue by way of Beaufort Inlet, can make use of this passage!

    Edenton, North Carolina by Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    We came down the ICW from Core Creek and took Russell Slough to Gallants Channel. We found the channel well marked and plenty of depth. The lowest water in Russel Slough that we saw was at the 7 foot spot marked on the chart, but we found 11 feet and this was at low tide. In Gallants Channel we found 9 feet MLW at green “7” where it meets Russell Slough. The rest of the channel depths run from 15 to over 20 feet and near the bridge we found depths in the 20 to 30 feet range. The bridge opens on the hour and half hour. Chuck and Susan,
    Trawler Beach House

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Intersection of the AICW and the Russell Slue Channel

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Channel Running From Beaufort Inlet to Taylor Creek (Beaufort Waterfront)

  • Bridge Pointe Marina Grand Opening!, off the AICW, On the Trent/Neuse River, New Bern, NC

    Bridge Pointe Marina - Click for Chartview

    Bridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCBridge Pointe Marina, a new SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, flanks the southern banks of the Trent River (off the Neuse River), opposite the downtown New Bern, NC waterfront. This fine facility is re-opening after more than a year of rebuilding their floating dock system which sustained major damage in hurricane Irene in August of 2012. As you can see from the announcement below, Bridge Pointe Marina is now back in full swing!

    BridgePointe Hotel & Marina has brand new floating boat slips located at the confluence of the Trent and Neuse Rivers. Our new state-of-the-art marina includes Brazilian Ipe hardwood docks, free wireless internet, metered electric and fresh water connections for each slip. Our newly redesigned and completely renovated marina lounge includes showers, restrooms, charcoal grills, laundry, and a comfortable air conditioned sitting area. BridgePointe Marina can accommodate vessels up to 150 feet in length in our deep water slips. We will be offering a special rate for a limited time, so be sure to contact our Marina Manager Jesse Schmucker today at (252)637-7372 or by email at Visit us online at
    Thank you,
    Gary Curry
    General Manager
    BridgePointe Hotel & Marina


    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Bridge Point Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bridge Pointe Marina

  • More Groundings at AICW/Browns Inlet Intersection Problem Stretch, Statute Mile 237


    Numerous reports on shoaling in this Problem Stretch have been filed recently and the report below was copied with permission from the blog of Mike Dickens of Paradise Yachts, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’NET SPONSOR! See also:

    Some notes of interest for those cruising south on the ICW near Swansboro, half mile north of marker 58 south of Swansboro there was some shoaling…6′. At marker 61 they only had 3.9 feet under the keel. At Mason Inlet, north of Wrightsville Beach they hit bottom; 8.9 feet of water in the middle of the channel (marker 121).
    Mike Dickens
    Broker of Record
    Paradise Yachts
    1417 Sadler Road
    Box 183
    Fernandina Beach, FL 32034

    October 24, 2013
    Charging up the channel near Brown’s Creek I noticed a few boats doing circles. A powerboat trying to pass 63 close to the marker went aground. A southbound Island Packet found the water too thin well to the right of the channel. I found the only way to get past the marker was to pass it on the wrong side feeling my way toward a keg that was moored outside the channel in the inlet. A long arc leaving green 63 well to my right gave me enough water to re-enter the channel just beyond 63. I had about 6 feet of water at 4:30 p.m. today. Unfortunately, I had to leave 2 boats aground behind me. There is absolutely no way you can carry even 4 feet through the channel. What a great location for a towboat to hang out!
    Chuck Gleason
    Symphony (Caliber 40 5 ft draft)

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s “AICW Problem Stretches” Listing For the AICW/Browns Inlet Intersection

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To This AICW Problem Stretch

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