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The Salty Southeast
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Located on the Southern Outer Banks in beautiful Atlantic Beach, NC, Anchorage Marina boasts a protected, deepwater harbor, making it a perfect spot for deep sea fishing as well as sound fishingNautical Wheelers - New Bern NCMcCotters Marina, Washington, NCEdenton, NC - the prettiest town in the South!R. 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. River DunesAn active, gated golf community on the coast of North Carolina, Scotch Hall Preserve offers properties, homes, and other real estate options for those looking to live an active lifestyle.
Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCSouthport MarinaBridge Pointe Marina, New Bern, NCPort City Marina - Wilmington, NCDowry Creek MarinaOur 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.Manteo 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 boardwalkMorehead City Yacht Basin

Archive For: NORTH CAROLINA – All Cruising News

  • Unexpected Good Stay at 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. As you will see below, Captain Spence relays welcome improvements in service to mooring users in this field.

    We stayed here a year ago, and I was not looking forward to a second visit. We were only spending one night and after an 8 1/2 hour day I didn’t feel much like launching the dinghy from the second deck in the wind just to go pay our mooring fee. I was very happy to read that they now send a boat out each evening to collect fees. And great news – a second dinghy dock on the beach side with access to the beach is supposed to open in about two weeks!
    Paula Spence

    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

  • Report from Dudley’s Marina, Swansboro, NC, AICW Statute Mile 229

    Dudley's Marina - Click for Chartview

    Dudley’s Marina lies northeast of the Waterway near AICW marker #46A, and just a walk across two bridges and a causeway from downtown Swansboro, NC. Good reviews of Dudley’s Marina are frequent here at SSECN and this is not the first time that the skill of the dock hands has been mentioned and praised.

    Stayed here for two nights this week. It was our second time stopping at Dudley’s this year. The docks are still rough and there are shallow areas around for sure. The wind was blowing pretty good against the dock when we got there and when we left. The dock workers there really know their stuff and were very helpful getting us in and out of there. The place is nothing fancy by any means but it serves its purpose well. We are walkers so we went across the bridge to town (a mile or so?) to check out all the shops again. There is a Wed and Sat street market but we were very disappointed to find that there were no produce vendors, only arts and crafts.
    Paula Spence

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

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

  • Report from Pungo Creek Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 136

    Pungo Creek - Click for Chartview

    Pungo Creek makes into the western banks of the Pungo River, a short hop south of the charming community of Belhaven, NC, on Pantego Creek, and west-northwest of the AICW’s marker #8. This is a surprisingly wide stream, but with excellent depths.

    A bit off the beaten track but a great place. Better shelter from East winds can be found a bit West, closer to the fixed bridge.
    Dave Boxmeyer

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

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

  • Report from Bond Creek/South Creek Anchorage, off the AICW, on Pamlico River

    Bond Creek Anchorage - Click for Chartview

    Bond Creek flows south from (what else) South Creek’s marker #3. South Creek makes into the southern shores of the Pamlico River, east of charted Indian Island.

    We spent a windy night here in July 2013. Excellent holding in mud and great protection from all but northerlies. No apparent landing.
    Jim Lea

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For Bond Creek/South Creek

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Bond Creek/South Creek

  • AICW/Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route – Captains Susan and Chuck Report

    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop programSet in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RouteThere are few topics here on the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net, particularly those concerning the North Carolina coastline, that have raised more discussion over the years, that whether or not to take the AICW/Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route, by way of Elizabeth City, NC, or the primary North Carolina – Virginia Cut route (a. k. a. the “Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal), by way of Coinjock and North Landing River. In these numerous strings, we have always come down on the side of “Doing the Dismal,” UNLESS you are being hurried along by a set schedule. In this instance, the North Carolina – Virginia Cut is definitely the way to go!
    The “big knock” against “doing the Dismal,” as addressed by Susan and Chuck below, is the “possibility” of damage to underwater hardware by waterlogged debris. The US Army Corps of Engineers works HARD to minimize this problem, and, while dinged props and bent shafts are possible, we think it’s worth the risk in order to enjoy the DELIGHTS of the Dismal Swamp Canal, it’s excellent Welcome Center, and the incredibly cruiser friendly atmosphere of Elizabeth City (BOTH of which are SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS).
    We think Susan and Chuck have authored one of the most definitive articles ever penned below, on the virtues of cruising the AICW/Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route. We STRONGLY RECOMMEND that anyone who thinks they might even consider this passage at a future time, read the article thoroughly. And, don’t miss Chuck and Susan’s previously published treatise on Elizabeth City, NC at http://cruisersnet.net/?p=119601.
    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,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, contained in the article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!

    The Great Dismal Swamp Canal And Welcome Center
    by Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    When we tell other boaters that we plan to travel the Great Dismal Swamp Canal, many respond that they would love to do it but are afraid to try. I already know the answer but I still have to ask, why? The answer is always the same. They are afraid that they will hit a log and damage the keel of the boat or their props or rudders. The canal has a reputation for debris floating in the water and, especially, lurking under the surface. The question then becomes, is that reputation and fear justified? The answer isn’t that simple; its yes and no. Is that fear and reputation enough to avoid a wonderful experience. It wasn’t for us. After several trips up and down this stretch of the AICW, we vowed that this time we would do the Dismal Swamp, no matter what.

    Entering South Mills Lock

    Heading northbound, a small detour to Elizabeth City is required, the perfect place to prepare for the canal transit. As we pulled off the town dock in Elizabeth City, it was necessary to time the trip from the drawbridge to the first lock at South Mills. There are two locks that need to be negotiated, each with their own drawbridge. The normal lock schedules for both locks are at 8:30, 11:00, 1:30 and 3:30 seven days a week. If you’re northbound, the schedule will be about 30 minutes later at Deep Creek Lock, southbound about 30 minutes later at South Mills. The distance from the bridge at Elizabeth City to the South Mills Lock is about 18 miles. We cleared the bridge at 8:30 AM and adjusted our speed to make our arrival just before the 11:00 AM lock through. Taking the trip along the Pasquotank River in the early morning reminded us of the Waccamaw River, one of our favorites. This isn’t an area you want to hurry through, rather it should be enjoyed at a slow pace. If you’re in a hurry, take the standard Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal route.

    Arriving at the South Mills lock about ten minutes ahead of schedule, there were two other boats already waiting. One was a trawler we had met at the town docks in Elizabeth City. The lock opened promptly at 11:00, and we slowly pulled into the lock as the Lockmaster picked up a bow and stern line from each boat so we could tie to the wall. Northbound boats are raised about 8 feet, depending on water levels on the river and in the canal. The controlling depth for the canal is 6 feet, but can vary depending on rainfall, or lack of rainfall, and other environmental factors. We found the shallowest water to be 6.8 feet and the average depths to be 8 feet. There have been some years in droughts when the canal was closed and years when storms have closed the canal. The lock transit went smoothly and took about 20 minutes. As the gates opened for us to exit the lock, the Lockmaster had to drive quickly up to the drawbridge to open it for the boats. There is a free tie up at the seawall just before the drawbridge at South Mills if you want to stop for groceries or a bite to eat.

    Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center Dock

    The entire canal is a no-wake zone with a maximum speed limit of 6 miles per hour. Traveling along the canal is almost a surreal experience. The channel is very narrow with overhanging trees, and water the color of a good cup of coffee, minus the cream. There are possibilities of hitting flotsam in the canal, but keeping a sharp eye forward, staying in the center of the channel and going slowly minimizes that possibility. Staying in the center of the canal also keeps the boat away from stumps, logs and fallen trees along the banks. Be watchful of critters swimming across the canal. We found several places where trees had fallen into the canal and blocked sections out to the center. These were all easy to see and avoid. Boat wakes often increase the problem by dislodging logs and branches that would normally be secure along the banks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does an excellent job of clearing debris from the canal. They encourage boaters to report any problems to the Corps, the Lockmasters or the folks at the Welcome Center. Be sure and give exact locations with your report as they relate to the mile marker posts along the canal. They will promptly send a small boat to try and correct the problem immediately and if the job is too large, a barge is sent down the canal with equipment to handle just about anything.

    The Great Dismal Swamp Welcome Center is at about mile 28. If coming from the south, the first thing you see is a pedestrian bridge across the canal that seems to be blocking your path. This bridge was built to get folks from the highway, across the canal, to the state park on the other side. The Park Rangers are always watchful of boats approaching and almost always have the bridge open well before you arrive. If they happen to be busy and don’t see you coming, a short toot of the horn will get their attention and the bridge will quickly open. Once immediately north of the pedestrian bridge on the east side of the canal, is the Welcome Center and a free face dock long enough to tie up 4 or 5 boats, depending on size. Depths alongside the docks when we were there were 5.5 feet with a soft mud bottom. When docking, be sure and keep the space between your boat and the next as close as possible to make room for others. During the busy transient season, you will be expected to raft up with others. The dock can be busy and crowded in season. When we visited in July, we were one of two boats at the dock.

    Deep Creek Lock

    The Visitor and Welcome Center is both a rest stop for the busy highway and for the Canal. The staff at the Welcome Center has earned a reputation for being friendly and extremely helpful to boaters over the years. The Welcome Center provides 24 hour restrooms, free Wi-Fi, free loaner bikes to ride the bike trails and if boats are delayed in transit for whatever reason, they have provided transportation to South Mills for groceries if needed. There is also a water bib at the north end of the dock. The State of North Carolina has put a sign on the faucet that says “non-potable water,” but this is the same water that is piped into the restrooms and water fountains at the center. We put it in our tanks and found no problem. It is the same water provided to the residents of South Mills. There is also a lounge in the air-conditioned Welcome Center with a TV, book exchange, and a desktop computer connected to a printer if needed. Internet access is available at the lounge computer for those that don’t use one on their boat. On the park-like grounds there are many shaded areas with picnic tables and outdoor grills. The staff at the Welcome Center can often provide charcoal.

    Across the pedestrian bridge is the State Park, where you will find extensive hiking trails, bike rentals, and canoe and kayak rentals to paddle the canal. If you explore the hiking trails, be sure and use a good insecticide. During certain times of the year, the biting yellow flies can be brutal (June/July), and of course, there is the always present mosquito. Another concern for hikers is ticks, and precautions need to be taken. It’s best to wear light, long sleeve shirts, hats and long pants. Check often for the little critters while on the trails. This is a wildlife sanctuary and the state does not allow for pesticide spraying at any time. When you cross the pedestrian bridge, be sure and register with the Park Ranger before going on the trails in case you get lost or have a problem, they will know to come and look for you. The State Park has its own Welcome Center where their bikes can be rented and a fabulous exhibit on the history of the area and the canal. There is also a nice display of animals native to the swamp that have been mounted by a good taxidermist. You feel like your eye ball to eye ball with the real animals.

    Semi-floating Logs in Dismal Swamp Canal

    There is no set limit on your stay but there is no long-term docking. Once you have enjoyed all the Welcome Center has to offer, it will be time to continue on. We headed north and one stop often overlooked is the tie up and dinghy ride over to Lake Drummond. Lake Drummond is the largest lake in Virginia and has a major affect on the water levels in the Dismal Swamp Canal. About 7 miles north of the Welcome Center there is a small dock to which you can tie your large boat. To the west is Drummond Feeder Ditch Canal that will take you to a spot where you will find a small trolley to put your dinghy on and haul it a short distance overland to Lake Drummond. The lake is large and flat and the shoreline all looks the same. It is best to take a handheld GPS with you to find you way back to your starting point when your day of exploration is over. It might also be helpful to tie a bright ribbon to a high tree branch near where you enter the lake. If the wind is up, the lake can be uncomfortable, so be aware of the weather. It can be very calm in the canal and very windy on the lake. Continuing northbound, you will come to the drawbridge at the Deep Creek Lock. You will need to call the Lockmaster and wait for him to drive down from the lock. If he is locking boats southbound, you will have to wait a bit longer. (There is also a seawall there on the east side before the bridge to which you can tie directly across from a grocery store.) Once the bridge is open and then closed again, he will then have to drive back to the Lock and open the gates for you to enter. There is a free dock on the west side between the drawbridge and the lock called Elizabeth’s Dock. It has about 8 feet of water alongside and is about a half-mile walk to the town of Deep Creek. In Deep Creek you will find groceries, marine and auto parts, a hardware store and a few restaurants. If you’re proceeding into the lock, have large fenders out for the lock walls and long lines at the bow and stern to pass up to the Lockmaster.

    Robert Peek - Deep Creek Lockmaster

    Robert Peek is the Lockmaster and he will keep you thoroughly entertained through the entire locking process. Robert can tell you anything you want to know about the history of the canal and the current conditions. If you don’t ask, he’s going to tell you anyway. Don’t be surprised to have Robert offer a fresh cup of coffee to anyone on board. If you have been to the Bahamas, Robert is always looking for replacement conch shells for his conch blowing lessons. You will get a lesson and demonstration whether you want it or not, and why wouldn’t you want it? We found Robert to be a pleasant surprise and he makes transiting a lock a truly enjoyable experience. The locking process can take 20 to 30 minutes, but sometimes Robert gets really involved, so be prepared to take a little longer. It will be worth it. The Deep Creek Lock dropped us down 8 feet, and as the gates opened for us to exit, we got a big, “see you next time” from Robert.

    The Dismal Swamp route connects to the AICW route just south of Norfolk. If you turn left at the intersection, you can proceed to the Norfolk/Portsmouth area. But for us, we weren’t quite finished with locks for the day. We had plans to visit with friends in the Great Bridge area, so we turned right instead. We needed to transit the Steel Bridge lock, which only opens on the hour, so we topped off our fuel at Top Rack Marina. They usually have the best diesel prices on the Waterway. Once topped off with fuel and through Steel Bridge, we proceeded through the Great Bridge Lock to the free tie up on the wall between the lock and the bridge. But that’s a story for another time.

    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Trawler Beach House
    Beach House Publications

    Click Graphic Below For Dismal Swamp Photo Album, Courtesy of Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier

    Thanks to Chuck, Susan and Claiborne for the great stories and photos about a trip through the Dismal. We enjoyed having Chuck and Susan spend a couple of days in our neck of the woods! A quick note on the lockings…..there may be a slight delay if boats are coming from both directions, because boats coming into the canal are typically locked “up” first. But, the ACOE’s locking schedule is 8:30, 11am and 1:30, 3:30pm, no matter which direction you come from. So please be there at the appointed hour so you won’t miss your locking. We love to see your boats on our waterway!
    Donna Stewart
    Director
    Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center

  • Good Visit to Washington, NC, Pamlico River, off the AICW

    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 0

    Washington City Docks - Click for Chartview

    Washington, NC City Docks, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, has proven to be well worth the journey up the Pamlico River to “Little Washington”, as Captains Colleen and Stan can attest!

    Greetings, we loved going to “little” Washington, NC, free docks with restaurants and everything within walking distance, folks friendly and old town village atmosphere, although a Walmart, marine stores, etc only a few miles from the docks. There is a great consignment store on Main Street as well as many galleries, etc. We simply fell in love with this town.
    Cheers, Colleen, Stan and Maybea2
    on the Next Endeavour

    Love little Washington. NC Estuarium is epic! 3 story interactive sculpture of complete water cycle, donated by artist! Great volunteers. Closed on Sunday.
    Wooduck

    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

  • Elizabeth City, NC – Harbor of Hospitality, Captains Chuck and Susan Report (Statute Mile 50.5)

    Elizabeth City, NC, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is indeed one of the most cruiser friendly ports of call anywhere in the Southeastern USA. Many mariners stop here while transiting the AICW Dismal Swamp Canal Route, which are the next waters to which our aces reporters, Susan and Chuck will turn their attention. However, it’s well worth the time of year round Tar Heel cruisers to simply cruise up Pasquotank River from Albemarle Sound, or captains in the Norfolk, VA region, to cruise the Dismal Swamp Route south, for the express purpose of visiting Elizabeth City. It’s really that special a destination!
    Susan and Chuck do a wonderful job laying out many of EC’s attractions and services below. I might just add that one of the nearby marinas that they speak about, Lambs Marina, is currently the only place you can purchase fuel on the entire Dismal Swamp route. That’s worth remembering if you need to fill those hungry tanks.
    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,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, contained in the article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!

    Elizabeth City, North Carolina
    by
    Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry

    Any cruiser that has transited the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway more than once has at least heard of the hospitality offered to mariners in this sleepy North Carolina town perched on the Pasquotank River. Most boaters are also familiar with the tradition of the Rose Buddies, [and while there have been some changes, the Rose Buddie "receptions" are still taking place when enough boats are docked at Mariner's Wharf on any given night - Editor insertion]. A short detour off the traditional waterway on the Albemarle Sound will bring you to this friendly harbor, and you will still be met at the town docks by a fellow named Gus that has made himself the unofficial greeter and historian at Mariner’s Wharf. Gus will help you tie up in one of the 14 slips at Mariners Park, give you the latest on the town and direct you to wherever you might need to go. It seems that many boaters don’t know that the 14 slips at the park are not the only free facilities offered by the town.

    Approaching Elizabeth City

    Just off to port from the slips at Mariner’s Wharf is a long bulkhead at Waterfront Park. The bulkhead is available for tie up also, but neither has power or water. At Mariners Wharf, there is a faucet hook up for a hose under a blue cover just behind the water fountain. There is another bulkhead just on the other side of the bridge, northbound, with a sign that says “Dock and Dine” where boaters can tie if everything else is full. At the Mariner’s Wharf slips, the town provides free Wifi; we aren’t sure if it is attainable at the other docks. There are no restroom facilities other than a Port-A-Potty at Mariner’s Wharf, but there is some good news for the future. The town plans to put restrooms and a laundry for boaters in an existing building just off the slips. It should be completed by next season.

    The grocery store and coin laundry is about a mile and a half from the town docks. A taxi or a bike is the best way to resupply or do laundry. The Post Office is about a half mile away. In the downtown area you will find small shops, boutiques, a book store and restaurants. The Cypress Creek Cafe is across the street from the docks and is a local favorite. A short walk of a few blocks and you will find Quality Seafood, a restaurant and market. Have a great seafood lunch and buy some fresh fish to take back to the boat. After lunch, stop in the Museum of the Albemarle and experience the history and culture of the Albemarle region either by self or full guided tours. If you happen to be lucky enough, as we were, to be at the docks on a Saturday, you can enjoy the fresh produce, vegetables, baked goods and homemade wares of the open air market from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM. This is not your average Farmers Market.

    "The Sign Says It All"

    Elizabeth City holds several Festivals and Events each year. July is full of activities beginning with Mariner’s Wharf Film Festival, a Fourth of July Celebration, Music and Arts Festivals, First Friday, and many more, just in July. During other months try the Coast Guard Harbor Nights Concert, First Friday Artwalk, Music on the Green with Classic Country Bands, and even a tractor pull. There is so much more to Elizabeth City than free dockage. You will meet some of the most friendly people found anywhere along the waterfront. If you are a dog person, this is a very popular place for the local dog-walkers. The dogs are as friendly as their owners. So often someone would stop by the boat and strike up a conversation. We felt like we had lived here for a long time and everyone did their utmost to make us feel welcome.

    There is a downside, and that is the weather, if it happens to be blowing strongly from the south or southeast. Heavy winds can create a strong surge, and waves coming up the river cannot only make the water levels rise, but make the docks uncomfortable to downright dangerous under severe conditions. This also doesn’t appear to be a no-wake zone and boats speeding up and down the river do create a lot of wakes on occasion. A nearby boat ramps adds to the problem. Under strong conditions from the south, the bulkhead on the other side of the bridge or anchoring beyond the bridge would be preferable. There is a boatyard in town with haul-out facilities, but service is very basic. There are no real services for boaters in the area, so major repairs will need to be done elsewhere. The boatyard does have a surveyor onsite.

    Elizabeth City Waterside Farmer's Market (every Saturday in season)

    If you might be looking for a marina, there are two in the area. Pelican Marina has dockage with a pump out and a restaurant onsite. It is across the harbor from town. Just a little farther north on the river is Lambs Marina, in a very protected basin. The channel to Lambs has been recently dredged to make access easy. It is some distance from town. There is plenty of space to anchor, but keep in mind that the harbor itself is deep. Dinghy access is available at any space along the town bulkheads or at the boat ramp near Waterfront Park, next to the small highway bridge.

    The Visitor Center offers free loaner bikes to boaters for those long trips for groceries or laundry. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The gym at the adjacent Fitness Warehouse offers showers to boaters for a fee of $5.00, if a long hot soak is needed. Gus has a small pick-up truck that is a two-seater, but he will often offer lifts to the store if you might need lots of supplies. Don’t be tempted to tie up for the night and move on. Stay awhile and enjoy true southern hospitality and a town that prides itself in welcoming boaters and cruisers. You won’t see 24-hour limit signs on the pilings. Elizabeth City wants you to come, visit and enjoy. We sure did and we can’t wait to go back. From Elizabeth City, we headed north to explore the Dismal Swamp and all it has to offer.

    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Trawler Beach House
    Beach House Publications

    Click Graphic Below to Check out ALL of Chuck and Susan’s Excellent Elizabeth City Photos:

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For the Mariner’s Wharf Elizabeth City Docks

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

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

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

  • Cape Fear Boat Works Recommended, Cape Fear River above Wilmington, NC

    Navassa Waterfront - Click for Chartview

    Cape Fear Boat Works is off the Waterway, upstream from the downtown Wilmington waterfront, on the main (northwest) branch of the Cape Fear River. Their facility is located 1690 N.E. Royster Rd, PO 2195, Leland, NC 28451. Telephone 910.371.3460, Fax 910.371.6555, Email info@capefearboatworksinc.com. Web page is http://www.capefearboatworksinc.com/services.html

    Another boatyard you may wish to consider is Cape Fear Boat Works which is located 3 miles from downtown Wilmington in Navassa which is further up the Cape Fear River. I kept my boat there on the hill for over a year and the charges were around $250/month for a 52′boat. Fuel can be acquired there. The owner is a very honest and cooperative. No conflict of interest, satisfied customer.
    Edmond Badham, COSMO, WIlmington, NC

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

  • Manteo, NC – A Great Port of Call (off Roanoke Sound) – Captains Chuck and Susan Report

    Shallowbag Bay and Manteo - Click Chartlet to Open Chart View Page Centered on These Waters

    Manteo 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 boardwalkAs with Chuck and Susan, Manteo has always been our very favorite port of call on the North Carolina sounds. We even liked to dock here many years ago when the only wet slips available sat right behind the town septic tank, now the position of the restored lighthouse which looks out over the intersection of the Shallowbag Bay channel and Doughs Creek. Fortunately, that old system is now long gone!
    Back to the many good qualities about Manteo, there is excellent dockage here, particularly at SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Manteo Waterfront Marina (on Doughs Creek), a reasonably good anchorage with a plethora of nearby dinghy dockage, and plentiful shopping and dining within easy walking distance. What’s not to like!
    In regards to the outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony,” first of all we highly recommend taking advantage of superb outdoor production, in which the late Andy Griffith once acted. Motorized transportation is need to reach the outdoor theater, as it is located several miles to the north. You can take a taxi, or pick up a rental car.
    In the article below, Chuck and Susan state that the “mystery” of the Lost Colony remains unsolved. I have no doubt that is what they heard from all the locals in Manteo, but, as a matter of fact, historians pretty much know what befell this intrepid group of colonists. But, that’s another story for another day.
    So, take Susan and Chuck’s advice, don’t dare miss a turn to the east and south from the AICW’s traversal across often rough Albemarle Sound, and visit this shining gem of a port of call. Be sure you have the latest charts aboard, and loaded into your chartplotter! Proceed with caution, and before you know it, your bow will slip quietly and safely into the calm waters of Doughs Creek.
    SEE YOU THERE!!!!
    We are once again highly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, contained in the article below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!

    Approaching Doughs Creek From Shallowbag Bay

    Manteo, North Carolina
    by Susan Landry and Chuck Baier
    The locals pronounce it Man-e-o. This jewel, located on the northern end of Roanoke Island just about 22 miles east of where the AICW channel exits the north end of the Alligator River, is often passed by boaters as they rush north or south to get to their seasonal destination. How unfortunate for them. During our current cruise north, we have encountered weeks of lousy weather and delays, and we were looking and hoping to find a good spot to relax and spend some quality time. Did we ever find it in Manteo. It all began while anchored in the Little Alligator River. We called Carl Jordan, Dockmaster at Manteo Waterfront Marina. Being cruisers, we often lose track of time including days or even months. Just as we called Carl, we came to the realization that the next day was July 3rd and we would be asking for last minute accommodations during the 4th of July Holiday. To our delight and surprise, Carl told us to “come on ahead and we’ll find room for you.” And that’s exactly what they did despite a full marina with reservations for the holiday.

    Manteo is most famous for, and celebrates, the first settlement in the new colonies and the now famous “Lost Colony.” The town was named after an American Indian Chief named Manteo that acted as a liaison between the colonists and the local Indian tribe. In 1584, English settlers established a fort and settlement on the northern end of the island. In 1587, Capt. John White returned to England for supplies, and upon his return to the New World, all of the colonists were gone with only one word carved on a tree as a clue, Croatoan. The fate of the colony is still a mystery today. But the town of Manteo does an excellent tribute to those hardy souls that established the first foothold on the Outer banks. Known as Festival Island, a small island on the northeast corner of Manteo is dedicated to the celebration of those settlers. Visit the Settlement Site and step back in time to 1585. See how the settlers dressed, worked and lived their daily lives, all in authentic costumes. Explore the Coastal Algonquian Indian village and sample the culture and discover how their community functioned. Board the replica of the Elizabeth II and help the 16th century costumed crew raise sails, plan navigation and even swab the decks. The Park’s Performance Series offers young entertainers presenting year-round music, dramas, dance, operas and children’s shows. Many concerts and events are held in the open-air pavilion with seats on the grass.

    Elizabeth II Replican and the "Pirate Ship"

    We were fortunate to be in Manteo during the 4th of July celebration which is held every year. And does the town know how to celebrate. Flags and red, white and blue bunting flutters in the breeze all over town. Street vendors are set up on the streets and parking lots selling everything from pizza and flavored smoothies, to chocolate covered bananas, cotton candy and lots more. Music can be enjoyed from the bandstand and bleachers set up in front of town hall. The shops and restaurants are full of locals and visitors alike, having a great time and enjoying the festive atmosphere. And then there are the fireworks. From our slip in the marina, we had ringside seats on our flybridge. This was the fun and relaxation we desperately needed. But you don’t have to wait for the 4th of July to celebrate in Manteo. The town celebrates First Friday, every month on ….the first Friday. The celebration is the same, minus a few flags and the fireworks. The restaurants stay open late, the street vendors are set up and music can be heard everywhere. And just to be sure Saturday doesn’t get jealous, they have a Farmer’s Market each Saturday from 8:00 am to noon. Dare Day is the first Saturday in June, celebrating the birth of Virginia Dare, the first baby to be born in the new colony, and the people and history of Dare County. The event features live music and street dancing. In August, there is the Arts festival, in October, the Bluegrass Festival at the Amphitheater, and on the first Friday in December, the Christmas tree lighting, followed by the Christmas parade the next day. And these are only the bigger events. There is also now a brand new Wildlife Museum and a popular aquarium.

    To get to Manteo, you must first negotiate Shallowbag Bay. Just from the name, do we need to say more? We found it’s not as difficult as some of the guide books might have you believe. The channel off Roanoke Sound is well-marked. Follow the markers, keeping the reds to port [if you are southbound - editor], and make no turns until you have nosed up to red 30A. Turn to starboard and keep to the green side until past greens 3 and 5, then move back toward center channel. Turn to starboard again at red marker 8, depending on which marina you plan to visit or if you might be anchoring.

    Manteo Anchorage

    Manteo is still a boater’s destination. If the conditions are good, the alternate route through Croatan Sound can cut off 17 miles from the AICW route and for sailboats it can mean a good sail all the way. Strong winds can make the Sounds very uncomfortable, so you will need to watch the weather. Strong southeasterly winds can make the harbor uncomfortable and pile in water. If the winds are blowing from the northeast for a time, the water levels can be lowered quite a bit, but when they switch to the west and northwest, the levels return to normal almost immediately. Prevailing winds in the summer are southwest and in the winter, northeast. The town tends to get busy shortly after the Annapolis Boat Show, as soon as many insurance companies allow the boats to go south of Cape Hatteras. During those times, it may be best to make reservations at one of the marinas in advance.

    There are three marinas in the harbor proper. Shallowbag Bay Marina, Marshes Light Marina and Manteo Waterfront Marina. Manteo waterfront is probably the most well-known and Carl Jordan, the Dockmaster, is one the most helpful and knowledgeable folks you will meet in the Outer Banks. The marina has 23 transient slips and is pretty flexible, as we found out. Carl is also the Dockmaster for the free town docks. These marinas are some of the closest to the Outer Banks. Transportation is available via rental cars from the local Ford Dealership. They will bring a car to you right at the marina.

    Manteo has a very extensive town dock system for the use of boaters. Upon approaching the harbor [on Doughs Creek] from the [Shallowbag Bay] channel, a long dock with a gazebo on the end is visible. There are docks with finger piers on one side and side ties on the other. These are all part of the town dock and are free for 24 hours. The town docks extend farther into the small basin near the Maritime Museum. Water depths for the first 50 feet on the docks near the gazebo are 5 ½ feet. Beyond that, the water shallows to about 4 feet. There is no power or water on the town docks and registration with Manteo Waterfront marina is required. If in the anchorage, any of these docks can be used to land the dinghy. Use of the marina showers, restrooms and laundry for boats at anchor can be had for a fee of $10.00 per day. Since the City owns all of the seawalls in the harbor, tying a dinghy up just about anywhere that won’t interfere with other boats is okay.

    Manteo Waterfront Marina

    For supplies, the Food-A-Rama and Piggly Wiggly grocery stores are out on the main highway, about a half-mile from the waterfront. The laundry, pharmacy, post office and several fast food places are all in the same few blocks. The downtown area is a delight, with many shops and restaurants to enjoy. A small general store just off the waterfront offers basic grocery items, beer, wine and soft drinks if the walk to the grocery isn’t needed. Just a few of the popular and excellent restaurants are right on the water or one block over. For lunch, try The Hungry Pelican or Poor Richards. For dinner, we really liked The Avenue Grille. You will have additional choices of The Full Moon Café and Brewery and, for a real treat, but a bit on the expensive side, 1587 is located in the Tranquil Inn. The staff is dressed in period costumes. The Coffee House offers many varieties of coffee, pastries and smoothies in a relaxing atmosphere. A visit to Mabel’s Scoop Shop for ice cream was one of our favorites. A stop at the Wanchese Pottery shop is a don’t miss with a small gallery of hand crafted items, and you can watch the owner create on her pottery wheel.

    One of the best known attractions is The Lost Colony stage production. For 19 days each May, over 200 actors, technicians, designers and volunteers rehearse to bring The Lost Colony to life for another summer season. The production is enormous. The stage itself is over three times larger than most Broadway stages in New York. You will be seated in the center of the stage area with action happening on three sides of you and even sometimes right next to you in the aisle with epic battles and Indian dances. Experience the sorrow and heartbreak of tragedy and loss. Witness the pageantry of the Queen and her court and celebrate the birth of Virginia Dare. There is music, laughter, romance and dance. The Lost Colony is widely acknowledged as the precursor to the modern American Broadway Musical.

    What more can we say. Our time in Manteo has been one of the most interesting stops we have made along the east coast on this cruise. There’s something going on all the time and something for everyone. If you’re looking for a true cruising destination, look no further. Take that 22-mile detour and you will not regret it. Rather you’ll wonder why you haven’t done it before, over and over.
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Trawler Beach House
    Beach House Publications

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

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

  • More Good Words for Bennett Brothers Yachts/Cape Fear Marina (off the AICW on Cape Fear River, in Wilmington, NC)

    Bennett Brothers, Luxury Yachts for Sale by Bennett Brothers YachtsThe combined enterprises of Bennett Brothers Yachts and Cape Fear Marina guard the easterly banks of the Northeast Cape Fear River, just north of the 42-foot Isabel Holmes – Highway 117 bascule bridge, and only a hop, skip and jump from the downtown Wilmington waterfront. These good people are one of our oldest and most valued SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS!
    And, DON’T OVERLOOK THEIR FREE WEEK’S DOCKAGE DEAL FOR THE SUMMER OF 2013!!!! Click the sponsorship panel to the above,left to learn more!

    Subject: Bennett Brothers Yachts
    Cruising News:
    We would like to report a positive experience on repairs, technicians, and personnel at Bennett Brothers Yachts, Wilmington, NC. The employees are extremely hard working, knowledgeable, collaborative, and fairly priced. I would look forward to doing business there again.
    Bennett Bros. is located on the Cape Fear River, a short dingy ride to the historic downtown.
    We have no commercial connection with BBY; just want to report the satisfaction with our experience.
    Bill and Laura Bender
    Kindred Spirit III
    Grand Banks 42 Cl
    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

  • Elizabeth City Hospitality Shines (AICW Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route, Statute Mile 50.5)

    It is not without reason that SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Elizabeth City, NC, is known from Maine to Key West, as one of the friendliest ports of call anywhere. Just take a gander at the experiences related below by Captains Karen and Dennis Baldger.

    Our third issue happened when we think we hit a crap pot just 15 minutes from the Welcome Wharf of Elizabeth City, NC with free dockage for 48 hours. This is just before the dismal swamp heading to Virginia.
    We limped in to the only working marina, The Elizabeth City Shipyard. We are going on two weeks of being pulled out and had to rent a car to bring the transmission three hours away to Baufort, NC. Now waiting on a seal that is coming from Germany to repair the transmission where we have to go back and get then have the mechanic here reassemble and the shaft that was also bent. Yes the new shaft we just had previously replaced has to be straightened…..
    The only good thing is the friendly hospitality of the people here in Elizabeth City. The people at the Marina, Lloyd & Heather have been great. The Welcome Center with Susan and Charlotte went above and beyond. They helped with the rental car and rides and finding us the fine people Maureen and Ray Donnelly who own and run the Elizabeth City B&B who worked with us on everything. We can walk from the B&B to the marina or use our bikes.
    Karen & Dennis Baldger
    360 Sundancer
    “Shell Seakers”

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Mariners’ Wharf City Docks

  • Little Alligator River Anchorage – Captains Susan and Chuck Report (Statute Mile 82)

     We are very pleased to present the article below, authored by our good friends, Captains Chuck Baier and Susan Landry, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com). They provide a really in-depth look at the strategically placed, but navigationally challenging Little Alligator River Anchorage.
    In fact, Little Alligator River is the northernmost AICW anchorage, short of the often choppy (read that as “downright rough”) Albemarle Sound. Of course, you can always choose to berth at Alligator River Marina, just north of the bridge (a. k. a. “Miss Wanda’s place), or, on the opposite banks, “South Lake” is a real possibility as well.
    Many cruisers, however, make the same choice as Susan and Chuck and set their bows for Little Alligator River. Read the article below, and learn a LOT more about what you are likely to discover!

    The Little Alligator River anchorage is an excellent spot to wait out weather for either crossing the Albemarle Sound or heading south on the Alligator River. Either of these can be very unpleasant if the winds are high and from the wrong direction. Turn east into the Little Alligator anywhere between red “10″ to green “11″ and you will find 10 or more feet of water at the entrance. One other thing that requires caution is the number of floats around the entrance and in the river itself. Although there are quite a few, there is also plenty of space to pass between the floats, but vigilance is required. Once inside the Little Alligator River, the floats disappear. We aren’t sure why this is, but we have seen this in several rivers in North Carolina.
    We found the depths in the river to be about two feet deeper than charted. Keep in mind that winds can affect the depths in the Alligator River and all connecting waters. The depths we found may be the norm, but may not be what other boaters find. Using the chartplotter, follow the deeper water behind Sandy Point or the wider and deeper water past Mill Point if winds are out of the east. Wind protection from any direction can be found for boats of almost any draft under seven feet. Pull in towards the shore, based on protection needed and as far in as draft will allow. There are visible stumps in some areas and the remains of an old wreck to the south between the entrance and Mill Point. Continuing in the river past Mill Point is a wide, deeper basin south of Rock Point that gives all around protection.
    Because there is the possibility of stumps and snags on the bottom all along the rivers of this area, a trip line on the anchor might be a good idea. This will be helpful to pull the anchor out in reverse if it becomes seriously snagged. Be sure the trip line is strong enough to take the strain of pulling the anchor loose and long enough to get it up on deck and attach it to the windlass or a winch. We found this to be an excellent anchorage and sat out several storms in complete comfort and security.
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry,
    Trawler Beach House

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Little Alligator River Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Little Alligator River Anchorage

  • The Changing Face of Belhaven, NC – GOOD NEWS for the Cruising Community (Statute Mile 135.5)

    Belhaven's Current (First) Town Dock

    The charming river village of Belhaven, NC has always held a special place in our hearts. This was our first-night stopover in 1979, on the cruise from Morehead City to our Nation’s Capital, that inspired yours truly to become a cruising guide author. On that occasion, we moored at River Forest Manor, and had a meal ashore that must have tipped my scales an additional five pounds. After that gut-busting repast, we wandered Belhaven’s quite lanes, and were absolutely charmed by the beautiful homes and lush lawns.
    By early 2012, however, we weren’t very optimistic about Belhaven’s future with the cruising community. River Forest Manor Inn and Restaurant was closed, and the adjoining marina was in disrepair and seemingly hit or miss operation. The owners of the other privately owned pleasurecraft facility in town, Belhaven Waterway Marina, informed the SSECN that, while transient wet slip space would still be available, they were going to begin emphasizing longer term storage, and would no longer be able to support the SSECN through their sponsorship. Furthermore, our favorite in-town dining attraction, Back Bay Cafe/Wine and Words, had closed, and moved its operation to Washington, NC.
    ALL THAT CHANGED IN A BIG WAY by the end of last year. A new town dock was constructed and opened with free wet slip space for visiting cruisers. And, as you will learn in Susan and Chuck’s superb story below, power and water connections, as well as a dinghy dock, have now been added to this pier, and a SECOND town dock is under construction. Additionally, there are new dining choices in Belhaven.
    By mid 2013, there is very good reason to believe that Belhaven and its businesses are making a mighty effort to welcome the cruising community in every way possible. We strongly suggest you heed their invitation, and discover the charms of this quite, friendly village for yourself.
    We are once again highly indebted to Captains Susan Landry and Chuck Baier, owners of Beach House Publications, publishers of “The Great Book of Anchorages,” (http://www.tgboa.com) for providing the superb, in-depth article and copious photographs, describing all the exciting changes taking place in this port of call, below. THANKS CHUCK AND SUSAN! Please read on!

    Beach House (Susan and Chuck's Trawler) At Belhaven Town Docks

    Belhaven, North Carolina
    On September 21, 2013 the town of Belhaven, North Carolina will hold the 1st annual Birthplace of the Inland Waterway Celebration. You might ask yourself, what is the Inland Waterway and why are they celebrating? The Inland Waterway is the original name for what is today called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The reason Belhaven plans a celebration is because in August of 1928, 20,000 people, politicians, dignitaries, Coast Guard contingents, Corps of Engineers, Naval airplanes and powerboat racers converged on Belhaven to celebrate the completion of a 22-mile canal linking the Alligator and Pungo Rivers. This canal was the final component to complete the Inland Waterway and allow commerce to flow from the northern ports as far as Boston to Beaufort without having to go out into the Atlantic around Cape Hatteras. Belhaven officially became a seaport and also became known for its lumber industry, with 13 sawmills, 2-world renown, a growing seafood industry and a reputation for hospitality, second to none.

    The Belhaven of today is still a welcome port to recreational boaters traveling north and south along the Intracoastal Waterway. Not only does the city welcome boaters, they have made improvements not found in any other stops along the ICW. While many other towns are enacting restrictions, crowding out anchorages with moorings and pulling up the welcome mat, Belhaven is spending time and money to encourage boaters to stop by, visit and stay awhile to experience true southern hospitality. Would you believe they have completed a large town dock that is free and that the town dock provides power and water on the docks for free? And there is a pump-out (for a fee, sorry), at the town dock. Would you believe, there is another free town dock under construction, with free power and water? Well believe it. I asked the Town Manager, Guinn Leverett, why the town of Belhaven would go to such lengths for boaters at no charge and the answer was simple. To encourage boaters to come to Belhaven and enjoy what it has to offer.

    Belhaven's Second Town Dock - Under Construction

    The town received matching funds through the Boating Infrastructure Grant progam for the docks and from the Public Health Services for the pump-out. The pump-out fees must remain at $5.00 for 4 years. To use the pump-out, the boater needs to purchase a token at the hardware store across the street and insert it in a slot at the pump near the head of the dock. The current dock is accessed by turning into the canal, known as Wynn’s Gut, next to the hospital. A row of pilings will be on your port and the remains of an old dock on your starboard. There is a railing around the end of the dock with an open gateway about halfway along. This is where the pump-out hose is located. A little farther along, the dock opens up and has tall pilings along the deck with sturdy cleats on which to tie. There are six power outlets with 30-amp service and hose bibs for water. There is even a water hose on the dock for boaters to use. It just doesn’t get any better than this. The canal is narrow and best suited for small to medium size boats. We would consider about 40 feet to be near the limit. Larger boats will not be able to turn around in the canal, but if backing up is not a problem, other than very large vessels, size may not be that important. We found 7 feet at the dock, but less on the opposite side of the canal. At this writing, there is bridge construction going on farther up the canal, but it was not disturbing and will be completed soon.

    Belhaven is a small town with all of the same issues of any small town in today’s economy. There are some empty storefronts in the downtown area, but the town is working to make improvements. Three of the storefronts are under contract and should have tenants in short order. A new restaurant, Tavern at Jack’s Neck, is scheduled to open on Pamlico Street, a very short walk from the dock. Across the street from the dock on Pamlico is Farm Boys and the Front Porch, selling sandwiches and other fast foods and offering music and entertainment on weekends. For finer dining, the menu and cuisine at Spoon River is not to be missed. If a quick lunch menu or early meal is your choice, there is Fish Hooks Café or Gingerbread Bakery and O’Neal’s Café over on Main Street.

    Rudlick and Whitley Hardware is across the street from Jack’s on Pamlico. This is a full-service hardware with “more stainless steel fasteners than most shipyards.” They also carry some basic boating supplies and have a very nice gift center. A coin-operated laundry is about 4 blocks from the waterfront on Pamlico next to the car wash.

    Belhaven Dinghy Dock

    O’Neal’s Drug Store has moved a mile up the road to Main and 264, and the Food Lion Supermarket is out on Highway 264, about 1 ½ miles from the town dock. A ride or a bicycle will be needed to get to the supermarket unless you’re really into walking. Don’t miss a visit to the old City Hall, listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The Belhaven Museum, on the second floor, is open from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, but closed on Wednesday and Sunday. Guinn Leverett, the town manager, describes some of the exhibits as “many, many grandmother’s attics.” Many of the items on exhibit were from donations and estates from local citizens reflecting the people and their history. The Post Office and town library are within walking distance of the waterfront.

    The space at the town dock is limited, and like us, most boaters may want to spend some additional time relaxing, enjoying leisure activities or just doing some fishing. If you happen to be visiting during one of the annual festivals put on each year, like the Pirates on the Pungo Festival or the 4th of July festivities, the free town dock will probably be full. In the past, Riverforest Marina was the crown jewel of Belhaven. The stately manor with its excellent food and well-known buffet was the place to dine for boaters and land cruisers alike. You could fuel up, dock your boat, enjoy fine food and the pool and sauna in a true southern setting. But alas, the jewels have fallen from the crown. The restaurant has been closed for some time, however, the marina is sort of accepting boats for dockage. The property owner lives in a house on the grounds. If you pull in to the docks and tie up, don’t expect any dockhands or Dockmaster, and if the owner happens to see you there, he will probably come down the dock and charge you something to tie up. The docks are getting tired and the property is showing its age. Belhaven Waterway Marina provides dockage and is located in the downtown area. Many boaters stay at Dowry Creek Marina on, yes, Dowry Creek. It is a distance from town but provides a courtesy car for transportation and has a club house, pool, ships store, wifi and tennis courts.

    Belhaven also has a very large anchorage for boaters that prefer the solitude. Just behind the town dock is a new floating dinghy dock, well-protected inside the canal. Be sure and have a current chart of the area and beware of the shallow area just off the waterfront that must be negotiated around to get to the deeper anchorage. The holding

    Belhaven City Hall and Museum

    is good in the harbor and Belhaven has just rebuilt the seawall separating the harbor from the Pungo River. Strong southerly winds can make the anchorage uncomfortable.

    A second Town dock is under construction and at this time needs only the power, water, cleats and safety equipment installed and it will be available to the boating public. The second dock is farther north toward the bridge in the harbor between the grain silos and the old brick chimney from the original cooperage mill. This second dock is about ¾ mile from the center of downtown, but is much closer to Highway 264, where one finds the grocery store, Dollar General and O’Neals Pharmacy. This is a well-constructed, sturdy dock with concrete decks, slips with finger piers and outer pilings for four boats, and an alongside tie opposite the slips. There is an end tee that a smaller boat could use. It’s in a quiet and beautiful setting, but there is some noise occasionally from the grainery. The second dock is just a further commitment by the city to make Belhaven inviting to the transient boater.

    If you haven’t been to Belhaven before, we highly recommend you stop and visit. If you haven’t been to Belhaven for a while, like us, we highly recommend you stop by and see what’s new. We believe you won’t be disappointed.
    Chuck Baier and Susan Landry
    Trawler Beach House
    Beach House Publications

    We love Belhaven.
    We have never been able to walk to the grocery store out on the highway because every time we tried, someone picked us up within a block of walking and took us there. Returning back, the same happens again. One time, we were finishing lunch at the Fishhook Cafe and the waitress asked us what we were planning to do for the day. We told her we were going to walk to the grocery store and she insisted on driving us! She asked her boss if she could take a minute to drive us to the store and immediately got the OK.
    We love Belhaven.
    Mark

     

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

    Check out LOTS more Belhaven photos by clicking the graphic below:

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

    Carolina Beach Mooring Field - Click for Chartview

    Carolina Beach Mooring Field is off the Waterway in the harbor channel leading to Carolina Beach commercial district. The mouth of the harbor is south of Snows Cut’s eastern entrance.

    Raft off’s not allowed at Carolina Beach mooring as of 5-18-2013 even if all pays the $20. While there two local boats one hooked to ball other rafted off hooked to ball for less than an hour and were charged $20 each one was no more than 50 yards from his marina also the tender told me that the $20 is per calendar day if you are there on 18th is $20 still there on 19th another $20 not for a 24 hour time period as I left to help my friend get his boat back to marina and received a call stating that I would be sent a bill from Carolina Beach for $20 when told I was not staying that is when he told be it was not a 24 hour period. Just FYI for anyone else stopping by Carolina Beach mooing. Did enjoy my stay there as it was my first over nite trip and raft off with newly purchased sailboat.
    Billy

    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

  • Photos of Morehead City, NC Public Docks (Statute Mile 205)

    Long time SSECN contributor and correspondent, Captain Jane Tigar, has just sent us these two recent photos of the Morehead City Public Docks. This facility is found on the western end of the Morehead City Waterfront channel, west of Captain Bill’s Restaurant.

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

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

  • AICW Alternate Route/Dismal Swamp Canal Discussion, 6/18/13

    Set in beautiful Camden Count, NC, the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center provides free dockage for cruisers' on the Dismal Swamp AICW Alternate RouteClick to learn more about our Carolina Loop programBelow, you will see a recent discussion about navigating the AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Canal Route, as of June, 2013, which appeared on another nautical mailing list. There’s some really GOOD cruising advice here, particularly concerning the free dock near the Deep Creek Lock.
    As always, those who run the Dismal should plan on taking it slow, to avoid stirring up any underwater debris. If you are in a hurry, this is not the route for you, but, if you have the time, the Dismal Swamp Canal route is a fascinating ecological experience. And, the warm reception for cruisers at the free Elizabeth City, Mariner’s Wharf (City) Docks is a HUGE bonus!

    We are heading southbound..yep, the wrong way. Never been through the Dismal Swamp. It appears to be 43 miles from Top Rack marina to Elizabeth City via the Dismal Swamp Route.
    Has anyone ever done this in one day..all the way through?
    R.

    Yes, but the way to make it easy on you coming south is to go thru the Deep Creek Lock last locking of the day and stop at the free dock(sometimes called Elizabeth’s or Robert’s Dock) just south of the lock chamber but before the bridge. Then pass thru the bridge at the first locking the next day to get to Elizabeth City thru before last locking at the south lock.
    The canal has a speed limit and 5.4 knts perfect for lock timing) (wakes can severely damage the wooden canal banks.and is narrow enough you don’t want to do a lot of passing.
    The free dock up by Deep Creek Lock has deep water and easy walks to the strip mall restaurants, CVS, Winn Dixie Supermarket, Advance Auto, etc. on the other side of the canal. All these resources make it a great waiting place beating out the crowded Visitors Center or even Elizabeth City. This along side dock is super protected, has deep water 8′, no power but has water and trash barrels and a par course.
    We much prefer the gentile laid back Dismal to the faster but busier Virginia Cut with all it’s delivery Captain Yacht traffic, commercial traffic and restricted Bridges that must be timed correctly..
    Joe

    Good points all around.
    In a full displacement deep draft boat like we had, we had to go slower than the speed limit on the southern end of the swamp. You know you’re going too fast when you pull all the water away from the shore and suck up logs off the bottom.
    Bob

    Yes, [you] can make the entire distance in one day. Just be at the first lock when they open and average around 6 mph. You can catch the last opening of the lock on the way out. You can go a bit faster in the first half of your trip going south because the water is deeper. The second half, you’ll need to go a tad slower because you’ll suck debris (dead logs and crap) off the bottom. Anyone following you should be aware.
    We did it in one day going north. Got to the last lock with about thirty minutes to spare. They opened the bridge so we could stay on the long dock that evening.
    Bob

    It would be a shame to rush through the Dismal Swamp Canal without taking time to visit Lake Drummond in your dinghy. Look up Lake Drummond on Wikipedia and then ask the lockmaster at Deep Creek to tell you about the little dock you can hang on right by the feeder ditch that leads up to the lake. After your trip to the lake you can run down to the Visitors Center and tie up for the night. Well worth it!
    Tom

    Yes, it’s an easy day.
    You can stay at Top Rack, or the free dock, at the Deep Creek Canal or anchor overnight in the channel above Deep Creek Lock, or go through and stay at Elizabeth’s Dock or go through the bridge and stay at the Mexican Restaurant dock at Deep Creek. Lots of options. In any case, it’s 22 miles from Deep Creek to South Mills. If you go through at 08h30, you’ll travel at 5 StM/hr or less to make the opening at 13h30 on the other end. That puts you into Elizaabeth City before the afternoon bridge restrictions, and probably early enuf to get a slip at this time of year.
    Jim

    First I would like to say, take your time in the Dismal. When going South I go through the first lock during the last lock of the day and when you pass under the open bridge, to your port side will be a concrete wall. Tie up there for the night. You can walk to the grocery store to provision and there is an automotive store, if you need anything of the sort. Then you can leave at daybreak, BEFORE anyone else! Your chances of seeing much more wildlife is spectacular. There is an option to spend the night on a small dock across from the feeder ditch. You can take your dink to the lake, over a rail system ( kind of like big shoot for a dink) and explore. Take a GPS, everything looks the same out on the lake. This will get you into the visitor center early and give you time to explore the area. Be sure to sign the boaters log at the visitors center and pick up your free gifts. Also free water here. Next morning follow the boats into E city. If there is five or more new boats arriving they will have roses for the lady’s and complimentary wine/beer and cheese. E City is a MUST stop….and it is free!
    Whatever you choose, getting through the first lock in the evening for an early start will get you to E City the same day. It’s the journey, not the destination.
    Bill
    Knot Tide Down

    The tram at Lake Drum is out of service. Just passed it today. Unfortunately, had to push through to last bridge and bridge tender could/would not open. Currently tied to South Mills Bridge. Scary trying to get dog off onto walking bridge. All part of the journey!
    Betsy Frye

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A Portion of the Dismal Swamp Canal, Hard By the VA – NC State Line

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Elizabeth City’s Mariner’s Wharf Docks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Elizabeth City’s Mariner’s Wharf Docks

  • Report from Mile Hammock Bay Anchorage, AICW Statute Mile 244.5

    Mile Hammock Bay - Click for Chartview

    Mile Hammock Bay anchorage’s entrance channel lies north of the gap between the ICW’s flashing daybeacon #66 and unlighted daybeacon #67.

    Stayed here in January 2013, as well as May of 2013.
    Quiet anchorage in January, pretty noisy in May. Helicopter flights – landings and takeoffs – included passing directly overhead at less than 500 ft, continued until 10:30 pm this May! My wife did not have to remind me to turn on the anchor light that evening.
    I also found the area of poor holding this May. We slowly dragged as we set the anchor. Pulled it up, and on the second try, setting it more slowly, finally got it to grab. Interesting after maybe 100+ nights on the hook along the ICW, this is the only spot we didn’t grab the bottom first try. We may have powered down on it faster than the bottom could handle. Maybe the trick here is to back down a bit slower than normally.
    Gregory Yount, SV Intermezzo

    Click Here To View the North Carolina Cruisers’ Net Anchorage Directory Listing For the Mile Hammock Bay Anchorage

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Mile Hammock Bay Anchorage

  • Blimp Factory on Pasquotank River (near Statute Mile 59)

    Below is a posting copied from the AGLCA forum about one of the really striking sights to be seen from the AICW/Dismal Swamp Canal Alternate Route’s passage down the Pasquotank River, south of Elizabeth City, NC.
    Southeast of marker #5, you will catch sight of a huge rooftop sitting back from the shore; its location is noted on chart 12206. This immense structure was built during World War II for the manufacture of dirigibles. In times past, cruisers could actually catch sight of two mammoth buildings at this location. The larger of the two—one of the biggest wooden structures in the world—burned in spectacular fashion during 1995; at that time, it still served as a blimp factory, while the smaller of the two structures was leased to a furniture company. Now, the blimp plant has been moved to the surviving building, and dirigibles are once again being constructed in Elizabeth City. If you’re lucky, you may spot one of the mammoth balloons being tested as you pass.
    Below, we hear from a former employee of the Blimp factory, in a reply to a question which originally appeared on the AGLCA forum.

    It is 1 of 8 blimp hangars still remaining in the US. I worked in the hangar in the early 70′s where we built wood kitchen caninets.
    Westinghouse owned that hangar and a huge, all wood hangar that housed TCOM who built blimps for overseas telecommunications. The wood hangar burned to the ground in 1995.
    John & Cyndi Esch

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Blimp Factory on Pasquotank River

  • Shoaling in Wilmington Shortcut, off the AICW at Statute Mile 297

    Wilmington Shortcut - Click for Chartview

    Cruisers leaving the Waterway for the popular trip up the Cape Fear river to Wilmington, NC, are always tempted to take this well-charted shortcut north. However, this channel has always been iffy at best and the wise captain will continue south to join the Cape Fear at ICW marker #177 before turning north. See Chartview for a Navigation Alert posted in 2011.

    NC – MYRTLE GROVE SOUND TO LITTLE RIVER – NEW RIVER TO CAPE FEAR RIVER – WILMINGTON SHORTCUT – SHOALING
    Shoaling to a depth of 2.0 feet MLW has been reported in the vicinity of Wilmington Shortcut Daybeacon 1 (LLNR 39785). Shoaling is encroaching into the navigable channel. Chart: 11534.

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

  • More on Inland Waterway Provision Company Store in Oriental, NC, Statute Mile 181

    McCotters Marina, Washington, NC

    Oriental, NC - Click for Chartview

    We are delighted to learn that this well-known business in Oriental, NC will remain open. Located on Hodges St. in Oriental, it has been the place to get boat gear and clothing. The new owners, McCotter’s Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR! in nearby Washington, NC, have decided to restock and keep the Inland Waterway store open. They re-opened for business in April of 2011. www.inlandwaterwayonline.com

    Inland Waterway Provision Co. is one of the best reasons to spend time in Oriental. Pat and Nancy were diligent finding supplies we needed for our boat and were always friendly and helpful even when we were fussy about the color of striping tape we needed. Oriental is well-known for taking care of transient cruisers, but the Provision Company went even further, offering rides and services that made it easy to be here without transportation. We thank them for their great service and hope they continue to thrive in the “Sailing Capital of North Carolina.”
    Heidi Berger and Bill Raley

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

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

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

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