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Archive For: NORTH CAROLINA – All Cruising News

  • Jarrett Bay Boatworks Recommended For Dry Storage (Statute Mile 197)

    Captain Bill and Kathleen’s response below is in answer to a question which originally appeared on the AGLCA mailing list, asking for dry boat storage recommendations north of Beaufort, SC. Well, Jarrett Bay is actually located north of Beaufort, NC, on the Core Creek Canal section of the AICW.
    This is a superb facility for dry storage, and for any sort of repair work. There are many repair firms on-site, including our friends at Core Creek Marine. And, oh yes, even though Bill and Kathleen say Jarrett Bay is “not a marina,” there is some transient dockage available by the fuel dock, and both gasoline and diesel fuel can be purchased.

    I would recommend Jarrett Bay in Beaufort, NC off the ICW. You can get their contact info off the internet at They are a repair and storage yard, not a marina. They have an excellent facility and staff, very experienced at storing boats in a manner that avoids hurricane damage. We used them for repairs on our Hatteras when we were passing through on the loop two years ago. We were very satisfied. Ask for Roger Wetherington and tell him Bill Root referred you.
    Bill & Kathleen Root

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Jarrett Bay Boatworks

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jarrett Bay Boatworks

  • A Good Stay at Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor, Neuse River, Oriental, NC near AICW Statute Mile 181

    Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor lies on the point separating the two major branches of Whittaker Creek, northeast of Oriental Harbor’s flashing daybeacon #1.

    Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor just northwest of Oriental NC is one of the most relaxing stays I have experienced in 5 years of cruising. The $11.00 a day slip with electricity included (that’s right Eleven) way more than made up for the less than new docks. It’s a short bike ride to a lot of fine restaurants and coffee shops. There’s a marine consignment shop with more stuff than I’ve seen in the Defender catalog. There is a hardware store close by, a grocery store, a marine supply store and a West Marine. They’re all within walking distance but might be to far for someone not used to walking, They are all withing less than 10 minutes biking distance.
    I spent three weeks there during the end of November and beginning of December, the best part of my stay was all the great people I met. I was invited to the Orphan Sailor Thanksgiving feast and spent quality time on board other sailor’s boats enjoying adult beverages. I highly recommend visiting, the owner, Knute, will make you feel welcome. If your boat draws more than 5’5″, you have to enter when there is no wind or when the wind is from a northerly quarter, a southerly wind drops the channel depth to less than 6 ft. It’s 6 1/2 ft with no wind and more than 7 with a wind from the north. For those unfamiliar with the Carolinas, there are no lunar or solar tides and the water levels are influenced by the winds.
    Henry Zalegowski on S/V Turn’er Loose

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Marina Directory Listing For Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor

  • Captain Wally’s Beaufort, NC Impressions (Statute Mile 201)

    The extract below is taken from Captain Wally Moran’s “LiveBloggin’ the ICW” (http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/). He gives some good info about one of our very favorite ports of call, but we must disagree with him about there not being any propane within walking distance of the Beaufort Town Docks. He should have check the Cruisers’ Net’s “NC LPG/CNG Availability” directory at http://cruisersnet.net/marinas/010-north-carolina/?lpg-cng. By doing so, he would have discovered a long walk would have taken him to Teels Gas Service at 813 Cedar Street (252-728-7039).

    Beaufort is the first major ocean access harbour on the ICW, if you don’t count Norfolk, at its head. Most of the traffic now is sportfishermen, recreational boats and the occasional freighter. It’s also the first location where you run into substantial tide and current. Those three feet (approx) of tide create a very strong current that affects how you anchor and how and where you put your rode down. Holding in the anchorage is good though, so once you’ve done a proper job of backing down, you can safely nod off.
    The waterfront is one of the nicer ones on the ICW, with a good number of decent pubs overlooking the Beaufort waterfront along its boardwalk. Opposite the waterfront is Radio Island [actually Carrot Shoal – editor] – on occasion you’ll see wild horses there, although I never have for some reason. Beaufort is also where I usually see my first dolphins on every trip south. And for real wildlife, there’s my friend Will and his lime green cat!
    Two major downtown Beaurort highlights are the Maritime Museum and the Wooden Boat Building museum, where they actually build wooden boats. The Maritime Museum has an amazing library with thousands of out of print nautical titles, and probably something for everyone. The Maritime Museum at one time used to have a loaner car for transients – that service is no longer, thanks to lawyers and lawsuits making it prohibitively expensive to do so.
    That’s unfortunate, because shopping is too far to walk – as is a propane refill, which is truly unfortunate, because the tank for my boat heater JUST RAN OUT, and it’s going to be chilly tonight. I’ll have to hook up the cooking propane. Fortunately, I’ll be in Wrightsville Beach tomorrow, and they DO have a loaner car and the propane refill store is very close.
    Wally Moran
    LiveBloggin’ the ICW
    http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Beaufort, NC Region

  • A Fond Look at Oriental, NC (Statute Mile 181)

    Sign just opposite the free dock in Oriental

    The heart warming story below comes to the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net from our dear friend, and fellow nautical writer, Captain Wally Moran, and from his LiveBloggin the ICW (http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/). Anyone who has ever visited Oriental will quickly discern the truth of what Captain Wally has to say!
    Wally seems to be lingering in North Carolina waters a bit longer than most, before heading south to warmer climes. We’ll keep following his travels here at the Crusiers’ Net as he heads his sailcraft towards the Sunshine State.

    Toucan Grill and Fresh Bar in Oriental, NCA drinking town with a sailing problem…
    That’s how Oriental bills itself…well, actually it calls itself the sailing capital of North Carolina, but the t-shirts and coffee mugs all tell a different story.
    It’s a friendly town – people wander to the dock to chat after getting their coffee at the Bean, which is across from the free dock (free is good!™).
    The town is also the most dog-friendly place I’ve ever been. You’ll frequently see dogs roaming the street, and if one of them decides to lie down in front of the Bean (happens often actually), drivers slow down and move around the pup. It’s really quite a hoot to see – anywhere else it would be honk the horn and get upset time, but not in Oriental.
    There is a West Marine, but no other box stores in Oriental. That’s because the locals voted it that way – talk about a great sense of values. West Marine good – Wal Mart bad!
    This is a town that, on New Year’s Day when everyone else in America is watching football, is having their New Year’s Regatta. The last time I was here for it, 26 boats were competing. I was heading out that day and darn near became the 27th boat!
    Villagef Food Emporium 252-249-FOOD Delicious Carry-out Meals The wind today turned strongly into the southwest, and since I hadn’t yet gotten groceries, I chose to remain one more day at the free dock (free is good! ™), rather than bash down the canal at the end of Adams Creek on the way to Beaufort. Winds go light tomorrow, so morning will be an excellent time to head out.
    Like I said, a great sense of values.
    Wally Moran
    LiveBloggin the ICW
    http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/

    We love Oriental and always make a point of stopping there. However, the lack of pump out facilities is a concern. Oriental Marina has none. The public free dock has none. The marina to the west has two portables but they are often out of service. There are way too many boats in Oriental that should be pumping out and obviously do not. The worst part is that no one we talked to about this problem cared. One marina owner said “I don’t have to have a pump out, so why would I want one?”
    Ginny Caldwell

    River dunes, sailcraft marina and deaton’s marina all have pump outs. Possibly more marinas close by.
    Cliff Kisby

    Cruising News:
    Let me remind Ms. Caldwell and other cruisers passing though Oriental that most of our marinas and other waterfront facilities here are still very much in recovery mode from hurricane Irene, the worst storm we’ve seen here in recorded history. There are adequate pumpouts if you know where to find them but but some of the regular places are still out of service. Everything should be online and operating when the snowbird migration heads north in the spring.
    Captain Andy Denmark
    Lower Broad Creek
    Oriental, NC

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

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

  • Dismal Swamp Canal AICW Alternate Route vs AICW – North Carolina, Virginia Cut Route

    Friends Doing the Dismal

    Fellow nautical writer, Wally Moran, does a very nice job below of summarizing the attributes and demerits of these two alternate AICW passages that lead from Norfolk, VA to North Carolina waters, or the other way around. And, by the way, the text below is copied from Captain Wally’s new “LiveBloggin’ the ICW” site at:
    http://bloggingtheicw.blogspot.com/

    Will asked me about the two options heading south – the Virginia Cut and the Dismal Swamp. Great question.
    Friends doin’ the Dismal
    I prefer the Dismal Swamp – it’s wonderfully scenic, as you can see. Good protection from wind, and the stop at Deep Creek Lock to visit Rob, the lockmaster, is always a treat. Leaving the Dismal, you stop by Elizabeth City for a free night’s dockage and the cruisers’ welcome party each evening for a drink, and a rose for the ladies, a tradition started by two locals and now kept up by the city’s Chamber of Commerce.
    The only drawback is that the Dismal takes longer to run, and isn’t really feasible for boats drawing over six feet.
    The Virginia Cut brings you to Virginia City and the Great Bridge Lock, a marvel to see in and of itself, plus lots of fascinating tugboat and commercial traffic.
    I usually do one route on the trip down, and the other on the return, just to enjoy the best of both worlds. The one other proviso is if the exit from the route will permit me to sail on the Albermarle. There is enough distance between them to make a difference in how you trim your sails.
    Wally Moran

    Hi Claiborne – my blog showed dozens of unexpected hits today – so I looked at my stats and, sure enough, they were coming from here [SSECN]. Maybe you can encourage your readers to add to the list of the World’s Greatest Boating Songs – there will be prizes, such as copies of my video, Sailing South – First Timer’s Guide to the ICW, or Forbidding, Forbidden Cuba. Maybe I can get you to toss in a copy of one of your books? I refuse to give up my copy of your Florida guide, it’s a fun read.
    If anyone is curious, they can get a peek at the trailers for both videos at http://www.thesailingchannel.tv/icw or /cuba.
    Thanks again Claiborne. Tomorrow, off to start the ICW for the 18th time.

  • More Good Words for Dudley’s Marina, AICW Statute Mile 229

    Dudley’s Marina lies northeast of the Waterway near unlighted daybeacon #46A, and just a hop, skip and jump from downtown Swansboro, NC. Those cruisers who are willing to hike or take the Dudley’s courtesy car across the bridge and causeway can find some of the best FRIED (NOT broiled) seafood in the world at Captain Charley’s Seafood Paradise!

    We stopped by Dudley’s on 11/23/11 on a short Thanksgiving cruise to Beauford, NC. A thank you from the Halifax Crew to Dudley’s for keeping the dockage fee and the price of gasoline/fuel affordable so we can continue to boat. Very friendly staff and helpful with docking. I recommend them and wil stop in again. Easy walk over the bridge to town from their location.
    Doyle and LaVisa (Halifax)

    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

  • A Good Visit to Morehead City Docks, AICW Statute Mile 205

    In the heart of downtown, the City docks are on the northern banks of the Morehead City waterfront channel, west of Morehead Gulf Docks. Reservations are made by calling 252-726-2457, but payment is made at the City Library one block from the waterfront at 9th and Evans.

    We stayed at these docks on 11/25/11. Nice new floating docks and new shower facilities. Manager was very nice and helpful.. Great location for downtown Morehead City and waterfront walk. Fast tide that runs abeam so docking can be tough in fast current. Suggest arriving at slack tide for less stress.
    Doyle and LaVisa (Halifax)

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

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

  • More Good Words for River Dunes Marina, AICW Statute Mile 173.5

    River DunesRiver Dunes Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located off the AICW’s run along Neuse River, in Broad Creek between unlighted daybeacons #1 and #2.

    Property is all the above comments say it is. Be aware Irene moved markers in Broad Creek around (more than a bit). You will come to a #4 private buoy well before the daymark #4. Coming in the creek, the pipes driven into the bottom mark the ~4 foot line. Stay to the creek side of these marks if you draw more.
    Lunch at M&M’s was well provisioned, well prepared, and very well served. Would certainly return. Oriental hardware store and Town and Country grocery are much more than they appear from the outside.
    Chris

    We kept our boat at River Dunes for two weeks while visiting family up north. We view the location as a perfect place to keep a boat secure. The staff is great and the showers are the best on the east coast! We will be back!!
    Dick Anderson

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

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

  • No Free Pumpout at Jarrett Bay Marine Industrial Park, AICW Statute Mile 197

    Jarrett Bay Marine is located on the eastern shores of ICW-Core Creek passage, south of flashing daybeacon #19.

    Cruising News:
    Buyers beware! We were in need of fuel, water & a pump out on our way south on the ICW. We checked our BoutUS Member Services Guide for a convient location our our way to Beaufort, NC. We found that the Jarrett Bay Boatworks offered a free pump out and it was right on the way. Since we had been there several time on our way north & south, we decided to pull in for the works. Well, the works is what we got! They were busy hauling a large yacht and were told we wanted to pump it out ourself, that would be OK. We did and went to the fuel dock for diesel and water. When I went into the office to pay, I then found out that the charge for a pump out is $30.00!!!!! When my wife called them they said they never offered a free pump out and the book is incorrect. Needless to say, I got the “works” that day. But, they have also lost me as a fuel customer. Buyers Beware!
    Capt. Mike

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Jarrett Bay Marine

  • Morehead City – Beaufort Info (Statute Mile 201 to 205)

    Morehead City Yacht BasinCaptain Han’s short but incredibly newsy note below contains some real gems when it comes to a visit to the Morehead City – Beaufort region. Note this dynamic cruising duo had a good meal at Morehead’s Ruddy Duck Tavern (252-726-7500), and then moved on to anchor in Beaufort’s Taylor Creek. And, they found additional swing room by cruising just a bit farther to the east on this body of water.
    Good advice all the way around. I would only add that two more excellent dockage alternatives on the Morehead City side are Morehead City Yacht Basin, one of the finest marinas you will find anywhere (and a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR) and the new Morehead City Public/City Docks, found at the western end of the downtown waterfront. Both are linked below.

    Typically we stay at Morehead and eat at the Ruddy Duck. This trip it was Saturday and we arrived at lunch so we were asked not to stay at Ruddy Duck beyond lunch and monopolize the dock. The point is that we ended up anchoring in Taylor Creek. I have always been put off by the crowded anchorage but we just meandered eastward up the creek and found lots of swinging room a short way up.
    The new Sanitary Restaurant docks are great even if you have to pay.
    Gregory Han

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting About the Ruddy Duck Tavern

    Click Here To View An Earlier Posting About the New Docks at Sanitary Fish Market

    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

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina 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

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

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of The Anchorage on Taylor Creek

  • Good Words for Dudley’s Marina, AICW Statute Mile 229

    Dudley’s Marina lies northeast of the Waterway near unlighted daybeacon #46A, and just a hop, skip and jump from downtown Swansboro, NC. Those cruisers who are willing to hike or take the Dudley’s courtesy car across the bridge and causeway can find some of the best FRIED (NOT broiled) seafood in the world at Captain Charley’s Seafood Paradise!

    Make no mistake about it, Dudley’s is a great local sport fisherman’s marina with dockage for cruisers. We love the service and the helpfullness of the staff and it’s working boat yard atmosphere. It’s a great value for the cruiser at 75 cents a ft., electric, water and courtesy van included. Their facilities are “seasoned” and more than adequate.
    Bob & Lynne aboard Traveller

    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

  • Recommendation of Goat Island Anchorage, AICW Dismal Swamp Alternate Route, Statute Mile 43.5

    Goat Island Anchorage will be discovered on the waters of Pasquotank River north of Elizabeth City. Be sure the enter the anchorage behind Goat Island from the southeastern end of the cut.

    10/31/2011 Stayed at this anchorage during gale force winds from the NNE. Very good holding. Good protection.
    Patty Tate

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Goat Island Anchorage

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

  • A Vote For a Stay at Portside Marina (Morehead City, NC – Statute Mile 205)

    When entering the Morehead City waterfront from the “Turning Basin,” Portside Marina is the first facility that will come abeam to the north.

    We would like to suggest that the Portside Marina in Morehead City is an excellent stop in the Beaufort, NC area. It is family-owned marina and they take care of transient boaters very well. It is the first marina after you pass the ship terminal. Their cost is $1.50 a foot with $10 off the second and third nights. The dockmaster has his PHD but he loves owning the marina and taking care of boaters. Give them a try.
    Flint and Leslie Firestone
    aboard Grace Full

    Last night we stayed at Portside Marina in Morehead City. The Marina is very close to the inlet and we had planned to go out this morning. Great people, very helpful, $1.50/foot electric included, great location. Nice restaurants within walking distance.
    Claudia Young

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

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

  • Confirmation Received of Marker # Change At AICW/Bogue Inlet Intersection (Statute Mile 227)

    On 11/20/11, I asked for help from the cruising community concerning the report below by Captain Jerry, that the Bogue Inlet channel aid to navigation, hard by the AICW/Bogue Inlet intersection, has changed its numbering from #21 to #20. I’m glad to report that Captain Eilenn has responded!
    This is a BIG DEAL, as the Bogue Inlet/AICW intersection has long been an “AICW Problem Stretch.” Not only is perennial shoaling a problem here, but the inland-most marker on the Bogue Inlet channel is often mistaken for an AICW aid to navigation. This mis-identification often leads to groundings.
    And, the important point is that this newly numbered marker #20 is NOT an AICW navigational marker. Ignore it, and follow ONLY the Waterway buoys and daybeacons!

    The mark to be ignored at Bogue inlet is “20″, not “21″. It floats between “45″ and “45A”.
    Jerry on Suncatcher

    Cruising News:
    Definitely a red nun #20 between 45 and 45A
    Admiral Eileen
    ANKERS AWAY

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

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

  • Good Words, Past and Present, for River Dunes Marina, AICW Statute Mile 173.5

    River DunesRiver Dunes Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located off the AICW’s run along Neuse River, in Broad Creek between unlighted daybeacons #1 and #2.

    Cruising News:
    Oct 2008 – Dockmaster JC Cappleman and his staff make this beautiful facility feel like home. Pool, spa, exercise room, clean and modern steam showers, loaner cars, new floating docks and friendly boaters’ gatherings in front of the clubhouse fireplace . . . all combine to make River Dunes an unforgettable gem on the ICW.
    Oct 2011 – We’ve visited River Dunes five times now on our way north or south. If you haven’t stopped by yet in favor of another marina or anchorage, you’re missing one of the best spots on the waterway.
    Bob Fulton

    Stayed at River Dunes twice in 2011. Both visits absolutely wonderful. JC and his staff are first rate, facility beautiful, protected, great food … a must stop north and south.
    Doug Jacoby..m/v CHANGER

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

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

  • Upper Dowry Creek Anchorage (Statute Mile 131.5)

    The anchorage referred to below by Captain Anderson lies upstream of Dowry Creek Marina, a facility that many other cruisers have reported favorably upon.

    While I agree that this anchorage is a very solid location to get out of strong winds, our experience at Dowry Creek Marina was an eye opening!
    When I went in and spent money for fuel and ice I even asked if they wanted a fee for trash and water and was told no thanks. Later in the day, after we bought more fuel, (again by our dinghy) we were befriended by a fellow cruiser on the dock and were invited to the happy hour that night by him. When we showed up we were told by the marina that only docked boats could participate. Further they said they did not have dinghy facilities and that we would have to leave the premises! Next time the gentleman said, “take one or our docks!”.
    Note that we sail a very low freeboard trimaran and the docks at the marina were not even considered by us. Too high to reach and facing the wrong way for the forecasted bag weather. Why would we want our boat pinned to rough pilings during the big wind when we can swing with the weather that was forecasted??
    Right now we are at a dock (a beautiful floater) so we do spend money! I’ll anchor in Upper Dowry Creek perhaps again but will NEVER set foot at the marina. It has easily been the low point of our cruise south to date!!
    Dick Anderson

    Why would you expect to benefit and enjoy the amenities of the marina while anchored. It just makes sense to me that if you want to participate then pay the slip rate. I would resent you getting the same treatment as a paying customer.
    Rick Bearden

    Sorry You had a bad experience there, it has been one of our favorite stops, and always been friendly, of course we did pay for dockage, so I guess that’s why. I know the Lady lost her husband and is having a hard time keeping the place going. I am still a bit surprised that they treated You that way, and understand Your post. They seemed to be real sail friendly when we were there, did the marina change hands? Do You know?
    Captain Clay

    We’ve stayed at Dowry Creek marina at least four times, the most recently 11-3-11. They are the most friendly and accommodating people we’ve had the pleasure to meet. They have very nice facilities (restrooms, showers, pool, boaters lounge.) They go out of their way to assist anyone paying for a slip, with hands always ready to help with lines. I saw them out in driving rain and winds on 11-4-11 assisting boaters dock. Later that evening, well after dark they stayed after hours to assisted a small sailboat dock in nearly 30kts winds.
    No they don’t have floating docks or a dingy dock for boaters that don’t want to pay for a slip. If you chose to anchor do so just don’t expect to use a nearby marina’s facilities.
    Lamar

    I bought a boat from a man who owned a slip at Dowry Creek Marina a couple of years ago. I stayed on the boat for about 3 days getting it ready to move. She knew she would not be getting any slip fees from me. Mary was nice and accommodating. Not overly friendly, but it was a good experience over all. But, while I was there, I was buying ice, chips, candy, soda, a couple extra things from the store. I don’t know her or her business plan, and I can understand her frustration of people sailing by and anchoring within sight of the marina. But if she would have let him stay, he might have spent some more money. (I know I would have probably bought more!) I own a retail store, and ANY customer is a good customer.
    Mark s/v Windbag

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorage Directory Listing For Upper Dowry Creek Anchorage

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

  • Unhappy Times at Alligator River Marina (Statute Mile 84)

    We present the report below without prejudice or further comment, except to say that over the years many cruisers have written to praise Alligator River Marina and its proprietor, while others have reported just the opposite. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground in regards to cruisers’ feelings towards this facility.

    Well, I’ve never before posted negative comments concerning a marina… but after 40 odd years of cruising, Captaining and being in the marine industry, our experience at the Alligator River Marina merits commenting…
    We were heading North during Mid/late August 2011, called ahead during the late afternoon to see if a slip was available. A very pleasant young lady advised that there would be space available and to tie up on the south dock and come inside to register. We called again just prior to arrival and ordered food, as the store/restaurant closes at 1930.
    Upon arrival we found the staff (gas station attendant and grill cook) to be pleasant, accommodating and rather friendly for being at the end of a days work. Our food was ready, we filled out the dockage form- paid for the slip and food and tipped the clerk and cook well for their kindness.
    There was only one other transient boat at the marina, the place was essentially empty.
    In the morning we took on almost $1,400.00 in fuel and bought breakfast for our crew of three. Between the prior night’s dinner, dockage, breakfast, and some odds and ends from the store, we spent near $1,700.00.
    Our main concern was staying ahead of Hurricane Irene, as she was about 4 days behind us when we arrived. Our destination was Long Island.
    In fairness, the marina is an adequate, no frills facility, with clean hot showers, laundry, a lounge with TV and internet access, all in a good location. The owner, Ms. Wanda on the other hand is someone we won’t soon forget…
    Shortly after departing, we had a minor mishap and damaged one propeller. We telephoned the marina and asked (as their welcome package indicated) if they could arrange for a diver to change the prop. Ms. Wanda indicated that she would arrange for a diver to come to the marina, took our phone number, and said to come back.
    Upon returning to the marina, she advised (with a smile) that the diver would not be available until the following afternoon. I explained that we would explore other options, as we wanted to stay ahead of the Hurricane, and that I wished we had known about the diver’s availability prior to returning.
    Her displeasure (actually anger to near the point of rage) over our electing to explore our options was evident in her tone of voice, facial expressions and posture….
    She simply said, “I doubt you’ll find another diver”. We telephoned a local marine surveyor friend and were able to arrange for a diver who could have been there in two hours. I advised Ms. Wanda that we had located a diver who would be there by late morning, thanked her for calling her diver, and asked that she please cancel his appointment for the following day.
    A short while later she came to the boat… banged on the hull and said, “Make sure your diver gives me a certificate of insurance naming me and my marina”…. I called the diver and relayed her message… he said it was not a problem, and that he had dealt with “Wicked Wanda”(His characterization…not mine!) in the past. He then asked that I give her the phone…
    This is where it got rather interesting… Ms. Wanda repeated the issue about the insurance and then told the diver that he would have to see her upon arrival, and pay her $30 “for the pleasure of diving from her dock”… an argument ensued between the diver and Ms. Wanda…she returned my phone and said, “I told you you wouldn’t find another diver”
    I would have gladly paid the additional $30 to be on our way and ahead of the hurricane.
    As I walked back to the boat she turned and said, “I guess you’ve got a real problem now”…
    Throughout this situation I chose to maintain my self on the high road and was nothing less than polite… I simply responded, “Well Ms. Wanda, I must tell you, never will I spend $1,700.00 at anyone’s establishment to be treated this way… you have a nice day, we’ll be leaving shortly”
    Before I could hit the start button she had us untied and free of the dock….simply unbelievable!
    We got underway and arranged for the diver to meet us at Coinjock later that evening. Upon arriving at Coinjock we learned that she had called ahead… we assume in an effort to get us shut out. As always, Coinjock was a pleasure with Louis’ pleasant staff, excellent food, and live music.
    Unfortunately, the diver was unable to remove the prop… we limped up to Portsmouth, VA where we were hauled by Full Throttle Marine at Tidewater Marina. It is without reservation that I recommend Full Throttle. They were prompt, friendly, courteous, and quite reasonable for the short haul and changing of both propellers.
    Later we were told (but could not confirm) that Ms. Wanda had actually requested the diver to come the following day… If that is true I find it unconscionable that she would attempt to delay us by more than a day in the face of a hurricane for a few paltry dollars in dock fees and food from her store.
    Would I stay there again?…Likely not, but anything is possible while on the water! Granted her fuel prices are as good as you’ll find in NC… but whoever you buy fuel from, she gets a piece of the pie… she is the local marine fuel fuel distributor!
    Capt. Jerry

    We, too, have had a very bad experience with the Alligator River Marina. It was several years ago, we were traveling south and needed fuel. We, of course, did the usual callings and everyone was polite and nice.
    Upon arrival at the fuel dock, the wind was blowing very hard (~25k) directly away from the pier. We tried to approach normally but could not. So I called to the dock attendant that we would approach nose on and asked if he could take a line from us and tie it off so we could then use the prop wash on the rudder to force the stern in. He used some choice words about my bad seamanship and told me if I didn’t know how to bring a boat in properly I shouldn’t be boating. He started to walk away. I called to him that I really needed his help and he turned back to us. When we got the bow of the boat near the pier, Suzi tossed him a line and indicated the cleat where we would like him to tie it. He ignored her and short tied the bow to the pier so tightly that there was no way we could bring the stern in. And again he walked away, ignoring our protests. Another boater volunteered to help and we got tied up.
    Then, the dock attendant came up to us carrying the fuel pump nozzle and laid it next to our boat, gave me what I would consider a dirty look and walked away. A few moments later I picked up the nozzle and started to fuel our boat. After pumping several gallons the dock attendant came back cursing at me and saying he had not told me to pump yet, and that he was in charge and I wasn’t to do anything until he told me to. I apologized (probably not too sincerely) and he said that he wasn’t finished taking the reading from the last boat which had taken on fuel and that since I had pumped before he zeroed it out, I was going to have to pay what the pump showed was owed and that the previous boat had taken on over a thousand gallons. I explained to him that that was simply not going to happen. We were quite low on fuel or I would have paid for the 3 gallons which I pumped and left. We had intended on taking on over 100 gallons. As it was, we took 30 and went in to pay.
    I told the lady inside that her dock attendant was extremely rude. She said, rather coldly, “That’s my husband.” I said, “I’m sorry.”
    We will never go back there.
    Larry MacDonald

    Your timely posting is appreciated. We have not “done the ditch” in about 3 years and will be in that vicinity this weekend. We were discussing whether we should stop in the event that there was new management, but now that we know that WWW is still there, we will–as has been our custom–plan our stops accordingly.
    Sharon

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

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

  • Report on Passage of the Dismal Swamp AICW Canal Alternate (North Carolina AICW)

    Click to learn more about our Carolina Loop programEven though Captain Jim’s account below is taken from a June, 2011 passage of the Dismal Swamp Canal, we thought it contained so MUCH good info, that it deserved a November posting here on the Cruisers’ Net!
    Jim is quite correct about the danger of submerged and semi-submerged debris on the canal. It’s best to go slow and take in the sights. Those who are in a hurry would be better served by the North Carolina – Virginia Cut route (a. k. a. Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal).

    I took the Dismal Swamp in June form the south and it was beautiful but you need to know a few things first. The locks were on a limited opening schedule of twice a day which I think has changed but you need to confirm that. Second I struck a submerged obstruction and bent my starboard prop about 1.5 miles north of the VA/NC state line. I never saw anything even after we hit it so be very careful. As a side note there was plenty of water depth and it did not go below 7 feet. Thankfully we were at idle speed so the damage was minor. BE careful but even saying that I do not know how I would have avoided it. If your props are more protected than my you might not need to worry. There is a great free dock at the welcome center near the state line with a very good park of hikes into the swamp. If you are interested in nature you can not go wrong. You will likely see wood ducks, many types of wood peckers and as well as other mammals. They have a very nice nature center across form the welcome center docks. When you get to Elizabeth City There are also free dock at the town docks. Enjoy the trip.
    Jim Wagner

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

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

  • Cruisers Voyaging Through Beaufort, NC – Don’t Miss the Latest Artifacts from Blackbeard the Pirate’s Ship (St. M. 201)

    Be sure to follow the link below and read the article which appeared in the “Jacksonville Daily News.” This will clue one and all into why this is an exciting prospect, and how to view the artifacts!

    For those of you heading south still – stop in Beaufort, NC and see the artifacts from Blackbeards ship – salvage underway!!! Check out:

    http://www.jdnews.com/articles/recover-96613-salvage-aims.html

    Frank Erwin

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

  • Good Words for Albemarle Plantation Marina (Northern Shore of Albemarle Sound)

    Our 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.I had the good fortune to visit with both Albemarle Plantation Marina and Yacht Club earlier this year, and I can tell you from personal experience that this is an excellent facility for all cruising craft. And, these good folks are a SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!
    Albemarle Plantation Marina is located off the AICW, off the northern shores of Albemarle Sound, on Yeopim River/Creek. Click the link below to this facility’s entry in our North Carolina Marina Directory to learn more!

    Claiborne:
    Things have further changed, [and] management has changed the hands running this [facility] for the better. The new management now has a bistro (Bar & Resturant) at the dock (Called Docksides) along with the mentioned park and outdood grills. Extremely attactive, worth a visit for any traveling boater.
    Proctor Baker

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

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

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