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Archive For: NC2 – NC Virginia Cut

  • Buck Island Anchorages (Group of three at Statute Mile 56 on NC-VA Cut)

    If you can deal with the restricted 5-8 ft depths and the many crab traps/pots, you should be able to find good holding in one of the three recommended spots around Buck Island. These waters lie south of Coinjock, along the AICW’s trek through North River.

    Submitted on 2010/05/24 at 9:52am
    We anchored on the north side on 11/8/2009 for the first time. We arrived late in the day right at sunset. Depths were pretty much as charted and holding seemed good. It was a quiet anchorage that night, but it could be less if traffic passes by in ICW. We had a good night but were fogged in for a couple of hours in the morning.
    We usually anchor a couple miles further south and east in the vicinity of Lutz Creek. You will usually find crab pots in all these anchorages.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s North Carolina Anchorages Directory Listing For Buck Island Anchorages

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

  • Praise for Midway Marina and “Crabbies” (Statute Mile 50)

    We’ve all had crossings or storms that left us exhausted, and how nice it is to find a friendly face, cold beer and good food!

    Submitted on 2010/05/22 at 7:47pm
    After getting “roughed up” in an Albemarle crossing, we decided to treat ourselves to a slip and dinner. We were greeted and assisted in docking by a very friendly dockmaster and his really cute dog. We went to Crabbies for dinner. Considering the place wasn’t crowded, the service was a little slow. But in their favor, the Yuengling was cold and the food was great.
    Only thing that topped that was knowing we were only 50 miles from getting home.
    Captain Dick Litchfield

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

  • Broad Creek Anchorage (off AICW/North River, Statute Mile 61)

    Interesting, notice in George and Ann’s comments below, they anchored just “outside” the entrance to Broad Creek. I have never tried this, and while this strategy clearly does not offer the level of foul weather protection availabe on the creek’s interior waters, it DOES avoid the tricky entrance and the somewhat questionable depths inside the stream.

    We have anchored outside of the creek a few times, inside the “triangle” formed by the north-to-south soundings of 6, 9, and 8 ft, which are just west of the charted mooring. Good holding and good protection from anything with a westerly component, especially the southwest which is often prevalent here. This has become our preferred stopping point on our north-south voyages before or after Norfolk.
    George and Ann
    “Incentive” Hatteras 56MY

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

  • Buck Island Anchorages (Statute Mile 56)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    9. South of Coinjock, the AICW soon enters North River, on its way to Albemarle Sound. Along the way, several anchorages are available near Buck Island (Statute Mile 56). Who has dropped the hook here within the last several years? What did you find? Was this a good overnight stop for you?

    Responses follow:

    Buck Island is on our list of favorites because we carry a crab pot and always catch some when we anchor here. We were here 9/10/06, 5/19/07, 8/31/08 and will be back soon.
    Wright and Gladys Anderson
    First & Ten


    Click Here For More Information Concerning the Buck Island Anchorages

  • Coinjock Marinas (Statute Mile 50)

    Coinjock Marina, your #1 stop for good fuel prices and great dining on the AICW/North Carolina - Virginia CutOn 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    8. The tiny village of Coinjock (Statute Mile 50) boasts two first class marina facilities. Both also have very good restaurants on site. Who has coiled their lines at either Midway Marina or Coinjock Marina lately? Did you dine ashore? Please describe your marina experience.

    Responses follow:

    We stayed at Coinjock Marina on both trips mentioned above.  Absolutely first class friendly professional people work there.  Crab cakes are outstanding. The home made potato chips probably took 6 months off my life span (cholesterol), but they are worth it.  When we head north again we will take the Virginia Cut route just so we can eat at the restaurant.  Face docks are in excellent condition. Clean restrooms  Washers and dryers a little on the high side of average ($2.00 each if we recall correctly).  Deceptive current and not necessarily wind driven.  Current is nothing like what you experience south of Beaufort but there is some.
    Rick

    We stayed at Coinjock [Marina] and were very happy.  The restaurant is very good.  We stayed 4 nights and ate there four times, dinner twice and lunch twice. Everything was above average, with great if not casual service. Both the soups they offer were good but the crab bisque was absolutely outstanding.  It was garnished with a huge dollop of crab meat and I wanted to lick the bowl. The crab chowder was very good too and chock full of corn and potatoes.  But the bisque was so good……I suppose on our way back Ill have a cup of chowder for a starter and the big bowl of bisque for an entre!  The also serve up prime rib in portions that are almost embarassing. Ours got us thru dinner that night, then with eggs the next day and my version of a Philly cheese steak sandwich for lunch. So 5 meals in all…….well worth the price.
    We enjoyed the outdoor patio on cooler evenings.  The marina staff were polite, attentive and helpful.  For such a small area, it is big on the things transients need. We have dogs aboard and they enjoyed long walks.  All in all Coinjock is a friendly, family owned business in a rural setting run in a business-like way.
    Sami and Barry Shreve
    s/v Ever After

    I guess we are a bit the “contrarians” because we stop at Midway Marina on the west side instead of Conjock Marina with the famous prime rib dinner. Our first time heading south down the ICW in December 2005 we stopped at Conjock Marina (really late in the season for heading south).  Went into the restaurant next to the marina and the waitress said we should try the crab cakes – now Claiborne I know you are going to find this hard to believe but Lynn & I had never tasted crab nor had a crab cake before. The waitress brought us a small sample and the rest is history.  We love the crab cakes at that restaurant and always compare other crab cakes to theirs.  We have even called ahead to order crab cakes to go when we’re traveling through.
    Bob & Lynn Williamson
    On Legrace in the Erie Canal at Spencerport NY (enjoying this weekend’s canal festival)

    We ate lunch at restuarant at Coinjock Marina.  Plenty of room on long face dock, but watch the current when you land.  Dockhands were helpful and understanding.  Heard about restuarant from local the night before in Norfolk; he said he takes his family all the way down there once a week to eat.  We were not disappointed, food, service and prices were excellent.  I would not pass it up going south or north any time of the day.  Did not spend the night as we had a lot of ground to cover that trip.
    John Thayer

    We were traveling South in a sailboat; stayed at Midway Marina which was fine; friendly, rest room / shower clean and reasonable. Had lunch at Crabbies and it was good; friends picked us up for dinner at Coinjock Marina famed for their prime rib. It was very good but not to make a special trip for. Enjoyed watching the mega – yachts docking there
    Pat Kenefick

    I always stay at Coinjock Marina – it just seems to work out as a convenient spot whether running north or south. While I tend to not like marinas that are directly adjacent to the ICW (in this case, part of the channel), it seems everyone understands that this is a place to go very slow and respect the many boats that are docked along the sea wall. Coinjock Marina fuel prices have always been fair, the staff is always helpful, the head and showers are modern and clean (recently updated) and the marina store is well stocked with typical items you might need to care for or provision your boat. But the best part is the restaurant. Great food, well poured drinks and friendly service make this among my favorites. Last year, we arrived a little late into the marina, tired and dirty, so the idea of getting cleaned up to go inside was not what we really wanted to do. No problem, we were able to order from the same great menu and have our dinner delivered “room service” style to the boat. Nice touch!
    Pete

    We did stop at Coinjock, the service at the marina and the restaurant was friendly, and efficient, it was a ;pleasant stop we made in order to rendezvous with friends on another boat. the food is not fantastic, but very adequate, the large roast prime rib obviously came from an oversized steer, and had a hugh amount of waste, (fat), and the flavor was mediocre; but then we come from the land of great beef, (Iowa) and are a bit picky. If the stop fits your schedule, and you planned to make a marina stop anyway, then go for it. We have also stopped, (about six years ago) at the marina across the way, and found that equally as nice, plus they have a pool, a big bonus if he weather is hot.
    BEV AND DAVE FEIGES
    ABOARD CLOVERLEAF

    Regarding Coinjock – it appears that the Coinjock Marina is perfectly happy to take sailboaters’ money for fuel, but they hold their dock space for goldplate powerboats. After buying fuel there six weeks ago, I requested a transient spot, which was denied, despite the fact there was at least 100 feet of dock – my boat is 34 feet. The excuse was that a large powerboat was expected later in the day.
    No powerboat ever did show up and the dockmanager at the Midway marina told me that sending sailboats to the Midway has been a common practice now for some time. Although it’s small potatoes, I’ll buy my 8 or 10 gallons of fuel from Midway from now on, or simply not stop in Coinjock at all.
    The Midway, btw, has a lovely large grassy area for pets, a pool, good docks and a store with a variety of supplies.
    Wally Moran

    Click Here For More Information on Midway Marina and Motel

    Click Here For More Information on Coinjock Marina

  • North Carolina AICW Passage Through Currituck Sound

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    7. Let us now turn our attention to the primary AICW route, often termed the “North Carolina – Virginia Cut.” This passage crosses into North Carolina waters south of North Landing River, flows through a small portion of Currituck Sound, and then through a man-made canal, past the marina rich village of Coinjock, NC. From Statute Mile 40 to 45, there have been many reports over the years of shallow water, or underwater hardware damage from pilings driven just below the water’s surface to guard against shoaling of the AICW channel. Has anyone experienced shallow depths here recently, or has anyone found the underwater pilings

    Responses follow:

    We love the Virginia Cut.  We went through it north bound in August 2008 and south bound in June 2009.  We never saw less than 8′ MLW from mile marker 0 to the exit from the North River into the Albemarle Sound.  Absolutely no problems with underwater obstructions.  Follow the markers.  Look over your shoulder to check for drift if there is a cross wind.  The sound gives us a great opportunity to sail when the wind is right.  Traffic was light.  We’ve not done the Dismal Swamp route.  Everyone says it’s nice, but since we can’t sail in that route, it seemed a less attractive option to us.
    Rick

    I have thankfully not experienced any issues with underwater pilings (yikes that is scary), but the waters from MM40-45 into Coinjock are indeed rather skinny especially if you drift outside the very narrow channel. While I have a lot of confidence in my GPS chart plotter, I only use my “eyes” to navigate between the markers paying close attention to the changes in my depth sounder to stay “centered”. This is not a good area to overtake another vessel, so if you get caught behind a slow poke, remember it’s just 5-7 miles before you get back into “wider” water.
    Peter Ferrara
    “Laitudes”

  • Broad Creek (North River) Anchorage (Statute Mile 61)

    On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolna Wish List,” I posed the following question:

    10. The southernmost North River anchorage, just north of the Waterway’s intersection with Albemarle Sound, is Broad Creek (careful, there are a BUNCH of Broad Creeks in both North and South Carolina). The only real knock I’ve ever had in regards to North River’s Broad Creek, is that its entrance can be hard to find. Has anyone anchored on Broad Creek? Were you able to find your way to this haven without difficulty? What did you find when you got there?

    Responses follow:

    Tried to anchor, but barely enough water (5.5′ draft) and couldn’t set 88# Delta so anchored outside of creek.
    Wayne Thomas


    Click Here For More Information on the Broad Creek (North River) Anchorage

  • Crab Pots Along AICW/Albmarle Sound Passage

    Crab Pots has always been a problem on Albemarle Sound, and not just along the AICW passage across the sound from Alligator River to either North River (NC – VA Route) or the Pasquotank River (Dismal Swamp Route). This year, though, it looks as if they are a particularl concern.

    All, we just transited the Albemarle Sound (northbound) today.  Please use caution if you any concerns re hanging a pot.  The sound is solid pots from the Alligator River up to the CG station in the Pasquotank River (on the magenta line).   This is the Dismal Swamp route.  A companion cruiser went up the to the Virginia Cut and experienced the same.  He’s done this route back and forth for 14 years and has never seen the like.  I’ve never seen them as dense as we experienced, I thought I was in Maine.  The zig zags added a third more time to the transit.  Of course the 20-25 knots winds
    gusting to 30 out of the wsw   didn’t help any.  So much for the forecast of 15 out of the south with 1′ to 2′ ers.   Perhaps this is a reflection of the economy and folks trying to make ends meet.  Any case be careful up here!
    Joe
    “Carolyn Ann”

    The location of pots and numbers was explained to me by a local friend who is a good friend of a local commercial crabber( fishes over 400 pots).  The large #1 males are coming out of the mud at the eastern end of the Albemarle Sound hence the high concentration of pots in the areas of the two ICW routes at this time of year.  As the season progresses the pots will be moved further west up the sound with the crabs.  The unemployment rate is 13+% hence more folks are crabbing to survive this tough economy.  I wish them well, it’s a tough way to make a living. 
    I plan to continue my efforts to avoid depriving them of a single pot.
    Joe
    “Carolyn Ann”

    We took the Virginia Cut route almost a  month ago and noticed the same. The good news was that they seemed to all be placed on the edges of the channel making it hard not to stay in the channel.
    Gil

    I’ve never seen so many pots as lower pasquatank and up the sound to little river (early July 09). My full keel seems to miss them and sailed that whole section but do not envy those with exposed props.
    Chase

  • Cruising the North Carolina – Virginia Cut (A. K. A. Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal)

    There have already been MANY postings here on the Cruisers' Net about the Dismal Swamp AICW route from Virginia to North Carolina waters, but less info on what is the primary Waterway route from VA to NC. This latter passage goes under several names, including the "North Carolina – Virginia Cut" and the "Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal."
    Whatever you call it, this route enters North Carolina waters and at the southern mouth of North Landing River, runs a dredged cut across northern Currituck Sound, and then past the marina rich village of Coinjock. Finally, cruisers following this passage wend their way south on the North River to often rough Albemarle Sound.
    There's some great crusiing advice and news in Captain George's posting below. I have borrowed this message from the Trawlers and Trawlering list.

    Yesterday early  afternoon, there was a large stationary snag in the middle of the A&C just south of the Centreville Bridge. I called to the boat in back of me to give them a (dead)heads up. The bridge operator came on the radio and also asked location, he said the USACE was on its way to do some cleanup and wanted to verify locations. There were a few other  pieces of wood of various sizes of various levels of threat to navigation so we called them all out as we went on down. Just be observant, if the Corps didn't get something ot the ongoing winds have created something else.
    Winds have reduced depths in Currituck Sound about a foot. Stay in the middle of the channel; it gets shallow on the green side quickly.
    Starting about 3 miles south of Pungo Ferry, there was a substantial slick on the water extending to Pungo Ferry. The guy behind me thought I'd sprung an oil or fuel leak. I had to call three numbers 
    at the Coast Guard, then called Hampton Roads on 16, and they got me to another number which then referred me to the National Response Center. I then talked to a nice operator who had no idea of local geography or the ICW and apparently no access to it. Luckily, I gave my name and number to them. A few minutes later I got a call back from the Coast Guard and then the Virginia authorities and we got the position right, which had been mangled by the NRC. The Virginia guy  suspected it was coming from the derelict marina north of the Pungo Ferry Bridge, and indeed it ended just as you passed there. A Coast Guard boat went speeding north past us about an hour later, so the response was pretty quick. I'm glad I was persistent and didn't get dissuaded by the bureaucracy.
    We spent a quiet night at anchor with about 10 boats here off Broad Creek [off the North River - Ed.] ; the Albemarle should be doable with lighter winds out of the north; if I don't like what we see, we'll sneak back in here as conditions should be quite good tomorrow. We will head for Belhaven today, seas permitting.
    George

  • Midway Marina – Coinjock, NC (Statute Mile 50)

    I have often said that the main industry in the tiny community of Coinjock, NC is marinas. There are two, Midway Marina, overlooking the canal/ICW/s western flank, and Coinjock Marina on the opposite shore. Both are first class facilities. Looks like Captain Pascal had a good time at Midway Marina. Note the excellent service he encountered!

    Two thunbs up for Midway Marina in Coinjock who were booked when I called in the morning but took my number just in case… they did call us just as we had passed by. nice service, saved us crossing the Albemarle in 20/25kts winds.
    Pascal
    M/Y Charmer (70′ Johnson)
    live cel helmcam at www.sandbarhopper.com


    Click Here For More Information On Midway Marina

  • Midway Marina – Coinjock, NC (Statute Mile 50)

    I, too, have always like Midway Marina in Coinjock. Owner/dockmaster Terry always does a good job, and I’m glad to hear that Nita and Rick liked the restaurant here as well!

    COINJOCK (8/26).  Midway Marina is still our favorite and Crabby’s is a good place to recover from all manner of tense moments.
    Regards, Nita and Rick George aboard MV Hale Kai

    Click Here For More Information On Midway Marina and Motel

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