More on Alternates to Alligator River during the Swing Bridge Repairs
With the frequent closures of the Alligator River Bridge, longtime contributors George Barr and Rick Brass offer alternatives to the Alligator River portion of the Waterway. Information on all the marinas mentioned below can be found on Cruisers’ Net’s Homepage under CRUISING NEWS AND REFERENCE DIRECTORIES – North Carolina. See /?p=147457 for more discussion of alternate routes.
To any northbound cruisers in the interim. The alternate route starts at Oriental ‘¦down the Neuse River and into the Pamlico Sound heading north.
Possible stops/marinas are Silver Lake in Ocracoke, Big Trout Marina in Englehard (45 miles from Oriental on the Western shore of the Pamlico), Manteo Waterfront Marina off Shallowbag Bay on Roanoke Island 45 miles from Big Trout’¦and then north through the Albemarle to Coinjock 35 miles away.
The passage is open and deep and has only one fully 65′ bridge and is 17 miles shorter than the ICW. Of course, weather must be considered as it is less protected. Hope this helps in the interim.
If northbound cruisers are on a schedule during the bridge repairs, and need an alternate route, I would suggest leaving the ICW at the crossing of the Pamlico River (at about SM 150) and swing east. You will go through Pamlico Sound, with potential stops in Engelhart on the west side of the sound and Manteo on Roanoke Island, and return to Albemarle Sound and the ICW on the north side of Roanoke Island. Manteo, BTW, is a nice cruising destination and well worth the trip.
If you have time to wait for the bridge to be repaired and are looking for an hospitable spot to wait and explore, swing west about 25 miles on the Pamlico River and visit the Washington Waterfront Docks. Easy access with deep water slips. A number of good restaurants and places to explore. A good place to provision, with West Marine and a number of parts suppliers and repair opportunities. And if you need a free slip without power and water (but with nice heads and showers, and laundry facilities for boaters) you can mention this post and I will waive the 48 hour limit on free dockage.
Washington Waterfront Docks