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    • Camden TDA/Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center


      Basic Marina Information:

      Phone: (252) 771-8333
      Statute Mile: 28
      Lat/Lon: Near 36°30.325 N / 76°21.316 W
      Location: along the eastern banks of the Dismal Swamp Canal
      Depths: 6 ft.
      Address: 2356 US-17
      South Mills NC  27976

      Service Details:

      Transient dockage: Available
      Transient dockage rate: Free
      Type of dockage: fixed wooden pier
      Live Aboards Allowed: no
      Total number of slips/berths: 4 + rafting permitted
      Dock. Fresh Water Connections: Available
      Wi-Fi Internet Access: Available
      Navigational Detail: Read Details

      Reviews from Cruisers (16)

      1. Capt. David Grimes -  June 23, 2014 - 3:33 pm

        We traveled southbound in August, 2012, at < 6 knots with two of us on the flybridge looking for debris in the water. We hit no fewer than 5 submerged objects. Fortunately, our hull sustained no damage, but we will not venture into the Dismal Swamp Canal again. We saw numerous floating logs tied to brush along the bank with flimsy rope.Capt. David Grimes

        Reply to Capt.
      2. Jim and Sandy Davis -  December 2, 2013 - 9:55 am

        Thank you for all you have done. This applies to all your staff as well. It has always been one of our favorite stops.
        Jim and Sandy Davis
        S/V Isa Lei

        Reply to Jim
      3. Ginger Thompson -  November 30, 2013 - 8:08 pm

        The Welcome Center has provided so much needed respite over the years while cruising. The staff certainly are always very informative, and encouraging no matter what time of the day we have visited. Its great to have ‘the Dismal Swamp’ available to us; such a blessful experience – its like riding down a country lane viewing nature in its natural sitting. For me its a ‘slice’ of America, kinda like Yellowstone (a piece of history that I wish everyone could experience). My husband as well as fellow cruisers we know, are praying that tax dollars don’t ever allow it to go away. We encourage everyone to try it – along with a stop by to talk with Robert Peak & say “Hello” to his pal, “U-Turn”; since he’s an extremely sweet pet, you might wish to have a doggie treat ready.

        Reply to Ginger
      4. Jean Thomason -  November 30, 2013 - 11:08 am

        Absolutely agree with the comments above. Add that a visit with Robert Peak, lockmaster at Deep Creek is one of the pleasures of the trip. For a small adventure, take the dinghy, canoe or kayak up the feeder ditch, use the marine railway to get it to lake level and enjoy the almost perfect roundness and natural beauty of Lake Drummond (just be sure to note a landmark so you can find your way back off the lake).
        If you visit the state park and walk or bicycle on the trails, take seriously the warning about Lyme disease carrying deer ticks. We didn’t and had multiple tick bites resulting in a round of antibiotics when we reached home a few days later.
        Jean Thomason

        Reply to Jean
      5. Sarah Weeks -  November 30, 2013 - 4:57 am

        The winter schedule at the Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center starting Dec. 1st is as follows:
        Monday – Saturday 9am- 5pm
        Closed Sundays
        Sarah M. Weeks

        Reply to Sarah
      6. Penny Leary-Smith -  November 29, 2013 - 9:19 pm

        I have now been retired 3 years, after 23 years as Director of the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center. I want to thank each and everyone who choose to travel the Dismal Swamp Canal. I realize the dockage is small but most the time it will meet your needs. It is the only place where you can witness nature at its best and learn of its history. Bike rides are available, clean restrooms and grounds. Try it once and I promise you will return……..”Happy Cruising”

        Reply to Penny
      7. Lee Haefele -  November 16, 2013 - 3:06 pm

        Just a note about Dismal Swamp Canal…. Not only do you need to watch the depth, with a sailboat, you need to watch the trees overhead too. When calculating your speed, the shallow depth limits your boat speed, ask the lock tender what daily distance to expect. There is also not room to pass slower boats, unless they agree to pull off to the side. Still a very nice, pretty route and Elizabeth City is wonderful.
        Lee Haefele

        Reply to Lee
      8. Cathryn and Bob -  May 2, 2012 - 2:18 pm

        We spent one night at the free dock at the Visitors Center. The next morning we rode our bikes along the adjacent bike path, then moved 6 more miles up the Canal and spent a second night tied up at a free Corps of Engineers dock (only 20 feet long, so we took up more than the entire dock but would have let others raft to us). After we tied up there, we took our
        dinghy 3 miles up the Dismal Swamp Canal Feeder Ditch, right across from the dock, to Lake Drummond, which provides the water they use to keep the Swamp at constant level. It was a beautiful trip, and at the canal-lake junction, there is a tiny rail “trolley” you operate yourself to take your dinghy around the dam and into Lake Drummond, which was beautiful and no other boats were there. Great adventure!
        Cathryn and Bob
        aboard “Next to Me”,
        42′ Jefferson Sundeck

        Reply to Cathryn
      9. Bill & Laura Bender -  July 30, 2009 - 10:20 am

        We cruised the Dismal Swamp for 2 days last week spending a night at the Visitor’s Center. The 5 women in there were wonderful!!! We used their book exchange. Their nature center has been open only a year and it is very well done. Wish I knew the ranger’s name at the bridge that crosses the canal to the center, but he was born for that job. He has so much information, can answer all questions, and obviously has a love for what he does.
        Bill & Laura Bender
        M/VKindred Spirit III

        Reply to Bill
      10. Clif & Peta Lewis -  July 28, 2009 - 11:01 am

        The welcome center was a pleasant overnight stop. We arrived late in the afternoon. The lady at the desk was kind enough to give us a ride up the road to get pizza if we wanted. We declined because we had food on board. We signed the cruisers log they have there
        Clif & Peta Lewis
        s/v Immanuel

        Reply to Clif
        • Gennaro D'Urso -  December 22, 2016 - 5:26 pm

          Can you please provide my contact details to Clif and Peta Lewis, I would like to ask them a question regarding their catamaran. Much appreciated. Feel free to give them my phone as well if you have their contact info,


          Reply to Gennaro
      11. Pat Kenefick -  July 27, 2009 - 2:53 pm

        We stopped and tied up at the rest area for the night on our early June cruise up to Norfolk. We were quite fortunate in that we were able to get into the last open slot along the bulkhead; if I recall there was a total of 4 boats and that’s all. Unfortunately this night was definitely one of the hottest nights so far this summer, so without being able to use the air it was not a great night. The grounds were well kept and clean; rest rooms the same. For one night it is ok and thank goodness it is there as we were exhausted when we reached that point coming from Elizabeth City. Don’t know what we would have done if it had not been there quite frankly
        Pat Kenefick

        Reply to Pat
      12. Arnold Parkinson -  July 27, 2009 - 8:49 am

        I was a tad dissapointed with the Visitors Center – perhaps expecting too much. But they really don’t have much but a far too small dock and toilets. I spent one night rafted up to another boat which I don’t really like doing but left first thing in the morning. Maybe if they had fuel and water and a small store……..
        Best wishes
        Arnold Parkinson
        The British Club Worldwide

        Reply to Arnold
      13. Capt Jock -  July 23, 2009 - 10:33 am

        The welcome center is rarely crowded and a pleasant and convenient stop…a nice place to meet other folks who are taking a break from the wake-makers!
        Capt Jock, formerly of DREAM MAKER, presently of HOME AT LAST

        Reply to Capt
      14. Wayne Thomas -  July 23, 2009 - 9:55 am

        Enjoyed our overnight stop here very much after the stress of so many bumps along the way. We needed the rest.
        Wayne Thomas

        Reply to Wayne
      15. Ted Jones -  July 23, 2009 - 9:51 am

        The Welcome Center is even better than ever as there is a new Dismal Swamp museum located on the opposite canal bank. Access is provided by an interesting (and clearly very expensive) hydraulically retracted floating bridge. The museum itself is relatively small but provides a comprehensive history of the canal with many illustrative examples. When one views the panel about birds, the sounds of their varied and colorful songs emerge unobtrusively from the background. We stayed one night at the Welcome Center and were happy to become reacquainted with our friend Penny Leary-Smith who has run the the facility from its inception. We are always delighted to stop there whether by car or by boat, and always do.
        Our half-dozen sailboats were joined at the welcome center by a 45 foot multi decked power boat. This is unusual, as most power cruisers prefer the Virginia Cut route where they are not limited to 6 knots and where the risk of hitting debris with their screws is less, or so it is believed.
        Ted Jones

        Reply to Ted
    • Lambs Marina

      transient-dockpowerfresh-watershowerslaundryfoodgasdieselpropane/natural gaswastewifi

      Basic Marina Information:

      Phone: (252) 338-1957
      Statute Mile: 47
      Lat/Lon: Near 36°19.311 N / 76°10.601 W
      Location: located on the easterly tip of the T-shaped creek indenting the Pasquotank's easterly banks, south of Sawyers Creek
      Depths: 8 ft.
      Address: 152 US-158
      Camden NC  27921

      Service Details:

      Transient dockage: Available
      Transient dockage rate: $35.00 per night regardless of vessel size
      Type of dockage: fixed wooden slips and face docks
      Live Aboards Allowed: yes
      Total number of slips/berths: 43
      Dockside Power Connections: 30/50 amp power hookups available

      Dock. Fresh Water Connections: Available
      Showers: Available, Climate Controlled
      Laundromat: Available
      Restaurant: two just across the street
      Restaurant Recommendations:

      Track 1 Restaurant (252) 338-0881, recommended by marina personnel, Sissy's Sub Shop (252-334-9644)

      Provisioning Possibilities: convenience/country store plus fresh seafood counter on-site
      LPG (Propane) Availability: Available

      LPG tank refilling services on-site
      Wi-Fi Internet Access: Free Wifi Available
      Waste pump-out: Available
      Gasoline and diesel fuel: Gas & Diesel Available

      Fuel Prices (All Taxes Included)

      Reporting Date: January 14, 2019
      Notes: ethanol free/boat gas
      Gasoline Price: $3.53 89 octane/no fuel available at this time (All Taxes Included)
      Diesel Fuel Price: $3.26 (All Taxes Included)

      Reviews from Cruisers (11)

      1. Cap'n Parky -  April 11, 2013 - 11:25 am

        After spending a cold cold winter on the Outer Banks, I am now cruising again on MV ‘Pisces’ – mothers – hide your daughters. 🙂
        Currently enjoying the friendship and facilities of Lambs Marina, somewhat changed for even better services. For a start Larry is now offering ethanol free gasoline and diesel at very competitive prices – and what I believe is the lowest slip rent on the ICW. ($4.50 per ft per mo, $5.50 pfpm for liveaboards. Not only this but a very safe fresh water dockage, laundry, spotless rest rooms, convenience store and now even a brand new patio style restaurant under construction. Sunsets and a glass of wine…….
        Fellow boaters travelling north or south on the Great Dismal Swamp route should check out slip vacancies soon at
        See you on the water. Happy sailing.
        Cap’n Parky

        Reply to Cap'n
      2. Laurie & Steven -  November 18, 2012 - 10:55 pm

        We left our sailboat there for 1 month. During Hurricane Sandy, our boat was safe and they maintained our dock lines as needed. Approach was easy, no shoaling conditions at all. Everyone at the marina was extremely helpful, they even provide a courtesy car for local errands.

        Reply to Laurie
      3. Doyle and LaVisa (Halifax) -  September 6, 2012 - 11:53 am

        We stayed here during our Carolina Loop cruise. Not a fancy marina but everyone was very helpful and accommodating. Dave the dockmaster when out of his way to help. Very clean restrooms and air cond. Deep water in and out in well marked channel. Good value for the money and local boat owners very friendly. Reminded us of like the old days of cruising. Highly recommend if you are doing the Dismal Swamp.

        Reply to Doyle
      4. Cap’n Parky -  May 4, 2012 - 2:43 pm

        Cruising News:
        To the sailboater who thought he had run aground on the approach to Lambs Marina, our apologies. Lambs Marina these days after dredging have a minimum depth of 8 ft both in the approach and at their slips. However the very next morning we went out in our dinghy and found two cypress logs floating in mid river. We towed both out of the way and are confident that those are what the sailboater bumped into.
        Check out our news on
        Happy sailing to one and all
        Cap’n Parky
        MV Pisces

        Reply to Cap’n
      5. Cap’n Parky (Arnold Parkinson) -  February 16, 2012 - 12:04 pm

        I’ve recently been able to design and upload a new website for Lambs Marina – they’ve been having trouble with a previous designer which is not yet fully solved. Please check out the new site at which thus far has been very well received by my cruising friends.
        Larry Lamb is spending a lot of money upgrading services for cruising boaters – not to mention a recent (very expensive) dredging of all slips to an 8ft minimum depth. They’re trying hard to be rid of the previous common (though correct) perception that water depth was a problem at Lambs but not now. Any boat that can go through the Dismal Swamp Canal can now easily be accommodated at Lambs.
        Lambs slip rates are well below average – and their fuel prices are very competitive since they also have a highway fuel stop well known locally for low low prices. Worth mentioning is that not many marinas have a fresh sea food counter, a gaming casino and a large flat screen television for the use of boaters! Our cup runneth over. 🙂
        I can vouch for them with confidence. A small marina no doubt – 60 odd slips – but with a big heart trying to do their best for cruising sailors in these poor economic times.
        I hope you are well – drop by anytime.
        Best Regards
        Cap’n Parky (Arnold Parkinson)
        MV Pisces

        Reply to Cap’n
      6. Cap’n Parky -  January 14, 2012 - 10:09 am

        Cruising News:
        Lambs Marina has finished dredging to a minimum 8ft and the water is now wonderfully clear again. Check it out at
        The dredging company is now on it’s way to Morehead City, NC, to dredge out their badly needed waterfront docking – and after that the notorious Peletier Creek and Spooners Creek.
        Is there no end to our good fortune? I might buy a bigger boat!
        Cap’n Parky

        Reply to Cap’n
      7. Reg Holden -  January 1, 2012 - 6:13 pm

        We used Lambs a couple of years ago to put in for a trip to Hampton, Va. I do not believe we could have put our 19′ Cuddy Cabin back on the trailer then, has the ramp been improved so a float on trailer will work? Thanks and they are very nice people!
        Reg Holden
        Replies to

        Reply to Reg
      8. Capt. Parky -  January 1, 2012 - 6:12 pm

        Cruising News:
        Good news for all cruisers – dredging has now completed at Lambs Marina giving minimum water depth throughout at 8ft 6ins MLW. Vessels up to 50ft are welcome at this very friendly and laidback marina. Call Larry Lamb at 252 202 4150 for info or reservations.
        Capt. Parky

        Reply to Capt.
      9. Arnold -  October 14, 2009 - 2:20 pm

        With high blustery south winds the dockage at Elizabeth City tends to be uncomfortable. So I moved up river to the old NS railroad bridge and moored in nice quiet area just north of the bridge. Unhappily during the night the wind changed and thus the current with it and I drifted some 200 yards before my anchor snagged on a sunken log. I had to cut it loose in the morning. But this mishap was much compensated by the friendly reception of owners Larry and Georgia Lamb, who built this marina years ago and really know how to meet the needs of boaters. Larry even ran me to a store in Elizabeth City to get parts – and kindly offered me an old style anchor as a spare, which I turned down not wishing to be a pest. This marina has everything – propane, low cost fuel, a monthly slip rate of only $3.50 a ft and an equally low transient rate for boats with less than 6ft draft. There is a great little local restaurant nearby – and a fresh fish and bait store. So here’s to you Larry and Georgia – may you last forever!

        Reply to Arnold
      10. Mac & Shirley MacVean -  July 20, 2009 - 12:58 pm

        4.5 ML. Diesel is still being pumped out of truck. We did get propane there. Some fish for sale in the fish store. Nice people.
        S/V Cat’s Paw2
        Bruce Roberts 43
        Mac & Shirley MacVean

        Reply to Mac
    • Mariners’ Wharf City Docks


      Basic Marina Information:

      Phone: (252) 335-5330
      Fax: (252) 335-1733
      Statute Mile: 50.5
      Lat/Lon: Near 36°18.022 N / 76°13.083 W
      Location: lining the Pasquotank River's western banks (in the heart of downtown Elizabeth City) just south of the U.S. 158 bascule bridge
      Depths: 8 ft.
      Address: 707 E Fearing St
      Elizabeth City NC  27909

      Service Details:

      Transient dockage: Available
      Transient dockage rate: free dockage for 48 hours
      Type of dockage: fixed wooden slips
      Live Aboards Allowed: no
      Total number of slips/berths: 14
      Showers: Available, Climate Controlled
      Restaurant: many within walking distance
      Restaurant Recommendations:

      Andy’s Pancake & Steakhouse 252-335-4700 Hoppin’ Johnz New South Cuisine 252-679-7716 Ghost Harbor Brewing Company 252-599-1030 Down Town Dawgs 252-202-3534 The Mills Downtown Bistro 252-621-1471

      Provisioning Possibilities: Take taxi to Food Lion Supermarket, some 2 miles away - free bicycles with baskets are also available at the Visitor's Center immediately south of the docks
      Wi-Fi Internet Access: Free Wifi Available

      Reviews from Cruisers (25)

      1. Karen and Lee McClellan -  August 26, 2018 - 3:23 pm

        We did the Albemarle Loop in May and it was incredible. The next stop was Elizabeth City: the Albemarle Bay Museum, great restaurants and, of course, the memorial to the famous “Rose Buddies”. It is so worth doing the Albemarle Loop, one of the highlights of our (AGLCA) loop.
        Karen and Lee McClellan
        AGLCA Forum

        Reply to Karen
      2. Alan -  March 29, 2014 - 2:45 pm

        AMEN! Kudos to Elizabeth City! Another 2 day dock courtesy city in North Carolia is Edenton. Another beautiful stop.

        Reply to Alan
      3. John Kettlewell -  March 29, 2014 - 2:44 pm

        What a great city! I’ve been visiting by boat since back in the day when the original Rose Buddies greeted everyone at the docks, and I go out of my way to return the favor by purchasing groceries, eating out, and patronizing other local businesses. One of my favorite ICW stops and a great reason to take the Dismal Swamp route.
        John Kettlewell

        Reply to John
      4. Lee Haefele -  November 16, 2013 - 3:02 pm

        Just a note about Dismal Swamp Canal…. Not only do you need to watch the depth, with a sailboat, you need to watch the trees overhead too. When calculating your speed, the shallow depth limits your boat speed, ask the lock tender what daily distance to expect. There is also not room to pass slower boats, unless they agree to pull off to the side. Still a very nice, pretty route and Elizabeth City is wonderful.
        Lee Haefele

        Reply to Lee
      5. Devin Taylor -  October 22, 2013 - 4:52 pm

        We had a wonderful stay for 2 nights at Elizabeth City after an eventful transit of the dismal swamp. The only navigation hazard was the duck weed [being cleared as of 10/17/2013] in and around the Deep Creek Lock. Robert is doing all he can to clear the weed which should be gone as the north wing abates this week, call him if concerned. We had a blocked strainer but after clearing it all was OK. After the DC bridge there was no weed to worry about and no other hazards for our 5′ draft IP45.
        Elizabeth City exceeded our expectations for free dock space and great hospitality. There is good shopping 1.5 miles from the dock and great shops and restaurants on the wharf. We thoroughly enjoyed a great value meal at Groupers! The visitor center had a Rose Buddies reception with free wine and cheese and it was great to hear about Elizabeth City and meet fellow cruisers. The museum is well worth the free entry and soon the theatre season will start too! Please pay these folks a visit – you won’t regret it!
        Devin Taylor s/v Moosetracks

        Reply to Devin
      6. Chuck and Susan Baier -  October 13, 2013 - 10:15 pm

        Construction has begun on the heads and showers and the contractor wants to have them done by Thanksgiving. Here are a couple of photos.
        Chuck and Susan, Trawler Beach House

        Reply to Chuck
      7. Danny -  September 9, 2013 - 8:54 pm

        We cruised in here on August 29 and left on the 31. This was the first we had stayed at these docks. Docks were nice but finger piers are short. Could be a problem for some boats. Also the heavy creosote on the pilings made a mess of my lines.The town is a great place to visit. Easy walk to several restaurants and bars. We recommend Cypress Creek Grill and Groupers. Nice museum close by that you can spend several hours. It would be nice if they had some bathrooms.

        Reply to Danny
      8. s/v Skye -  May 25, 2013 - 9:56 am

        Interesting comment by Grey Ghost. We stopped on the way south last fall and the rose buddies put on a program in the large tent for a 30 person group of transients. We got our rose! Learned much about the area.
        s/v Skye

        Reply to s/v
      9. Gray Riddick -  May 12, 2013 - 9:44 am

        Stopped in Fall of 2012 at city dock and Rose Buddies/volunteers were no more – still good stop (without dock hands or electricity) with good size city resources including a great museum.
        Gray Riddick
        Gray Ghost

        Reply to Gray
      10. Tom and Kaye -  October 19, 2012 - 4:38 pm

        Our home is in Kinsale, VA, and we have just made our 6th stop at the Elizabeth City Visitors Center, and of course were greeted by ‘Rose Buddy’ Gus! The folks in Eliz City are most friendly, accommodating, and we can’t say enough good things about our experiences at our favorite stop on the ICW. So take our word for it and stop on your next trip ‘North’ or ‘South’. You won’t regret it!
        Tom and Kaye aboard the S/V SHEARWATER

        Reply to Tom
      11. Bill Watson -  October 8, 2012 - 11:59 am

        Cruising News:
        Elizabeth City is always a great stop for cruisers. A great place to talk with some of the boaters you’ve been traveling with and get ready for the trip across the Albemarle. Especially want to thank Jessica and Susan at the Convention and Visitors Center for their help when I found out that I needed to get some parts and do some rewiring.
        Bill Watson

        Reply to Bill
      12. Doyle and LaVisa (Halifax) -  September 6, 2012 - 11:59 am

        Stopped off here doing the Carolina Loop. Met Gus who stated he is last of the original Rose Buddies. Unfortunately we stopped on Labor Day and everything was closed. Gus said they do not get the boats they use to due to the economy. We stayed here many years ago and I recall it was a full house. This trip we were the first boat in awhile. Can’t beat the rates but if you desire more services I suggest cruising a short distance north to Lambs Marina. BTW – the Carolina Loop is a nice cruise and everyone should do the Dismal Swamp at least once. May not be there forever.

        Reply to Doyle
      13. Roger Montembeault -  May 22, 2010 - 10:23 pm

        Several of us opted to take the Dismal Swamp route north so we could experience Elizabeth City and the “Rose Buddies” that we had heard about on many occasions. We arrived on Fri. night and attended the rose buddies welcome complete with beer, wine and snacks and useful information about our stay. Dave gave us good info on the trip north to mm 0 and Steve Atkinson (sp?) the former mayor was exemplary in his welcoming us to his town. We liked what we saw (especially the free dock) and decided to spend an additional day in E city spending cash on restaurants, farmers market and Karen even found a dress for our son’s wedding in Nov at a small boutique near the docks!
        Elizabeth City is a must stop on the loop. Don’t pass this one by – it’s a gem.

        Roger & Karen Montembeault
        m/v Karen Anne
        1986 KK Manatee

        Reply to Roger
      14. Paul Dolan & Family -  November 4, 2009 - 12:49 pm

        Dear Mr. Young,
        My family and I aboard S-V Whirling Dervish docked at the city docks in Elizabeth City on our trip south after exiting the Dismal Swamp. WOW, what a welcoming place! Every cruiser coming through the Dismal Swamp should stop at the free city docks and enjoy this town!
        Paul Dolan & Family
        SV Whirling Dervish
        November 1, 2009

        Reply to Paul
      15. Arnold -  October 14, 2009 - 2:27 pm

        Mile 50.9 – Elizabeth City. Another example of the well known hospitality of dockeepers Sam and Doug and others helping to welcome boaters. My Chinese motor scooter had suddenly stopped working – an emergency in my book since I have found it so useful for getting to grocery stores. Having determined it was an ignition coil failure, Susan Hartley of the Welcome Bureau not only ran me some 8 miles to only scooter store in town – but waited there as we tried to find a replacement part and ran me back! Fitted the new coil, paid the $50, pressed the button – Bingo! – I was back in business at 45mph and 126 mpg……..
        The Farm Fresh grocery store will still pick you up and take you back – but the week before some boater got the service but bought only a single pack of cigarettes! Now that’s just not fair folks! Great showers at the Fitness Center – $2 but well worth it. The nearby coffee shop sells a great Reuben sandwich. It’s hard to beat Elizabeth City for a free 2 or 3 day dockage.

        Reply to Arnold
      16. Arlington(Sonny) and Nancy Lambert -  September 19, 2009 - 10:44 pm

        Hello, Mr. Young,
        My wife and I recently cruised up to Virginia from Florida. Our route north included taking the Virginia cut in lieu of the Dismal Swamp Canal route. On our return, however, some fellow cruisers told us it would behoove us to take the Dismal Swamp and make a stop in Elizabeth City, NC. They said the city is boater friendly and we should have an enjoyable visit.
        We followed their advice and took the Dismal Swamp route, arriving in Elizabeth City on Monday night, September 14th. We met two other cruisers at the Visitors Center on the Dismal Swamp canal and arrived with them at Elizabeth City simultaneously. We checked in with the tourism center and were given a rousing welcome. They catered to our every need, including offers for rides to grocery stores. laundromats, to purchase ice and pretty much anything else we needed. The dockage was COMPLIMENTARY and they also provided Wi Fi computer service. Later in the day, a representative came by each boat and advised that they were hosting a wine and cheese reception for the visiting boaters. We decided to attend and were greeted by a member of the “Rosebuddies”. This is a group that was started many years ago for the purpose of making cruising boaters feel welcome in Elizabeth City. Part of the reception was giving a rose to each female member of a boating party. In addition, the Mayor of the city was in attendance at the reception and made it a point to greet each boat owner and their respective families personally. I don’t believe I have ever visited another town anywhere in the United States in a boat and had the mayor come out and greet us. Mayor Steven Atkinson told us about the many services and programs that are available to us cruisers as well as their many attractions, especially the Albemarle Museum. Lastly, the rosebuddy who spoke to us advised us on additional areas of interest to boaters together with local knowledge of the water which enabled some of us to shorten travel time and several miles on our way south after leaving Elizabeth City.
        I have to say that as one who has been cruising for over twenty years, never have we been received so warmly as we were in this small town waterfront town in North Carolina. They are currently promoting “The Carolina Loop” for people in North Carolina, Virginia, and other areas. They have a brochure on their website that provides a detailed explanation of the trip.
        I am sure you have probably been made aware of this city, however, I felt I would be remiss in my duty as a fellow cruiser if I did not tell you what a great time we had on our visit. My wife Nancy and I would highly recommend spending time there. Also, we wish to congratulate Elizabeth City Tourism on the splendid job they did making all of us cruisers feel welcome. We will visit this charming city again.
        Arlington(Sonny) and Nancy Lambert
        S/V Sonrae 79 CSY 33 Hull #10
        Fleming Island, FL

        Reply to Arlington(Sonny)
      17. Arnold -  July 30, 2009 - 9:12 am

        At Elizabeth City docks, if you’re nice and friendly to the dockmasters, they ‘ll show you two hidden spigots for topping off your water tanks………. No fuel alas – but there is at the marina just south – who also sell block ice

        Reply to Arnold
      18. Clif & Peta Lewis -  July 28, 2009 - 11:05 am

        We did not get to experiance the well known welcome of a rose and wine reception. The man who used to do it had passed on. We had breakfast at a little place in town that took you back to old days. We stayed there for 3 days, also the day before we left we met a South African couple who were delivering a 44ft. Knysna catamaran to Annapolis. We developed a relationship because my wife is originally from South Africa. The girls still keep in touch. We enjoyed Elizabeth City for our short stay there.
        Clif & Peta Lewis
        s/v Immanuel

        Reply to Clif
      19. Arnold Parkinson -  July 27, 2009 - 8:52 am

        Elizabeth City is always great. When I was there a Canadian owner suggested a pot luck supper which in turn led to a party and singing songs from a variety of countries represented. Dockmasters Sam and Gus are very friendly and will let you stay more than a couple of nights if the docks aren’t full. Good fish restaurant near the dock. laundry withing walking distance and a breat Farm Fresh grocery store who will pick you up and return upon request.
        Best wishes
        Arnold Parkinson
        The British Club Worldwide

        Reply to Arnold
      20. Bill & Claudia Bagwell -  July 24, 2009 - 10:37 am

        As to EC’s hospitality, we cannot overstate how welcome we were made to feel. Even had the Mayor (Stephen Atkinson) come by and introduce himself. We stayed at the city dock, which is free. It was about half full. We went to dinner at a restaurant, Montero’s, named after the owner and chef, who came and picked us up in his car and took us back to the boat when we were through. The food was fine.
        Bill & Claudia Bagwell
        M/V Runaway

        Reply to Bill
      21. Ted Jones -  July 23, 2009 - 9:48 am

        On to Elizabeth City where everything I’ve heard about their fabulous welcome is evident even though Fred Fearing, the last “Rose Buddy” has died. In his place is a granite marker describing the rose buddies and their legacy. Instead, we were greeted by the Elizabeth City mayor himself whoat the traditional wine and cheese party told us about his plans for expanding the services available. He is a boat owner and is a strong advocate for the city docks. He even set to to help late arrivals with their dock lines. A call to the local supermarket brought a courtesy car driven by the store manager himself, and he drove us back to the docks when we had made out purchases. This is one of the most complete supermarkets I have ever been in.
        The only negatives about Elizabeth City is the lack of fuel service at the docks. Jack Wisner and I walked a couple of blocks to an automotive filling station and lugged back a six gallon jug of fuel. There presently are no fuel docks in Elizabeth City, and out next available pit stop was Dowry Creek Marina where we later had difficulty fueling from their high speed pump whose nozzle will not fit in most sailboat’s deck plates. The lack of heads and showers is high on the mayor’s list of new services which he feels need to be provided at Elizabeth City.
        Ted Jones

        Reply to Ted
      22. Nita and Rick George -  July 19, 2009 - 7:46 am

        ELIZABETH CITY (8/17 – 8/20). You have to know where the water spigots are buried – a city worker who was watering flowers in the park one morning showed us. The Chamber of Commerce no longer deals with the waterfront, but the Convention & Visitors Center (252-335-5330) has taken up the cause and Susan was very helpful. She is in the brick building immediately south of the docks. Groupers restaurant is also there, was the only place open on Sunday night, and we thought it quite good. We also did the Colonial (great basic supper and breakfast), Cypress Creek Grill, and Rachel’s, all very nice and reasonably priced. We stayed at EC three nights and would have gone to Pelican Marina for the third, but they were not taking transients – something about all slips privately owned and full – so we stayed at Mariners’ Wharf with the city’s blessing, there being only two boats in port at the time. The best discovery was the Lowry Oil Company (252-335-4283) who can deliver diesel directly to the boat at a very reasonable price for a minimum 100 gallon order. And the Farm Fresh supermarket about a mile and a half from the docks will pick up cruisers for grocery shopping. All in all, EC was a very enjoyable layover.
        Regards, Nita and Rick George aboard MV Hale Kai

        Reply to Nita
      23. Capt. Miles -  July 16, 2009 - 1:41 pm

        Message: Claiborne,
        The free city docks in Elizabeth City were full yesterday when we arrived. We noticed a trawler tied to the long face dock just north of the Elizabeth City bridge, and the bridge operator said we could stay there. The docks are part of the Jennette Brothers food distributors service. This locally owned company will make you sign a form excusing any liability, but otherwise they are very accomodating to cruisers when the city docks are full. No power, but water is available.
        The Dismal Swamp was beautiful with the changing Fall colors, with depths averaging 7 ft.
        As the morning temp. was 42, we\’re heading south!
        Capt. Miles

        Reply to Capt.
      24. Bob and Claudia -  July 16, 2009 - 1:30 pm

        If you are looking for dock space in Elizabeth City and all the “in town places” are taken, for the price of signing a waiver you can dock North of the bridge on the West side next to the Jennette Bros Provision Co. building. Say hello to Eric the bridge tender.

        When we passed through Elizabeth City last summer, the docking looked a little tight for us and we were going to just anchor. But, “some guy” waved us over to the area just about 50 yards south of the free city docks and helped us tie up. I was a little concerned since the bulkhead had a sign “no docking”, but since the “some guy” turned out to be the mayor, we were all smiles. How many places do you know in which the town’s mayor grabs a line for visiting boats???

        We had the same experience in early Oct when pulling in late, about 1700, at Elizabeth City. The guy ran across the park and waved us in to where the tour boat used to dock. The pilings were a little treacherous, but we managed to tie and enjoy the evening. Our two dogs enjoyed the park as well as ourselves. The mayor is Steve Atkinson and he was heading to the Annapolis sailboat show the next day, so I gave him my card so he could use the Annapolis Yacht Club. A very nice fellow and a credit to the city.
        Bob and Claudia

        Reply to Bob
      25. John and Dottie -  July 15, 2009 - 7:20 pm

        Subject: Elizabeth City
        Cruising News: As one of the early boats heading north on the ICW. It was refreshing to find the hospitality of the Elizabeth City Mayor.
        On April 1, at about 4:30 in the afternoon we arrived at the Elizabeth City Dock.
        A short time later the City Mayor approached us and offered the hospitality of the city. Explaining all that was available in town from dinner theater, great places to eat, museaums, Post Office and Library as well as free wi fi at the dock.
        What a great feeling being made so welcome after a long days cruise.
        Cudos to Elizabeth City
        John and Dottie on the DAR SEA

        Reply to John
    • Pelican Marina

      transient-dockpowerfresh-watershowerslaundryfoodpropane/natural gaswastewifi

      Basic Marina Information:

      Phone: (252) 335-5108
      Statute Mile: 50.5
      Lat/Lon: Near 36°18.010 N / 76°12.742 W
      Location: guarding the Pasquotank's northern banks, northeast of marker #8
      Depths: 5 ft.
      Address: 43 Camden Causeway
      Elizabeth City NC  27909

      Service Details:

      Transient dockage: Available
      Transient dockage rate: $35.00 per night regardless of vessel size
      Type of dockage: fixed wooden slips
      Live Aboards Allowed: no
      Total number of slips/berths: 58
      Dockside Power Connections: 30/50 amp power hookups available

      Dock. Fresh Water Connections: Available
      Showers: Available, Climate Controlled
      Laundromat: Available
      Restaurant: Many available by walking across bridge into downtown Elizabeth City
      Restaurant Recommendations:

      Cypress Creek Grill (lunch and dinner, 252-334-9915), Colonial Restaurant (excellent breakfast, 252-335-0212), Groupers Waterfront Restaurant (lunch and dinner, 252-331-2431), Thumpers (GREAT burgers, 252-333-1243), Quality Seafood (252-335-7648), Sidney's Bistro (252-331-1944), Bryon's Hotdogs (252-331-2986)

      Provisioning Possibilities: Call for free boat shuttle to Farm Fresh Supermarket (252-331-1301) for pick-up and return to the marina
      LPG (Propane) Availability: Available

      Take taxi to Shell gas station for LPG tank exchange 1 1/2 miles away
      Wi-Fi Internet Access: Free Wifi Available
      Waste pump-out: Available

      Reviews from Cruisers (5)

      1. Danny Styons -  September 9, 2013 - 9:10 pm

        Stayed here on Sept. 1 and was very pleased. This is great marina. Good bathrooms and laundry. very helpful and a ships store with good prices. Only 35.00 with power and water. A good restaurant next door.

        Reply to Danny
      2. Unknown -  October 19, 2011 - 10:37 am

        One of the really great things about cruising around is the consistency of friendly service we get time and time again at marinas we have found along the way. An example of this consistently friendly service is the staff at the Pelican Marina, in Elizabeth City. The manager, Josh, came in after hours on a day off, to catch our lines and make us feel welcome.
        Bring a little bag of dry cat food with you. There are a half dozen snapping turtles that will come up to the dock at the marina office, and beg for food. Talk about a marina that’s turtle friendly – and not just the MTOA turtles.
        This is another spot we will frequent, both North and South bound.

        Reply to Unknown
      3. Bill Brubaker -  November 21, 2010 - 9:12 pm

        I called Pelican Marina for a pump out Nov 19 at 3:00 PM. The manager said he would call me back as he was short handed; he finally called after dark. Obviously couldn’t pull in then so we made arrangements to arrive at 8:00 AM next morning and did so. We docked on the T-dock and gashed my hull from a nail on the outboard side of a piling. Worse, after fumbling around with the pump on a cart, the pump out would not work. So, I damaged my boat, was delayed an hour, and still did not get a pump out. Incompetence at its worst.

        Reply to Bill
      4. Claiborne -  July 17, 2009 - 9:05 am

        Pelican Marina in E-City
        Message: We just (Oct 4) came through the Dismal Swamp Canal and overnighted at the Pelican Marina. Plenty of water in the canal – we had 8 feet all the way through. Pelican Marina was $35 for the night – we are 43 feet and the laundry and electric were included. This is an endorsement for the marina. Nice people and an easy walk over the bridge into town.
        Fred Sorensen
        OA 43

        Reply to Claiborne
      5. Claiborne -  July 17, 2009 - 9:05 am

        Subject: Pelican Marina
        Message: I am responding to a news contribution from Sept 16 by MV Hale Kai. I am currently living aboard at The Pelican Marina where they still do a very steady transient business. I do know that more and more they stay full (including nightly slips) because of how ideal their marina is. When possible, us as monthly slipholders even use the excuse to go hang on the hook and free up additional slips. They offer a flat nightly rate of $35, and that is all inclusive (even laundry). It is true that they have sold slips. What is not true is that they are all privately owned. The Pelican still owns 65% and the rest are still rented monthly or nightly.
        Thanks for letting me contribute.

        Reply to Claiborne
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