Albemarle Loop Snowbird Layover Special, Albemarle Sound, NC
Whether you are traveling north or south, the rivers and communities that frame the Albemarle Sound are inviting you to explore their shores and experience their warm southern hospitality. A community of marine businesses and historical locations, several of whom are CRUISERS NET SPONSORS, located on and around the Albemarle Sound of North Carolina, have organized to serve boaters through the Albemarle Loop. For more, see FOCUS ON Albemarle Loop.
By Claude Milot
By some estimates, as many as 7,000 boaters sail the ICW between points north and Florida every year. When the weather turns cold in the fall, some can’t wait to leave New York or New England and head south.
The problem is, because of the hurricane season, insurance companies won’t cover boaters past Hatteras until November 1st. Rather than linger in cold waters, many boaters who have already begun their trek south will seek temporary anchorage in the Carolinas. And this has created an opportunity for Albemarle Sound marinas to provide a practical solution for these boaters, as the Albemarle Sound happens ideally to be the half-way point between, say, New York and Miami, a perfect place to linger in October while awaiting November 1st.
Three marinas on the Sound are participating in Snowbird Layover, a program specially designed to benefit ICW boaters: Columbia Municipal Marina, Edenton Harbor, and Albemarle Plantation Marina.
ICW boaters will be able to tie up in Columbia—slippage free—for two weeks prior to November 1st. Main Street has shops and restaurants, and Pocosin Arts, a gallery and teaching studio that has been offering programs and workshops since 1995. Nearby are the headquarters and wildlife exhibits of Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge, as well as the start of the ¾ mile Scuppernong River Interpretive Trail.
Edenton Harbor offers one week of free slippage to ICW boaters who can use that time to experience this living monument to the colonial era. North Carolina’s first capital is noted for its authentic architecture from the 18th and 19th centuries. Visitors can take walking tours or guided trolley tours of the historic district or take a leisurely walk along tree-lined streets to soak up the beauty and charm of “the prettiest town in the south.”
From October 15th to December 1st Albemarle Plantation Marina will offer two weeks of free slippage to ICW boaters pausing on their migration south. Albemarle Plantation is a resort with a wide variety of amenities available to visiting boaters. It has two restaurants, the Clubhouse Restaurant for fine dining, and the more casual Dockside, famous for its wood-fired pizza oven. It also has the challenging championship Dan Maples golf course, with discounted greens fees for boaters. Also available to guests are walking trails, tennis courts, a fully equipped exercise room, and the best bocce courts in North Carolina.
The welcome sign is out at Columbia, Edenton, and Albemarle Plantation for ICW migrants needing a great place to hang out before November 1st. Come on down!
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