Visiting Ocracoke and Silver Lake Harbor (Pamlico Sound)
On 7/23/09, as part of a “North Carolina Wish List,” I posed the following question:
19. Probably Pamlico Sound’s most popular port of call is Silver Lake Harbor on Ocrocoke Island. This is still a great place to visit. Cruisers can choose between the US Park Service Docks, a private marina, or you can anchor out in Silver Lake. Who has visited Ocracoke? Did you dock or anchor? What did you find ashore? Please provide some Ocrocoke dining recommendations.
We stayed in Ocracoke for four days the week of July 12. Arrived in a 30 knot southwester from Oriental and docked at the empty National Park Service Docks on the north end of Silver Lake (first-come-first-served, $1.25/foot/day and $3/day for 30 amp electric, no dockside showers). The docks are very rough and badly in need of maintenance; make sure your fenders are adequate. One boat did join us before we left on Wednesday. All of the restaurants we visited were good: smacnally’s at the Anchorage Marina, Jolly Roger, Back Porch (try their Vietnamese style Bluefish dish). We usually try to go to Howard’s but have heard relatively bad things about them in terms of service and food quality recently. Ashore this time of year is the usual mix of tourists from the upper banks and the ferries down for a day trip (very crowded in town, not so much at the docks or the beach). There is still a shoal building out from red 10B and from auxiliary uncharted green can 9C. You should give them both a wide berth when exiting or leaving from Big Foot Slough Channel .
Stay at Park Service Dock or anchor out. The only other marina has gone to $2.50 per foot, plus $10 for a 50 amp service. Ocracoke is a great place to go. As you come in the channel, stay in it until you see a green and red marker near marker #4 on the Silver Lake entrance channel. Leave the green and red to starboard as you turn into Silver Lake ( I watched the ferries do this), then follow the markers as usual. Do not cut across into the Silver Lake channel until the green and red. Otherwise, the channel from Pamlico Sound is very well marked.
Peggy Sue, Monk 36
I’m a big fan of the Caribe so have been trying to find the Abacos or Barbados on the ICW – pretty much unrealistic. But Okracoke has the flavour of the Caribe about – much more so than Cape Lookout further south. Some good bars and joints there – not too expensive. Easy to moor and dinghy in. But no Reggae, Limbo or De Rum and Coca Cola……
The British Club Worldwide
Ocracoke is always fun. We have been several times including last fall. We love the Ocrafolk Opry – there are the locals who sand and played in the movie, Nights in Rodanthe. Several of them are teachers at the local school. We anchor but the dock is park operated so your park pass gets you a discount. Local art shops are numerous. Good restaurants and bakery and ice cream shop
Wright and Gladys Anderson
First & Ten
We anchored in Silver Lake this trip in June. Was the first time anchoring out there among several trips there by water. Was excellent and would do again. State docks are excellent if you can get a spot with full power, water and very reasonable most especially if you purchase for $10 the Passport for State Parks
and a Sr. Citizen – cuts dock price to under $1.00 / ft. We love Jason’s out near
Howards. Anchorage Marina is definitely a “gotcha” marina – prices are out of reason from dockage to fuel. I had to get fuel, it was $2.00 per gallon more than I paid anywhere from Bath, NC to Norfolk; I also needed to fill up my water tanks – that was $10.00
We go to Ocracoke regularly and love it there. The channel in is a bit daunting due to shoaling. Went hard aground there in a power yacht last spring between marker 9 and 9A I believe. The Coast Guard relayed this happens more often than you’d expect. Be sure to stay mid channel or follow the route of the ferries that regularly visit the town. Shopping is fun (lots of jewelry and unusual crafts) and there are many places to eat that are good, our favorites being the Back Porch and Flying Melon. We usually stay at the private marina but have friends who anchor out. Silver Lake is truly a beautiful spot.
Pat Cummins, s/v Kentris
The Admiral and I spent the 2nd week of July docked at Anchorage Marina in Silver Lake, Ocracoke. We found the staff most helpful, very friendly, and welcoming overall. The cost of dockage was a bit higher than we experienced in other locations. Additionally, pump outs are on the expensive side, 30.00 per 30 gallons. Also, the lack of laundry can be a pain. However, we are talking about Ocracoke and the marina staff worked very hard to make up for these few negatives. Due to wind, we constantly heard the slap of water on the swim platform each night.
There were a number of boats anchored in the lake proper, including two good sized Marine Trader trawlers.
The island recently passed liquor by the drink so a few of the restuarants now offer cocktails. Unfortunately for those who drink hard liquor, the current law doesn’t allow outdoor venues to offer this choice. Apparently the law specifies a venue must provide indoor seating for greater than 32 to apply for a liquor license.
My wife and I enjoyed a number of lunches at Dajio which is a very short walk from the marina. Our favorite entree being the “ciabattia chicken sandwich.”
Additionally, the Creekside Cafe served a good sampling of bar/grill food and a decent sampling of seafood. They also serve cocktails for those interested.
Of course we had to sample Howards. The Admiral had a rueben which, according to her (native of NY), wasn’t quite up to par.
Perry & Kathy Sellars
M/V Marsh Mellow
We have been anchored out in Silver Lake the last three nights; it has been windy, in the 20 knot range from the south and southwest, very choppy on the sound. We rented bikes today at the Surf Shed, which has the best prices (not to be confused with the Surf Shop across the street). It is about a 20 minute leisurely bike ride to the excellent Park Service beach. I walked by the Anchorage Marina and noted that diesel was going for $2.69, so am not sure about the comment above about fuel prices. Ocracoke is a true island, only accessible by boat or ferry, so it doesn’t surprise me that things like fuel, water and pump outs are expensive, as they often are in the Bahamas, for instance. Anyway, it is a fun stop, reminiscent of a cross between Cuttyhunk, Memensha, and Vineyard Haven up north.
Incentive, Hatteras 56MY