Thursday, May 3, 2012

Alligator River Marina

They call these big bodies of waters "rivers" but I think the term "oceans" is just as appropriate. The Neuse, Bay, Pungo, and Alligator rivers in North Carolina are very, very big. Not so much in length but certainly in width. The Neuse even claims to be the widest river in America. Could be. And you don't just drop yourself into the middle of one of these and say, "Welp. Here I am!" You have to plan for it, especially the wind directions. For our purposes getting out of Dowry Creek Marina we wanted a wind from some southern compass direct. That is just what we got. We cruised east on the Pungo, North on the bay, then east and north again on the Alligator river with a moderate South / Southwest wind which worked with us well enough.

Between the Bay River and the Alligator River is the Pungo River / Alligator River Canal which is about 15 miles of straight X 10 water. Actually there is a slight bend in the middle of it but it is otherwise straight as an arrow. The surrounds were beautiful in an odd kind of way. It was lined with tall fur trees most of the way with swirling winds kind of going in one direction and a current going in the opposite direction. But some parts were smooth as glass. This is a great time to be aboard Why Knot. In calm waters at a cruising speed of about 6.8 knots the wake coming off her bow barely makes a sound. The only real noise is the engine.

Upon exiting the canal we entered the Alligator river where we would navigate right down the center of the thing for about 15 miles. It was an uneventful passage. The last obstacle of the day's cruise was getting past the Alligator River Swing Bridge, then make a sharp turn to the port side and head into the Alligator River Marina. This is a very nice marina too, but not one that we would stay at for too long. It was intended to be a one night stop over on the way to our next stop, Coinjock, NC, then up to Norfolk the day after that.
This canal is what you call...straight.

Big wide rivers with lots of open water.

Open water.

Open water.

A navigator's work is never done.

Just another day at the office.

Alligator River Marina

                     


Why Knot snug as a bug.

Sundown

Me with my weapon at the ready.

We met up with Jim and Dale, two new friends we met in Dowry Creek. We had a great meal together and talked all about boating and whatever else we could come up with. Very pleasant.

We also met Ross and Laura of The Zone. They are also loopers on their way to the AGLCA Rendezvous in Norfolk.

As I write this now it is Thursday, May 3. We were suppose to set off for Coinjock this morning but a thick fog and a bothersome wind from the north latched onto the area for the morning. By the time it cleared it was too late to set off. Besides even if we did there was still the north wind to bug us. Tomorrow's forecast is for sunny, warm, light winds from the south (Yay!) and an easy passage over the big ol' Albermarle Sound, the first real open water navigating and cruising we will have to do.