Saturday, May 5, 2012

Crossing the Abermarle Sound, On Up to Coinjock

From the Alligator River the next route would take us into the biggest body of open water that we had yet encountered, The Albermarle Sound, about 18 miles of open water connecting the Alligator River on the south and the North River in the north. We would then take the North River on up to our next destination of the Coinjock Marina in the town of the same name. 

We were stuck in the Alligator River Marina an extra day. Our initial cruising day, May 3, was scrubbed due to a heavy fog that just would not burn off until past 11:00 am or so. This did not leave us enough time to make the crossing of Albermarle Sound and make our next stop and Coinjock in daylight. Also, there were stiffening breezes from the north across the sound that would seriously slow our speed down and make the crossing somewhat uncomfortable. We did have a nice day at Alligator with our new boating buddies, Jim and Dale of Sweet Pea and Ross and Laura of The Zone.

Waking up on May 4 again found a heavy fog on top of us. We all kind of stood around the dock evaluating the situation and around 10:00 am we all decided that it was as good as it was going to get. So we set out. Fortunately the prevailing weather was very good indeed: partly sunny with no wind to speak of. Why Knot was the first to set out of the marina followed by The Zone and then Sweet Pea. The two of them quickly caught up and passed us. The Zone led the way through a “S” turn route out of the Alligator River into the sound. The calm conditions were holding. Once in the sound I set the auto pilot onto the course I laid in on the chartplotter and the crossing to the North River was straight as an arrow except for a small bit of maneuvering to avoid some crab pot floats. We then followed the North River into a short straight canal that took us directly to Coinjock Marina which is a very busy, strategically positioned marina 50 miles south of Norfolk VA, our eventual destination.
Entering Albermarle Sound
Entering Albermarle Sound

In the sound. Lots of water.

Coinjock Marina is what I call a LAD – Long Ass Dock. It is 1050’ long and all of the boats are packed in end to end just inches from the boats fore and aft. The dockhands are top-rate and made docking easy. The marina has a full service restaurant with a reputation for great prime rib steaks. Ross made a dinner reservation for the six of us and we had a great meal. Lisa and I had the 16 ounce steaks and it was plenty to eat. Ross had the 32 ounce steak and it was huge. The bar and patio area was jam packed with a local high school reunion. All in all a very pleasant experience with some great people. Very enjoyable.
Coinjock Marina

Coinjock Marina
Darrell, Lisa, Jim, Dale, Laura and Ross

Dale, Laura and Ross

Darrell, Lisa and Jim

Why Knot resting comfortably in Coinjock

Big party at Coinjock

Our next leg is an important milestone. We will reach the end of our cruise on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway when we pull into Waterside Marina in Norfolk, VA.