Friday, April 28, 2017

Oriental to Alligator River Marina, NC

We left New Bern after lunch yesterday and traveled to River Dunes Marina near Oriental, NC. The trip covered around 33 miles, mostly on the Neuse River, in 4.3 hours. The marina is a 5-star facility, with just about every amenity imaginable.

Around the marina


Sailboats at dusk

Early morning
We untied our lines at 0600 today and headed north. We crossed Pamlico Sound with no issues- only 1-2 footers. Next up was the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal- a 21.2 mile land cut with no marinas, no fuel and no anchorages. And no scenery for 2+ hours. For the curious, "pungo" is an Indian word meaning dust.

Around here we crossed the so-called Mason-Dixon Line of the Marine world. Just across Pamlico Sound, Cape Hatteras sticks out into the Atlantic. The Labrador Current flows here from the north, and the Gulf Stream comes up from the south. These two currents converge at Hatteras. Cold-water fish like cod, mackerel and pollock are found to the north, and warm-water fish like Spanish mackerel, mullet, and grouper are found to the south. (From Mark and Diana Doyle's On the Water CruiseGuide for the Intracoastal Waterway.)

Commercial fish facility at R.E. Mayo in Hoboken, NC.
After traveling 90 miles in 9.8 hours, we arrived at our overnight stop, Alligator River Marina.
This 19-slip marina is located along highway 64 next to a gas station/convenience store. It is pretty isolated, near the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The gators have moved further south, but this refuge is home to black bears and the endangered red wolf. It also puts us in a good spot to cross the infamous Albermarle Sound first thing in the morning.

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