Navigating to Coinjock NC


We left Alligator Marina at 8:30 with anticipations of some wind on the Albemarle Sound.  The wind report said Wednesday would be the best day to navigate the sound.  The bridge opening situation was still unknown when we left so didn’t know if we could get into Coinjock Marina.  We called and could dock at Midway marina across the way.  Well it was rough, if this was a calm day I wouldn’t want to be on the Albemarle sound when there are high winds.   There was no sunbathing on the top deck for me or maneuvering around the boat,  I just sat and hung on.

Traveling the Albemarle Sound is sometimes a challenging body of water because of winds from almost any quarter tend to funnel either up or down the long straight sound.   We were hammered with side waves for almost 14 miles.  When coming from alligator river into the Albemarle sound you would have to make a decision either the Dismal Swamp or the Virgina cut.  Well due to hurricane Matthew the Dismal Swamp is not open so all boaters have to navigate the Virgina cut.

Albemarle sound is a large estuary on the coast of North Caroline located at the confluence of a group of rivers, its separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Currituck bank.  This body of water if the longest estuaries in the state leading into a number of rivers specifically the Roanoke and Cowan Rivers, both of which extend all the way into the state of Virginia.  Much of the water in the Albemarle Sound is brackish or fresh as opposed to the saltwater of the ocean as a result of river water pouring into the sound.  The sound forms part of the AICW.  Its coast saw the first permanent English settlement in what became North Carolina the Albemarle settlements.  Before Europeans came to the Albemarle Sound the Algonquian Indians lived in the region, they traveled the sound in dugout canoes, and traded fish.  In 1586 the first European explores sailed up the fifty-five mile length of the Albemarle Sound.  Half a century later the first European settlers came south from Virginia establishing agricultural and trading.  Colonies and larger merchant ships bring spices, silks, and sugars from the West Indies in exchange for products such as tobacco, herring, and lumber.  In 1663 Albermarle Sound was made part of the Province of Carolina by King Charles II of England.  Ferries were a common method of transportation through the swamps surrounding Albermarle Sound and fishing was a major industry.

Once we entered the North Carolina cut, which was narrow the waves were smaller.  We are staying at Coinjock Marina.  They called and said the bridges were open and boats were moving so they had room for us to dock.  Johnny was the first to dock and were second with SeaQuest and Let’s Go behind us.  Short Vacation was way down on the end as they didn’t get to the marina until 5:30.  After we were docked and secure with power and water hooked up, we washed the boat it really needed it after crossing the sound.

Marine facilities and secure berths are scarce along this stretch of the ICW and they fill up rapidly.  Coinjock named by the Indians for the berries are still growing in this area.  The marina has a 1,000 foot long dock, there were 22 boats tied to it from 35ft to 90ft. Wednesday night.


The Coinjock restaurant is known for their 32 ounce prime rib which Kent and I shared with left overs.   We are docked here until Sunday due to bad weather and wind coming on Friday.   Liz said she needs a break after getting beat up for two days.  So down time with some inside cleaning and maybe more waxing and of course docktails.

We had a pretty bad storm Friday with a lot of rain and wind.  The water by the marina store is very high and they closed the bridges again today Saturday.  They are rafting boats as nobody can travel north.  Liz and I went for a walk on the dock and counted 32 boats docked and rafted with more to come.  We hope the bridges will be open Sunday as weather looks good for navigating.

We are half way done with our great journey.  We have seen so much already with more to navigate.  The journey has been great but the best part is the people we have met along the way.  Some we saw in passing and others we have traveled with.  Then you have the ones you will be friends with forever.  Life is great but still miss all our family and friends back home.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Karen, says:

    Glad to see you are in Virginia today. Our weather called for small craft warnings on lower Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. So you are safely in Norfolk, a long day for you. Let me know when you are heading up the Chesapeake, I will see if we can meet you.

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