Coinjock to Pungo Creek, NC


Coinjock has a special fondness for us. Other than Midway and Coinjock marinas there’s not much else there and the big activity is watching boats. We get a kick out of stopping, celebrating with a dinner out, staying an extra day and watching boats go by. Early in November boat activity runs a bit higher as many of the larger boats have insurance cruising limits holding them north of the ICW until November 1 to minimize hurricane risk. A number of impressive yachts went by, but according to the Midway Dockmaster ICW traffic overall was down by at least a third.

Since leaving Washington 6 days earlier the wind has had a north component in its direction. Now it increased to 15-20 mph. For crossing Albemarle Sound a north wind is great, but high winds on shallow waters can still make for a less than pleasant crossing. We went to bed on our second night considering staying an extra day.

The morning NOAA forecast had NW 15-20 mph winds for the next 3 days with waves forecast to build a bit as the steady winds continued. It was time to move. We headed out and were pleased to find conditions crossing Albemarle Sound with a following sea to be better than we anticipated. I’d downloaded the chart with the revised marks and ICW route just before the Alligator River Bridge so we knew the route around the shallows we were familiar with had changed.

Shortly after the Alligator River bridge we stopped following the magenta line on the ICW chart, cut a corner and continued on running out of the channel for about 10 miles in the 8-10’ water shown on the chart. The short cut saved a bit of mileage and eliminated passing boats that follow the magenta line.

A distress call came from a sailing catamaran taking on water somewhere ahead of us on Alligator-Pungo Canal. Ruth and I began figuring out what we could do to assist. By the time we arrived the captain had the situation stabilized and TowBoatUS was on the way. Later we heard TowBoatUS contacting a Bellhaven marina for docking instructions with a catamaran in tow.

The anchor caught and snapped the anchor line tight as we backed down. We settled down tucked up close to the north shore in Pungo Creek and watched the sunset. We had a mirror smooth anchorage to ourselves.


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