Thursday, May 29, 2014

Where in the hell is Coinjock

After topping off our fuel at the Dowry Creek marina, we continued our trek northward along the ICW.  In the few places where we thought we might be able to do a little sailing, it seemed that the wind was right on our nose and there wasn't enough room or time to tack into the wind. So the motors ran the entire day.  The best we could do was attempt to motor-sail (deploying one or more sails while motoring) when the wind was at least 40 degrees off our nose.

Dowry Creek Marina

Motor-sailing does seem to help a bit, giving us an extra quarter or half a knot in speed.  When you are only going 6 knots to begin with, anything helps.

Abemarle Sound and the Swing Bridge in the distance.

Crossing Abemarle sound, out in the middle of a wide expanse of shallow water there is a highway with a swing bridge.  I'm told they only open this bridge when the wind is low, around 30 knots or less.  Given how shallow the water is, I can imagine it could be a wild ride out there if the winds are anything over 20 knots.

We had to deal with something in that sound that I haven't had to deal with since our lessons in Florida...crab pots.  The pots themselves are under water, but they have a line attached to a float so the fishermen can retrieve them.  If you run over one, the line can wrap around your prop and stop your engine so, obviously, you want to avoid these things. Unfortunately fishermen don't quite get the concept that the ICW is a heavily traveled corridor and seem to drop their strings of pots across the marked channel. I'm starting to see why people install line cutters on their prop shafts.  I know the fishermen are just trying to earn a living and that losing a pot can get expensive, but if you are putting them in the middle of the well traveled channel, you are being a bit irresponsible and losing a pot is not as bad as disabling and losing a boat.

So, about the title of this post.  There is a small marina in a narrow part of the ICW channel at, we'll call it town...of Coinjock.  They have a face dock that lines a pretty decent size section of one of the shores.  I'm pretty sure most, if not all, of the industry for this town is centered around the marina and servicing cruisers that are passing through.  Since it is the only game in town, their prices are a bit higher than some of the other marinas we've used on this trip, but it is a good place to spend the night if you are cruising through the area.  The marina store is pretty well stocked with a lot of basic provision needs and some boat supplies. Since there is no grocery store nearby, it is the only place around to get anything you might need.

Coinjock Marina

In the above picture, you can also see a river cruise ship that docks there to do some sort of shore excursion.  I can't imagine trying to pilot that boat through some of the twists and turns of the ICW.  I wonder if he unintentionally dredges the ICW to help keep the depths reasonable, we saw around 14 feet of water (and I've seen as little as 9 in other places further south of here).

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