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Alligator River - Alligator River Marina


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June 2, 2004 - June 3, 2004

Leaving Lamb's Marina was tough. I had gotten to know some of the people and enjoyed their company. Plus I was a little reluctant to leave as some concern over the magnitude of what I was doing had crept back in. Basically I had gotten scared. But you can't live life in fear, so I cast off and was gone on my way across the Albemarle Sound and into the Alligator River.

I passed thru Elizabeth City, and continued down the breathtaking Pasquotank River to Albemarle Sound. I had heard all manner of stories of 'how treacherous' this Sound can be so I did choose my time carefully. It wasn't bad at all, but it was choppy and fixing to get worse as the day went on. But I made it across and into the Alligator. Then the fun started.

I turned into the Little Alligator River, a small tributary right off the mouth of the Alligator River and, since the wind had kicked up to 15 mph, I thought I would travel back a ways to get a little protection if it got worse. I found a likely place, dropped anchor, and laid out a 10 to 1 length of scope, and backed to set it. I put the boat to rights after the trip, pumping up the drive leg as part of the procedure. When I went back a few minutes later, the drive leg was back in the water... hmmm. I checked, I had closed the valve, so what was wrong. Well, the hydraulic pump had failed. Nuts.

Also, the dinghy had deflated on one of its pontoons! What was THAT all about?

MEANWHILE I looked around and noticed that I was about 20' (yes, 20 FEET) away from the tree line!!!!! I was dragging anchor and the wind was pushing HARD. I will say that I didn't panic, but I did turn green, split my shirt, roar, start the engine, run forward, grab the anchor rode and pulled the anchor all the way in by hand - all in about 20 seconds! This was good because I managed to drag the boat forward (how DID I do that?) out of the possible underwater tangle of roots and I leaped into the captain's seat and was OUT of there! I am sure that the anchor set on an underwater root, and it broke setting the anchor free.

Luckily, there is a marina a couple of miles further south and I called and got a temporary slip. The bad news is that it is the Alligator River Marina, which is run by misanthropes. They also don't like dogs. They were not particularly uncivil to me, but they were decidedly NOT friendly, nor helpful. They yelled at the folks whose boat was in front of mine for walking their German Shepherd on the grass nearest the boat. This dog has severe arthritis and obviously could not walk the long distance to the dog walk - they had a bag for cleanup. What inhumane jerks these people are. I found out later that these folks have a lousy reputation with boaters. They hold us a captive audience as it is the only marina in the area, and anchoring on the Little Alligator will get your anchor fouled.

Perhaps it is true that harsh environments produce harsh people. This is some of the harshest country I have ever seen. There is something of purgatory in the way the trees don't quite seem to be quite alive... there is nothing 'pretty' about it. It is just broken down and ugly. In short, I'd go around the sound to avoid the Alligator River next time. Oh, but more importantly avoid the Alligator River Marina. I'd as soon never give them any business again. Perhaps someone else will buy the marina, as it is a really nice one, and turn it into a little boater's haven. It certainly could be.

Click an image to see a larger version.

Albemarle Sound
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Leaving Little Aligator River
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Allegator Marina At Night
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Leaving Allegator River Marina
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Getting Ready The Chesapeake Bay The Great Dismal Swamp North Carolina South Carolina Georgia Florida

Roni Tails Sea Tales and Other Stories Pictures of Doublewide Mayaca Railroad Bridge