Thursday, September 29, 2016

Coinjock - at their face dock

Leaving the free dock next to Atlantic Yacht 
Not 65 ft!
We dodged storms all day long but finally got caught in rain as we were approaching Coinjock. The water level seemed higher than normal but it was my first time through so I had no real comparison experience but the bridge clearance was not 65 ft.

I've been in a dialog with several readers on the pros and cons of the Dismal Swamp route vs the Virginia Cut. I put together my personal observations below:

Dockage: Dismal Swamp is free all the way. Coinjock is pretty much the only game in town for a stop over, it's $1.75/ft. If you stop at Atlantic Yacht Basin area you can use the free dock across the way but it's a long trip to go straight through to the Alligator River from there. Besides, I also like visiting Elizabeth City with its free docks too and many restaurants. We're more limited than most since we also need shore access for Hoolie.

Protection from weather: there are long stretches of wide open areas on the Virginia Cut which is not a problem with winds less than 10 kts or even up to 15 but it would get lumpy above that. The Dismal Swamp is very protected.

Depths: No problem for the Cut, an eye opener for the Dismal. We've never gone through the Dismal without hitting something, usually about 3 to up to a dozen and that is with our 4 ft 9 in keel. Mostly they are from logs on the bottom that float up to give you a thump on your keel. This is the biggest negative for the Dismal and the reason you don't see many powerboats there although they do get a fair share.

Scenery: I prefer the Dismal which also has a free park with displays of local animals and plants. You are close to shore all the way through, lots of turtles and an occasional snake in the water and ospreys. The section from the south lock to Elizabeth City is especially beautiful I think.

Rain behind us with rainbows
So there you have it, a thumbnail view. Depends on what you like or what you want to avoid. We'll move on to the Alligator River Marina on Friday and then take a look at the storms. We would like to tuck into RE Mayo for any major storm. It's completely protected and only $0.40/ft.