Manteo is a lovely vacation place, with a delightful town, and a terrible anchorage for a big boat. Shallow Bag Bay is well-named. It's shallow.
This has a strong contrast with the Deep Point at the south end of the Alligator River.
While I could find 7′ of water coming in to Manteo, I could not find 7′ of water going back out. I scrambled back and forth across the channel for an hour of worry. At dead-slow speeds, we watched insanely shallow depths creep underneath us. I dutifully followed the marks, but I could not seem to stay in the channel.
The good news? If we did touch bottom, it was only to plow a furrow through an underwater ridge.
Getting to Roanoke Sound Channel mark 36 was the high point of the day. Once were were into water that's reliably 7′ deep, the rest of the day's journey down the Alligator River was a vacation, a walk in the park, a piece of cake, a nothing-burger without drama.
But that first hour. Ugh. Did not like.
Today, we passed 1,000 miles on the new B&G Chartplotter and Navionics Autopilot.
We've become really, really dependent on having easy-to-read electronic charts.
And a rudder position indicator.
And an autopilot that I can put into "No Drift" mode and then find the dayboards hidden in the river.
We've stopped at Deep Point in the south end of the Alligator each time we've been through here. We dropped the hook at 35° 40.4927′N, 076° 03.4876′W. We really, really like this place. It's quiet. It's only yards from the channel and very easy to find. It has pretty good protection from a number of directions.
(Maybe a strong breeze from 140°M, i.e., between SE and SE by S, might make this nasty. Maybe from 277°M, i.e., between W or W by N would also stir up some chop. Otherwise, we're in a narrow creek.)
It's all of 7′ deep, so 50′ of chain will hold us through anything short of a hurricane, and 70′ of chain should probably cover the worst of circumstances.
It's not as silent as the anchorage by Durant Island. We're yards from the AIWW, and a barges did come through at night. It was a BIG star-destroyer scale barge, vast beyond the comprehension of mere mortals.
We expect rain tomorrow, so we'll stay here.
|Depart||Manteo 36°54.404′N, 075°40.034′W|
|Arrive||Deep Pt. 35° 40.4927′N, 076° 03.4876′W|