Today we are cruising with sv/Euphoria (Al & Colette) and both vessels agreed to go to Alligator River and then up into the South Lake anchorage. We figured it would be 30.9 miles into the river plus over 5 miles to the anchorage. So we knew we wouldn’t have to get up and leave at the crack of dawn.
First thing in the morning Chuck and I wanted to walk to the Ace Hardware store to buy a Propane Buddy Heater. We just needed a little heat to take the chill out of the boat at night and in the morning. As it turned out, they sold their last heater on Saturday. Oh well, the walk was nice and we knew that when we got to the anchorage there would be nothing but water, trees, and quiet!! South Lake is surrounded by the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge and there is no shore access due to the swampy land.
Around 10:30 am, we backed out between the pilings at the city docks without any problem. Euphoria left first. Leaving Elizabeth City and motoring down the Pasquotank River was awesome. We went by the Kodiak Coast Guard Station on our starboard side (west shore), and a little further on the same side we motored by the Blimp Hangar. The river got wider as we neared the Albemarle Sound…and crab traps everywhere! All of our water guides warned to pick a good day to cross the Albemarle. It is shallow with average depths of 20 ft and kicks up quick, much like Lake Erie. We lucked out because even though it’s very cloudy, the winds are light…..maybe 5 kts of wind. The surface of the sound is flat and the only waves that we saw were waves created by a trawler that past us!
Soon we were at the mouth of the Alligator River. It is critical to follow the channel markers. The magenta line on most chart plotters is incorrect at marker Red 8A. So using ones eyes instead of the chart plotter is a wise decision on this river. Once we got safely into the Alligator River, we motored to marker R10 before we turned to port to travel to the entrance that would turn south to South Lake.
|South Lake Anchorage|
Once we were settled in and determined that the anchor was set, Chuck washed the boat while I cleaned down below. Our boat was filthy! Colette soon texted to invite us for cocktails and said that Al would be over to pick us up in their dinghy. Wow, it’s great to have taxi service out in the middle of nowhere!!! However as the sun set, we discovered that mosquitoes are still quite active in this area, so down below we went. On our way back to our boat we noticed all the stars in the sky. There isn’t any light pollution except for our two anchor lights and they blend in with the stars. Heavenly! We even heard the howl of the red wolves tonight which were introduced back into this wildlife refuge some years ago.
|Euphoria anchored at South Lake|