Back in the Pack Down the ICW


After three nights on our own, we slipped back in with our group at the Dowry Creek Marina on the Pungo River.

Apparently our fellow ralliers had a few issued on the trip down the Alligator/Pungo Canal. One boat became grounded (stuck on a shallow spot) and in the process of backing off the shallow spot, the dinghy line became entangled in the engine propeller.  Several other rally boats stopped to help untangle the line, but in the process, one of the helper boats ran over his anchor bridle which became entangled in his propeller!

The initial boat was able to free itself and someone jumped in the water and untangled the dinghy line.  The second boat was not as fortunate and had to be towed into Dowry Creek Marina.


Frank dives to rescue the bridle on Our Log.

Instead of hiring a diver to loosen the anchor bridle from s/v Our Log’s propeller, Frank volunteered to don his gear and try to free the bridle.


Bill peers into the water trying to see if Frank is making progress.

Fortunately after about 25 minutes, Frank managed to free the bridle and s/v Our Log didn’t have any propeller or engine damage!

Seeing as we are in The States, Sunday afternoon we all got together to grill and watch football on TV.  A BIG priority for LIB.    Not.   But the company was good and we had fun. Just don’t ask who was playing football because neither of us could tell you.

We left Dowry Creek and headed toward River Dunes Marina which is about a 40 mile trip.  Along the way we passed some uninhabited places and some very sparsely populated areas.  The homes were pretty significant for weekend places, yet they are so isolated it is hard to imagine them being full time residences.


This was the most populated of the riverside “communities.”

About half way into our trip to River Dunes, we passed a shrimping area where our leader, Wally, stopped to buy shrimp for those who had placed orders the night before.  At $4.95 per pound, the shrimp was a popular buy!


Shrimp boat docked at Mayo Seafood Dock.


Only minutes after stopping, Wally had more than 30 pounds of shrimp on board!

For those who don’t sail, I thought you might find it interesting to see the electronic charts we are using as we navigate the ICW.  On the chart below, you will see a small, solid black boat and two larger outlined boats (dashed triangles).  LIB is represented by the solid boat.  The other two are boats near us who have Automatic Identification System (AIS).  AIS is an optional piece of equipment that broadcasts a boats’ location and information about the boat (type, size, speed it is traveling, etc).  We are amazed how few boats have AIS because we think it is very helpful and is a safety feature, especially at night!

ICW week 2-8.jpg

Dashed lines show the heading of other boats.

While your intuition would tell you to steer toward the “blue water” on this map, we actually are following the white area which represents the dug out trench of the ICW.  It looks like we are motoring on land when you glance at the chart, but remember, the ICW connects bodies of water that were originally separate.

ICW week 2-7.jpg

This is the view that corresponds with the chart view above.

As we entered the channel for the River Dunes Marina, we hailed the marina on our VHF to make sure they knew we were a catamaran and to get our slip assignment.  When they heard we were a catamaran, a bit of chaos broke out because they didn’t realize they had a cat coming in with the group.  That means they didn’t anticipate the width of our boat when planning our slip assignment.

River Dunes-1.jpg

Entry into River Dunes Marina

Following the dock master’s orders, Frank prepared lines and bumpers and I manned the helm (drove).  We were told the slip was 26 feet wide, which was sufficient for our 24 food wide boat…. well, after nudging our way into the slip, we knew the measurements were not accurate and Frank and I just had to measure to see just how tight our slip really was…

LIB is 24 feet 3 inches wide. When we put a measuring tape to the slip?  24 feet 8 inches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Yes, we had 2.5 inches of space to spare on each side!!!

Regardless of our tight slip, this upscale community had plenty of amenities and we took advantage of many of them. Frank and I played tennis on the beautifully maintained clay courts.  It felt really awkward to play tennis after 18 months without hitting a ball.  I’m super glad I am not competing right now. It would be embarrassing!

Among other things, we had a croquet tournament where several of us “dressed” the part and assumed properly, stereotypically, snobby names.  It was guys against the girls and I can happily report that after 3 games, we tied.  (Ok, so the women may have taken a few small liberties, but…).


River Dunes has about 4 fire pits available for evening gatherings.

Wally scheduled a gathering to discuss what to expect further south in the ICW and we agreed to come only if we could have it by the fire pits while sipping beverages at sunset.  Not a bad way to gather intel!

Frank and I rode our bikes from River Dunes to Oriental – “the sailing capital of NC,” – where we met up with Mindy and Ron, our Jabin’s Yacht Yard buddies. Like a dork, I forgot to take pictures but we enjoyed tooling around Oriental with Mindy and Ron; then the four of us stopped for lunch at The Silo. Lunch was great and the company was most excellent.


Pic from the archives.

BTW, as is usual for my bike rides with Frank, the “six mile” ride to Oriental was more like 9.5 each way.  Hey, but I biked off lunch, probably, and the ride was absolutely beautiful and pretty much flat (like my rear tire!), so I am not really complaining.  I just have to remind Frank of his estimation powers for bike mileage.

Here are two of my favorite pictures from this week:


s/v Valentine (Jack and Diane) show off their sailing skills


Sunrise as we left Dowry Creek Marina

Our next scheduled stop is Beaufort, NC.  Beaufort was our first landing when we returned to the U.S. after being away for eight months and we loved this coastal city.

3 thoughts on “Back in the Pack Down the ICW

    1. Our fenders were up on the deck. No room. Thank goodness they had good edge bumpers along the dock! We did actually move after one night to a T head when it became available.


  1. I just love your blog posts! This was great! Too bad about the entanglement with props at the beginning! Glad Frank could help! I haven’t had much time to read them, but hope to make up for it now…work is slowing down a bit as we prepare for January with so much to do…


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