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Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 18: Belhaven, NC To Coinjock, NC

Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 18: Belhaven, NC to Coinjock, NC

Conditions: Sunny & hot.  Winds SE 5 – 10 mph, ICW, rivers and sounds calm.

Distance traveled: 89 statute miles

Time underway: 7 hours 42 minutes

Average Speed: 8 kts

Max Speed: 18.7 kts

Fuel used: 105 gallons

When we awoke in Belhaven we found OLOH covered in a blanket of small black flies.  Perhaps they were hoping to hitch a ride to New York.  If it was a sign that Spring had sprung, then we’d take it!  We shoved off from Belhaven Marina by around 7:20 with a planned stop just a few docks away at River Forest Marina as we wanted to take on some fuel before the nearly ninety-mile day we had ahead.  While we’re sure we had enough fuel for the trip, we were cutting it close to the 10% reserve we always like to have on board and rather than stress out about our consumption we felt it best to just take some on and then fill up when we get to our next planned stop.  It was also good to see Henry, the exceptionally kind gentleman who runs the place who was our host the last time we passed through.

Jasper was excited to see Dockmaster Henry at River Forest. We’re sure it had nothing to do with the treat.
The twenty-one mile Alligator River Pungo River Canal was relatively quiet. We gave the sailing vessel Katrajena a nice slow pass.

This stretch of the trip is something we had done in two legs when we headed south but we decided to take advantage of the amazing weather we were having and combine a five-hour leg with a three and a half hour leg and skip the Alligator River Marina in Columbia where we had stopped last time.  This was a day that included some big bodies of water that can really kick up with strong winds.  Fortunately, we were only seeing winds of around five mph and found the Pungo River, Alligator River, and Albermarle Sound to be nearly smooth as glass.

After a quick chat with the Captain of Balahula, a beautiful Fleming, we gave them a slow pass even though they let us know they were stabilized.
The Alligator River Swing Bridge. Only 37 miles to Coinjock!
We passed through the east side of the swing bridge, as requested by the very polite bridge tender.
How Jasper spends much of his time on the ICW.

Coinjock Marina is an iconic stop on the waterway and a psychological demarcation for us as we are heading north that we are in the homestretch of the ICW.  It sits at mile fifty (Norfolk to the north is zero) and, as we’ve written about before, it’s a relatively small spot, not close to anything, that’s run like a world-class marina with a terrific restaurant and an incredibly friendly staff.  J.D. greets every boater on the radio with enthusiasm and gets you tied up like a pro with the same level of care given to all, whether you’re in a thirty footer or one hundred+ footer – they get them all at Coinjock.  And owner Louis is ever the gracious host.

Coinjock arrival. It’s empty now but on a typical day during the migration seasons there is not a spot left on the docks by the end of the day and it usually empties out the next morning as people continue their journeys.  They are very dog-friendly here and Jasper knows there are treats waiting for him in that well-stocked Ship’s Store on the right!

Random crazy… If you go to the Coinjock Marina website you will see this picture on their homepage. Look under the old Coinjock sign – that’s OLOH long before she was OLOH! It’s incredible to us that of the thousands of boats that have passed through here over the years, this was the shot they took many years ago and use for their website.
We got ourselves to the bar for lunch and enjoyed the last of the sunshine with a cold glass of Curious Haze, a California brewed American IPA. It was excellent with hints of lemon and grapefruit.
We made fast friends with our bartender extraordinaire, Kendra, who not only has a terrific smile but a great personality and sense of humor. Thanks for taking such good care of us. She’s definitely a Five Anchor Server and we look forward to seeing her the next time we pass through!
The homemade chips are delicious and served at every table as a welcome little taste of Coinjock Marina.
Clam strip platter with a side of fries and onion rings and hush puppies? YES! YES! A thousand times YES!

With an unstable weather pattern including high winds and thunderstorms getting ready to set in we’ve decided to sit it out for two days at Coinjock.  It’s normally a place that you just pass through but it is also a very peaceful, easy and comfortable spot to sit and relax and it will give us a moment to catch up on life and a few boat projects before entering the homestretch.

We’re also thrilled that our dear friend, Captain Scott of Cabo Waboat hopped on here.  Thanks to his wife, the amazing Marla, for driving him all the way down from New York.  It was a welcome surprise for Jasper who has a special way of greeting the friends and family he’s known since he was a puppy that you have got to watch…

Scott and Marla are dear friends and true adventurers! Marla is a consummate “geocacher” and travels to remote spots to find little treasures. For those who don’t know, “Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.”
We can’t thank Admiral Marla enough for driving her Captain Scott all the way down to Coinjock from upstate New York and were thrilled to get a day with her on OLOH before we resumed our adventure.
Captain Scott is here! Jasper kept a close eye on our new arrival to make sure he was sticking around.
The restaurant at Coinjock Marina is iconic in its own right and we’ve always enjoyed the food and atmosphere.  Meat eaters come for the 16 or 32 oz (!) prime rib but there are always plenty of other terrific offerings…

Grilled Grouper with Jumbo Lump Crab and Citrus Basil Butter Sauce.  The Grouper was grilled to perfection and the lump crab was sweet and tender (here with sauce on the side).
Malory has terrific, engaging energy and an easy going way about her that immediately puts you at ease. She took excellent care of us for dinner and led us to the delicious Grilled Grouper topped with crab!  She’s definitely one of our Five Anchor Servers! Thanks, Malory – we look forward to seeing you again!!
Yes, Captain Pete, we had to try the Fried Green Tomatoes with Blackened Shrimp, Goat Cheese, Red Pepper, and Balsamic. Yes, Captain Pete, you would have LOVED it.
The fresh, local sea scallops were perfectly grilled and sweet. The hush puppies…honey hush!
Surf and turf with a Delmonico steak, fresh local sea scallops and pickled beets with a hint of cinnamon.
Nuff said.
Grin and bear it?  Gotta give this fella credit…he bearly made it into the parking lot?  If you can read the back of my t-shirt, the bear fell off?   🙂
Mile zero and a bit beyond is next.  See you out there…


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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I hope as you made your way past Coinjock, you did a slow pass by our friend that has a new blue tarp over his live a board beached boat.....🤣
  2. Oh those FGT’s look amazing! If we don’t make another ICW trip I may just have to “divert” a car trip north to give those a try. With a 16oz prime rib of course. 🤪

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