"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

May 21, 2013

May 20 - Manteo, NC

Manteo City Free Dock

We caught another sunrise this morning on our way up the Pungo River to the Alligator-Pungo Canal…a very long cut between the Pungo River and the Alligator River. This part of the ICW is tedious; you don’t even see any birds...you’d think you might see an alligator or two since it’s called the Alligator River. All we saw were more boaters moving north. Once out of the canal you come into the Alligator River, which is very wide and can be very rough. There were scattered thunderstorm in the area and we did get wet a couple of times, during those showers the wind picked up and our ride got a little rougher, but nothing this experienced crew couldn’t handle.

We decided we would go east once we were in the Albemarle Sound and see part of the outer banks of North Carolina. The Albemarle Sound was actually calmer than the river today, until we got closer to the outer banks. Then the wind picked up and we had to navigate through more crab traps than we have ever seen in one place. If felt nice to be tied up to the dock in Manteo. We’ll spend the next few days doing a little exploring Manteo, which is located on Roanoke Island.

Here’s a little history of Roanoke Island. In 1584 an English fort and settlement with more than 100 men was established on the north end of the island, but it was abandoned the following year due to weather, lack of supplies and poor relations with the Native Americans. In 1587 another settlement was established, including women and children. On August 18, 1587 one of the colonists, Eleanor Dare, gave birth to the first English-speaking child in the New World, Virginia Dare. A week later, the baby’s grandfather, Capt. John White, was forced to return to England for badly needed supplies. Due to Spanish attacks on England, White was delayed in England for three years, and when he returned to Roanoke Island in 1590 there was no sign of his granddaughter or the other colonists. Their houses were gone, and the only sign of human presence was the letters “CRO” and “CROATOAN” carved on two trees. This led some people to believe that the colonists had sought the help of the Croatoan Indians on Hatteras Island, but they were not there. The fate of the lost colonists is as much a mystery today as it was then. Roanoke Island was permanently settled in the mid-1600s, and ancestries of the original families are still on the island.

The Alligator-Punco Canal
Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse - our view for the next few days. 
This video will give you an idea of what the canal is like.

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