Coinjock, North Carolina:
Hard-to-miss spot on the ICW proves even harder to pass by

Look for the sign: Mile marker 50.

GH37 Berlie Mae

Coinjock, NC--Just what is a Coinjock anyway? How did Coinjock come by its name? Just the way one speaks out loud the name Coinjock, one has to wonder where this originated from. For me, it was a must-see place--Coinjock. Gotta stay in Coinjock at least once in my gypsy life..

Coinjock is at ICW mile marker 50. For those heading north, as we are this time of the year, it is a pleasant day’s run from the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal, at standard Great Harbour cruising speed.  This also makes Norfolk a 50-mile cruise the following day (Don’t forget that on the Coinjock-Norfolk route, you have a myriad of bridges, a lock and commercial traffic that extend the travel day beyond the standard 50 mile, 7-to-8-hour day).  A remote area, to be sure.  Facilities are far between in this part of the ICW, making Coinjock an even more attractive layover. 

Many cruising folks consider Coinjock Marina, on the ‘east’ side of the ICW, a traditional stopover. Everyone, it seems, stops at Coinjock Marina.  There are mega-yacht folks…the day we tied our lines in Coinjock, there were two 75-foot-plus boats docked, taking advantage of the incredible Southern hospitality that has made this marina’s reputation.

Strolling the same long face dock were folks off %*$#’ wake-making Sea Rays, sailboats and trawlers. With no slips, they strolled past an impressive array of vessels,

Berlie Mae takes her place along the face dock.

after another. Coinjock Marina is also, it seems, a place to go in case your craft experiences problems. There were three boats on the docks the night we were there waiting to have a mechanic arrive the following morning. Dock talk is lively, and happy hour begins once your feet touch terra firma.

The Ship’s Store is amazing. It’s quipped with standard nautical needs, such as charts, waterway guides and some hardware, but the best part is the variety of other goodies waiting for you. Chocked full of such notable items as locally homemade pickles of all kinds-pickled artichokes, pickled garlic, standard cucumber pickles, and our absolute favorite-pickled watermelon rinds, the temptations are too great to resist. They also carry an extensive selection of beer, and standard re-provisioning items such as milk and bread.  They have complimentary fresh popcorn-the smell permeates the entranceway making it impossible to pass it by.

Generally speaking, the Berlie Mae crew does not choose a marina based on the on-site dining options.  However, we make a huge exception regarding Coinjock Marina.  The restaurant is, quite frankly, one to tak

At the height of the spring and fall migrations the docks get crowded.

e full advantage of. The marquee selection is the well-prepared 32 oz. prime rib.  Yes, 32 ounces-2 pounds of delectable prime rib (I am sure that this must be cholesterol-free beef!) served with any number of sides to choose from. They bring complimentary homemade potato chips (still hot) with dip to your table as you await your entrée. For an additional $4, you can order this as a shared meal for 2-each person then gets sides of their own…including horseradish, au jus gravy and hot rolls.

Word has it that the fried seafood selections are worthy as well, though we’ve never been able to get past the prime rib.  The restaurant is alive with waterway tales and helpful advice from fellow captains.

Shorepower is available in all the standard configurations.  Water is dockside, but for washing off the salt and decks only. It is well water-and has an obvious gold colored tint to it.  While I doubt it will harm you, fill your water tanks elsewhere.The shower and restroom facilities are brand new, well thought out and air-conditioned. Laundry facilities are also available.       

We rate this as a pet-friendly stop. I saw numerous folks with their dogs taking them for walks and our “famous” cat O.C. found th

The marina restaurant is an excellent place to obtain your monthly quota of beef.

e neighborhood acceptable. He had started to round up local cats for a party on board Berlie Mae before I intervened and collected him. Mom always ruins the fun!

There were two other marinas in Coinjock.  One went out of business last summer, after Hurricane Isabelle wrought heavy damage to the docks. The other, Midway Marina is on the other side of the ICW and looks like it is a fine place to belay your lines. For whatever reasons, though, Coinjock Marina is the traditional stop.  When I asked about Midway Marina, the Coinjock Marina folks said they send them their overflow.  Perhaps on our way south, we will take advantage of Midway’s docks and facilities.

Back to the name Coinjock.  Interestingly, Coinjock means “Land of the Mulberries”. I asked three locals about the origin of the name Coinjock, and received the same answer.  Before you grab your basket to head out to pick mulberries, I must warn you: there are no mulberries.  In fact, according to the trusted local folks, there have never been mulberries in Coinjock, NC.  Perhaps there was some belief that mulberries would grow there, or that they existed at a time known only to the indigenous peoples?  While there are no mulberries to procure, there are plenty of sea stories to share, great folks to meet and a tradition you must experience if you fly with the migratory flock.


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