Session 24-Manteo, NC and the Lost Colony

Manteo-a town Ive never heard of, just happens to be one of the many reasons we embarked on this adventure. Exploring said small towns sprinkled around the Loop.

If you look up its history, you’ll see Manteo (or “Manneo” as the locals pronounce it) dates back to the 1580’s—Elizabethan time—and Sir Walter Raleigh played a huge part here establishing a settlement in the late 1500s. Manteo history declares that the first English child was born here and her name was Virginia Dare. The county was later named after the Dare family. This island—Roanoke—is home to the historic Lost Colony. If you want to know more about that, I’ll provide a brief synopsis at the bottom the page.

We docked right in the downtown area at Waterfront Marina. It’s not a huge marina but it is within walking distance of 4-5 restaurants and some local shops. Oh, and ice cream.  Below are various pictures of Manteo. The bottom right corner picture is going to have to be the model for my She Shed. It is on the beautiful grounds of The Roanoke Island Inn (top middle picture and lower left corner are also The Roanoke Island Inn).

Just over the bridge and within easy walking distance of the marina was the Festival Park. This is a beautiful park with lots of boardwalks, a visitor’s center, replica settlement and 16th century ship. The coolest feature was the amphitheater that backed up to the sound. It has windows out the back of the theater overlooking the water. This is where they perform the play about the Lost Colony—except this year, of course.

Because of the constant breeze, you’ll see lots of kites flying, kite surfing, parasailing and regular sailing. Just off our marina were kayaks, paddle boarding, jet ski rentals and sunset cruises. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a huge amount of hustle and bustle that usually go along with such places, but enough to keep the inlet busy.

We rented a car on Friday and drove south down the outer banks to Brodie Lighthouse and further down to Hatteras Lighthouse. We ran into a small crowd of tourists at each location but probably a smaller number than would normally be here at this time of year. The lighthouses and keepers homes are impressive and well maintained. It was comforting to see National Park Rangers on site answering questions and generally being helpful. 

Saturday morning I woke to wet carpeting on my side of the bed. We were down one ac unit in the pilot house and now the one in our bedroom was not draining properly. After one trip to Ace Hardware and two to West Marine for a new pump and fuses, Tom figured out it was the float switch. This is our second experience with a float switch repair (See Session 5).  After he repaired that, we cleaned out the sump pump filter from the showers. Glamorous, I know.

Our last two days in Manteo were rather laid back as we hung around an extra day waiting on a UPS delivery. Thankfully, the temperature and humidity dropped enough to make those two days Beautiful with a capital B.

While there we befriended people from two other boats that were traveling together and we all decided to make the journey to Coinjock, NC and then onto Hampton, VA.

Tuesday morning we crept out of the marina as there were some spots so shallow we had mere inches under the bottom of the boat. Once we cleared the shallow spots, it was smooth sailing to Coinjock Marina about 40 miles to the north

Coinjock, NC is really a one-night stop over for boats who can’t or don’t want to make the trip to the next decent sized town in one day. A rest stop, if you will. Their claim to fame is the marina restaurant that specializes in Prime Rib. Neither one of us ordered it. Go figure. Dining outside was perfect until about 8:00 pm when we were joined by a swarm of mosquitos. 

From Coinjock, we had a 6 hour travel day reaching the southern portion of the Chesapeake Bay through Norfolk, VA. We passed through the port areas with boat yards, navy ships and various industrial-looking sites. Not so picturesque.

We reached Blue Water Harbor Marina in Hampton, VA and docked without issue. We hosed the boat down as we normally do after a day of travel just to wash off the salt. We had just enough time before dinner to hit the marina pool. 

Our newest acquaintances Glen and Maureen invited us to their beautiful Sabre for after dinner drinks. They are contemplating doing Loop and asked us several questions about our journey so far.

If you skip on over to the MAPS page, you can see just how far we’ve come from the frozen tundra of Green Turtle Bay in November. It’s sort of impressive if I do say so myself. 

You don’t realize it at the time, but you learn something each and every time you complete a leg of the journey. It shouldn’t surprise me that others are asking OUR opinion, but it does. I guess that’s how this whole Looper thing works. We’re a group of people on the same journey, taking different paths but helping each other along the way. Was that a bit prophetic???

We’re spending some time exploring all the gloriousness of the Chesapeake Bay and spending lots of money repairing yet another air conditioner unit this summer.

In the meantime, we’ve gotten creative in attempting to cool the place down using frozen water bottles propped up against a couple of fans.

We are currently in Hampton, VA for the holiday weekend and maybe longer depending on the AC situation. I would share our plans from here, but we’re currently working that out. Enjoy your long weekend. We’ll be in touch!

**In 1587 110 colonists arrived from England to start a new colony. They were accompanied by two native Americans, Manteo and Wanchese. The two had established a friendship with Sir Walter Raleigh a few years earlier and traveled back to England with him. While in England, Sir Walter Raleigh was able to learn valuable information from them regarding the economic possibilities of Roanoke Island.

   In late August of 1587, Captain John White returned to England for supplies for the colony. Due to the Spanish invasion of England, the return trip was delayed three years.

     In 1590, when the Captain was able to finally return, there was no sign of the colonists, Manteo or Wanchese. Only the words “Croatan” carved into two trees. To this day, no-one knows exactly what happened to the settlers. Thus the term “Lost Colony.”

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  1. Love reading about your journey!


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