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The boat covering this route is the smallest in the NC Ferry Division system, with a capacity of 18 to 20 cars. The rationale for the route is to carry schoolchildren from Knotts Island to mainland Currituck County, since the island population is too small to support a school. When I rode it in 2017, there was a school bus and about 10 cars going to the island, with 6 cars on the return. The boat makes six round trips a day, less on weekends and in the summer when school is out.
Driving east on U.S. 158 toward Edenton, I caught a glimpse of a sign on a side road with the word "Ferry" on it. I doubled back at the first opportunity and found a sign indicating the Parker's Ferry on the road ahead, operating during daylight hours. I drove down the road, which turned to gravel, and eventually reached the Meherrin River. There was a sign instructing the driver to blow the horn to summon the boat. There was an NCDOT truck already waiting and the ferry was just leaving the other side. The river is quite narrow and in a couple of minutes we loaded and began the crossing, which itself just took a few minutes. On the other side, I followed a gravel road for several miles and came out near Murfreesboro, NC.
The ferry is cable operated, operates every day during daylight hours unless the water is too high or rough, and is free. It is considered an inland ferry and is not under the jurisdiction of the NC Ferry Division, but is run by the local District Office. There are two more of these ferries in North Carolina, the Sans Souci ferry crossing the Cashie River near Winton, and the Elwell ferry crossing the Cape Fear near Riegelwood.
This vessel was put in service in 1938 and worked for 50 years until she was laid up in 1978. After languishing for 8 years, she was purchased and given a cosmetic refurbishment and put on display in downtown Duluth. The vessel was well-maintained by her former owner U.S. Steel Corporation and is in fine condition today.
Climbing to the bridge of a preserved Great Lakes bulk carrier.
I took this picture from aboard Marian Claire at the end of a trip through the Dismal Swamp Canal.
Various Odfjell vessels are a common sight on the Morehead City dock.
For a comparatively new vessel, Cape Cod Light has a hazy history. My best information is that she and sister Cape May Light were built in 2001 for an operation called Delta Queen Coastal Voyages. By the end of the year, the company was bankrupt and both boats were laid up at Green Cove Springs, where I photographed them im 2009. Rumor has it that a company called Waterfront Lifestyles International bought the boat in 2008 with intentions of converting it to a floating condominium, but it doesn't appear that anything came of it. Another rumor is that one of the boats was chartered in 2010 to serve as housing for relief workers in Haiti after the devastating earthquake.
As of September 10, 2017, MSC Kalamata was in the Balearic Sea, bound from Valencia, Spain to La Spezia, Italy.
Cable ferry near Port Bickerton, Nova Scotia.
Built in 1925 and christened Ann Arbor No. 7, she was rebuilt in 1964 and renamed Viking. She worked hauling freight cars and passengers across Lake Michigan until she was laid up in 1982. Finally in 2013 the hulk was cut down into a barge.
Built in 1914, the hulk of Great Lakes ore carrier William H. Donner was still in service as late as 2011 as a freight transfer vessel.
This boat was built in 1981 and currently hails out of Charleston, so she is a familiar sight along the southeastern coast. In recent news, Na'Hoku lost her tow April 20th, 2017 and it washed up on the beach at Lake Worth, FL. No damage, no harm done.
Aurora is a chemical tanker built in 2000, gross tonnage 16,454, flagged under the Marshall Islands. As of September 9th, 2017 she is off the coast of South Carolina.
The boat was built in 1947 out of war surplus materials.
As best as I can determine, this boat, built in 1977, is no longer in service.
Hatteras is far out in Pamlico Sound on the 2012 temporary route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe that was set up to ameliorate the transportation issues caused by severe washouts on Highway 12. The road was closed from Bonner Bridge to Rodanthe for months. The picture was taken from aboard W. Stanford White running on the opposite schedule.
Croatan is inbound to Stumpy Point. The picture was taken from W. Stanford White on her way to Rodanthe.
Approaching the dock at Aurora on a mild December day. Dan and I were on our way to ride the Stumpy Point Ferry.
This boat, like most of those used on the Neuse River Minnesott to Cherry Point route, is a member of the NCDOT Ferry Division's Hatteras Class. She carries up to 26 cars amd 149 passengers, and was built in 1990..
Copyright © 2017 Paul M. Clayton