Paddle to the Ocean

Knotts Island sits just over two miles from the Atlantic shore. A good day trip from the island is to visit the barrier island community of Carova. There are quite a number of houses over there with many of the residents staying year round. They share their community with wild horses which can be seen roaming freely around the streets.

This trip is 2.75 miles one way. It is advisable to wait for a calm day to try it and if the wind is north or east you may want to evaluate your stamina and equipment. Knotts island Bay is only 1 to 3 feet deep but a good swell and white caps can develop quickly. Even a south and west wind can drive swells in from the Currituck Sound.

You'll want to put in at the boat ramp on the end of Brumley Road. When you get to the island, bear right at the first fork in the road and then left at the fork by the market. You're on Woodleigh Road. Drive until you pass the Methodist church on your right and then be on the look out for a gray building at the left of the road. It marks the junction of Brumley Road and Woodleigh Road. Take the left and drive until you get to the cul-de-sac at the boat ramp.

You can stop here to get your boat(s) and gear off and out of the car. The parking is only a few yards back up the road. No one will bother with your stuff while you park.

Here is the parking lot. It was on your left as you approached the boat ramp. It can be seen from the ramp. Parking is free.

When you're situated and ready to begin, just paddle straight across and a little left. You'll be able to see the old road sign at the mouth of the canal leading into Carova. Follow these directions. Carova is built around a series of canals set up like streets. Go in at the inlet by the old detour sign.

Keep alert in the canals. Motor boats are used as regular transportation and some operators aren't as cautious or courteous as you would like them to be. Stay to the bank when rounding corners and listen for approaching engines. Be ready to deal with deep wakes after the boats pass.

Stay left. At the first fork, by the red white & blue rocket, steer right. You'll come to a "T". Go right. You'll have to go left at the end of this canal. You'll come to another "T". Look slightly left and you'll see an old crane boom and a dock. It's quite safe to pull your boat out and rest it in the grass while you explore the beach. No one bothers the boats around here. Don't leave valuables in your boat. (Do we have to tell you that?)

Walk up to the fire house and tuck a dollar or two under the front door. (It's good to support volunteers.) Walk down the street (sandy lane) to the left of it. Keep going towards the dunes. You'll run right into the ocean.

If you come across the ponies, stay 50 feet from them and don't feed them. They're quite fine without our help and are protected. There is a donkey who roams around. He can be pet as he belongs to one of the residents.

We like to bring some lunch and a beach towel. The beach is not patrolled by life guards so swim at your own risk. Rip tides are common in this area. If you enter the water, use your common sense and follow your water safety precautions.

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