The Army Corp of Engineers’ side caster dredge, the Merritt, arrived at Big Foot Slough in the Pamlico Sound today and will begin dredging, the North Carolina Ferry Division announced.

Shoaling in this channel outside of Ocracoke’s harbor caused the North Carolina Ferry Division to modify the ferry schedule between Ocracoke, Swan Quarter and Cedar Island on Saturday.

“We should actually be able to resume the regular schedule sooner than the seven to 10 days that was announced earlier today,” said Tim Hass, Ferry Division spokesman. “As soon as it gets deep enough for the M/V Sea Level to make it through, we will go back to the regular schedule.”

The current schedule until the channel is cleared will be as follows:

Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 7 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

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  1. I was wondering, I watched as a ferryboat traveled well beyond the typical sharp right turn in front of our condo at Southwind. It took several minutes for it to get back on the typical path. Is that part of the Bigfoot Slew?

  2. Thanks, Connie. Hopefully it will continue to be only “periodic” and not become the major problem that has occurred at the northern end. Either way, we are looking forward to our ferry ride to Ocracoke come September. See you then!

  3. I have been reading about the shoaling at the northern end of the island but not at the southern end. How often does it occur at the southern end that would cause this kind of inconvenience/expense? Thanks for your great reporting.

    • Hi, Marie! The wind and waters move the sand all time, and shallower waters are affected the most requiring periodic dredging. As one local native told me, “If you have boating, you need dredging.” 🙂

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