Christmas lights on the Elizabeth II. A beautiful little ship, dredging seems to have made it more difficult to move it.

Docked at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo, the Elizabeth II is a beautiful little ship. An important part of the attraction of RIFP, the ship, a replica of the ships that brought the Lost Colonists to the New World in 1585, serves as an introduction to life at sea at the end of the 16th century.

Although it helps tell the story of the Lost Colony and acts as a visual reminder of Roanoke Island’s maritime history, the Elizabeth II is a working ship and it does, from time to time, make excursions to various towns bordering the Outer Banks sounds. 

It also is also sent once a year to the North Carolina State Ferry System maintenance yard at Manns Harbor for maintenance.

But it might be difficult to do that this year.

The problem is Dough Creek, the slough between Manteo and RIFP that makes RIFP an island. It’s not actually Dough Creek; it’s what the state is doing as it dredges the channel.

There is considerable small boat traffic that uses Dough Creek, and it has been silting for some time. This year, after considerable back and forth among the state, Manteo and RIFP dredging is occurring. 

The problem for the Elizabeth II is that no channel is being dredged for the ship and at this point in time, moving it may not be possible.

According to the state, though, if and when the ship does need to be moved, it can get out, although it will be difficult to do.