The Queen Elizabeth II sailing on a calm day.

The Queen Elizabeth II sailing on a calm day.

The Elizabeth II is sailing again. It took a short voyage, and is now back at its home at Roanoke Island Festival Park.

The sailing ship, a replica of the type of ship that would have brought the colonists of the Lost Colony to Roanoke Island is finally able to navigate the channel out of Shallow Bag Bay.

The ship had been stuck at its dock for four years.

Dredging a new channel took stride months, beginning last November and was managed for by Dare County. Funding for the $2.1 million project was provided by the state..

The new channel is about 2.2 miles long connecting Shallowbag Bay and the Roanoke Sound. When the project began the channel varied between 1’ and 7’ in depth. None of that was considered deep enough for some of the larger watercraft that sometimes use Manteo as a port of call.

The new channel is 9’ deep and has been widened to 50’.

What is the Queen Elizabeth II

Built in 1984 for the for the 400th anniversary of the first voyage from England to Roanoke Island, the Elizabeth II was constructed by hand by local craftsmen and women. The plans were based on carefully researched records of 16th shipbuilders.

Docked at Roanoke Island Festival Park since 2017, the ship was not able to leave for much needed repairs and restoration. With the channel open, the Elizabeth II headed to Wanchese where it was be refitted.

The ship reopened for visitors earlier this week.

A tour of the ship is a fantastic step back in time. The attention to historic detail is apparent everywhere, from the primitive navigation tools in the Captain’s cabin to the masts and rigging of the sails.

The Elizabeth II is just one of many fascinating stories to be found on the Outer Banks. Plan your visit today with a reservation in a Brindley Beach Vacations home.