3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 26 and 27, 2011, Tuesday and Wednesday

Tuesday, Alligator Creek Marina, NC to Elizabeth City, NC:  Today was decision time for us.  We had to decide if we were going to do Route 1-Virginia Cut or Route 2-Dismal Swamp.  We have been tossing it back and forth for over a week now.  We chose the Dismal Swamp.  Everyone says it is much prettier.  We left at 06:30 so we could get across the Albemarle Sound before the thunder storms hit.  Going through 10 miles of the Sound we had the wind and waves at our stern which was helpful and just the last 5 miles it was at our Port. Then as we entered Pasquottank River the wind and waves were on our stern again.  It was a beautiful morning and the sound was relatively calm and so was the Pasquottank River.   We got within 1/2 mile of Elizabeth City, NC, before the rain hit.  By the time we got to the free docks it had stopped.  There were already several other boaters there to help us in.  After getting to Elizabeth City it rained on and off the rest of the day and night.  We did; however, have a little problem when leaving Alligator Creek Marina.  About 6 miles past the bridge there was a very narrow passage with a lot of shoaling by G5, Long Shoal Point.  The chart said 7 feet but the props touched bottom a little.  Keith thinks we are OK.  We now know to favor the Green Marker; we thought we were but I guess you have to be practically on top of it.  Coming up the Pasquottank River we saw a civilian Blimp Manufacture and there was a blimp outside.  It is my understanding that this is 1 of 2 places that manufactures blimps in the US.  The only one that is not made here is the Good Year Blimp.

Wednesday, Elizabeth City Free Dock: Do to the weather forecast we stayed another day and will possibly stay on Thursday also. We had a very nice dinner last night at Grouper's Waterfront Grill right next to the docks. It was delicious and the price was right in line with other restaurants on the east coast. The local grocery store picked us up to do shopping and when we were done they took us back to the boat. A very nice service for the boaters; one of the many. We also went to the free Museum of the Albemarle which had several artifacts on display, covering 400 years of local history.  Elizabeth City is also home to the largest Coast Guard Airborne Station in the US.  The City hosted a wine and cheese party for all the boaters this evening and all the women got a rose.  This has been a custom of the City for several years.

N36 17.911
W76 13.104

CO's comments:  Each time you stop at a marina it is very important to talk to locals about any problems you might encounter in the local waters.  I thought I was favoring the green side but we still touched bottom.  Other boaters came through there ran within 2 feet of the green marker and had no problem.

Our tie-up at Alligator River Marina
Marina entrance and Alligator River Bridge

Blimp outside hanger-Pasquottank River
First view of the Blimp and Hanger

At the docks in Elizabeth City, NC
Wine and Cheese party

My rose!

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 24 & 25, 2011, Sunday and Monday

Sunday, Whittaker Pointe Marina, NC to Dowry Creek Marina, Belhaven, NC:  We left early and Joe helped us with our ropes.  We just met Joe Wilson; he is doing most of the Loop by himself because his wife is still working.  He has a Nordic Tug-Pilgrim.  When she has time off from work, she joins him and will be on the Loop all summer.  We woke up to very warm and humid weather.  About 09:00 the sun went behind the clouds by it still was very humid.  Yesterday and today we saw tows, each pushing 2 barges and carrying Phosphate.  It was almost like being back on the Mississippi River.  The Pungo River was full of crab pods today both in and out of the channel; had to watch extra careful.  When we got to the marina we got gas and a pump out before getting into our slip.  Since it was Easter, the marina had a cook out planned for their guests.  We all brought something to pass and we had "Hot Dogs" for the main meal.  There were about 30 people there and we all had a good time.  We met the former Mayor of Elizabeth City, NC, Steve and his wife Joan on a Pacific Trawler-Carolina.  They hope to start the Loop next spring.  Steve filled us in on what to do and where to stay in Elizabeth City.
N35 31.991
W76 32.115

Monday, Dowry Creek Marina, Belhaven, NC to Alligator Creek Marina, Columbia, NC:  We got another early start to try and cover a lot of water before the wind started blowing hard.  There were 4 of us that left early; we were like a caravan going up the river.  The Pungo River went smoothly as well as the Alligator River/Pungo River Canal.  It was hot all day in the 80's and humid again.  The Alligator River is huge and by early afternoon it got a little choppy with waves from 1 1/2 to 2 feet.  They were working on the bridge so the bridge tender waited until all 6 boats got to the bridge before opening it so we waited about 30 minutes.  We finally got to our marina on the other side of the bridge; 2 boats kept going on the Elizabeth City and the rest of us stopped for the night. 

N35 54.330
W76 01.719

CO's comments:  At Dowry Creek we got fuel, asked the Dock Master which slip to go in and he told me to back into Slip 8.  I did so.  Later, when 4 other boats came in he had them all come in bow first.  I asked him why he wanted me to back in and all the rest came in bow first?  He told me that he did not want to embarrass the other boaters.  I think that was a pat on the back.

Kim Jo III at Belhaven, NC
Belhaven Sun Rise on 4-25-2011

Dowrey Creek Marina, NC