Threefer

We’ve been beyond the reach of the internet for almost three days now. The following are the posts that might have been made were it otherwise.

ice

START: Elizabeth City, 18 Nov

OK, I didn’t have to chop through it with an ax, but there was hard frozen frost = ice, on dodger, deck, and dock this morning. I felt like Hans Brinker and the silver boat shoes. We are talking slick here, folks.

Once we cleared the ice from the dodger enough to see, and returned Paul and Joyce’s dock lines to as close to the correct positions as one could without stepping on the dock, we cleared the slip at 0630. Immediately, the dodger started to fog and refrost. Janet hooked up the oscillating heater and put it where it would blow our troubles away.

We cleared the Elizabeth City bridge at 0730 and endured the Pasquotank and Albemarle rock and roll until we reached the Alligator River Bridge. There we endured the Alligator’s roll and the ear-splitting bombing runs of jet bombers from Oceana Naval Air Station.

We could have sailed, but the wind was at an angle that would not have stopped the flopping about, so we motored. A large and beautiful ketch waited for us at the Alligator River Bridge, and we passed through without slowing.

We anchored off Tuckahoe Point in the Alligator just above where it joins the ICW at 1515, glad to be moving again and very grateful for the hospitality the Wheelers showed us.

Fresh made salmon cakes and fresh mashed potatoes and green beans for dinner.  Wow!

FINISH: Tuckahoe Point, Alligator River

SORBET UNDERWAY

START: Tuckahoe Point, 19 Nov

We felt like we owed ourselves a short day. We could take it today and anchor early in a creek we know. Or we could press on and anchor close to sunset in a creek we weren’t familiar with and have a short day tomorrow. Either way we would get to River Dunes Marina tomorrow. We’ve heard many good reports on the place.

Since we started with ice yesterday, we decided mango sorbet (after a saved salmon cake and Tuscan bread) was a good way to start the day. We’ve been just as cold in Charleston as yesterday, and we know it can happen again, but for now we are reveling in high 60s.

We had hoped to sail when we reached the Pungo River and a great teaser of 10 kts from the SE perked us up. It went on the bow at 3 kts in about ten minutes and went glassy after that. We reached Pungo Creek early in the afternoon, but  this time of year, that means sunset is not far off. We knew it was coming when the daymark to the east reflected the lowering sun.

FINISH: Pungo Creek

Warmth and Luxury, DID I MENTION STEAM SHOWERS?

START: Pungo Creek, 20 Nov

Today began a warming trend leading up to what will likely be a wet and windy Thanksgiving.

We droned our way south among about a dozen boats of various stripes and the only two notable things were a Northern Loon in Goose Creek and double barge and towboat we met in the northern entrance of the Hobucken Canal.  AIS was pricey, but it pays for itself every time I pick up the mike and can call a commercial vessel by name. They respond quickly and appreciatively, it seems to me. This one provided navigation information that allowed us to pass him rather than hanging off the side of the channel until he had passed.

River Dunes Marina was a bit of a challenge to enter because of Hurricane Irene moving some marks around, but inside the basin was calm and beautiful and the welcome warm — as was the wind. We shed layers in a hurry. We will lay over here for two nights to launder and such. The whole facility is lovely.

The last frame is Victoria, the dock girl, cleaning up a restored Core Sound Dragger, one of two left (boats not dock girls).

FINISH: Broad Creek off the Neuse.

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