Mike and Kathy
10/23/2008, Deep Point, NC
October 21st... Tuesday Goat Island to the Alligator River
We left as soon as we could see which at this side of the time zone is currently about 7:00 am. We greeted the bridge operator at Elizabeth City with a cheerful "good morning" and he was nice enough to open even though we were a few minutes past the posted 8am. (Most bridges open on request except for rush hours... and then open on the half hour)
The wind was building from the west as we made our way out the Pasquotank toward the Albemarle Sound on a southern bearing. Meeting boats who had given up and were seeking shelter back in Elizabeth City was a little disconcerting but we forged ahead.
The Sound itself was rough with short square waves... much like the western end of Lake Erie. We ran on staysail and a double reefed main ... and had a great time for the most part. The side curtains kept all spray out of the cockpit.
Our GPS was coming and going which made things a little dicey at the entrance to the Alligator River but it happened to be working at that point. (We do have a back up which was on, it's just not in color)
It was about 16 miles ...straight south with a really good west wind, to get to the bottom of the Alligator River. I'm not sure how she did it, but Kathy cooked a great pizza while heeling at about 15 degrees all afternoon. Trust me; it was a challenge-there may be some pizza toppings on the bottom of the oven. Our oven doesn't gimble smoothly, so we have something else to try to fix.
The wind tonight is supposed to freshen to 25 with gusts to 30 ... so we found a spot with only about ½ mile fetch and good holding. There are about 10 boats in the vicinity ... everyone having the same idea for the evening.
Not only did I (Kathy) manage to delete all the phone numbers stored in our phone the other night (don't ask), but I had only typed the phone list up to Mark J last fall when I had fears of losing the numbers. So, we may not have your number any more, just in case you don't hear from us for a while. Also, the cell phone coverage is notoriously bad in NC, often nonexistent, so don't worry if you don't hear from us for a few days.
In the Dismal Swamp
10/23/2008, Goat Island, NC
October 20th... Monday Deep Creek, VA to Goat Island, NC
The weather was crisp but sunny for our traverse of the Dismal Swamp. We made the trip with three other boats without incident. There were a few bumps but there was plenty of water. They decided today as we were traveling to begin opening the locks 4 times a day, instead of just 2, so we drove right along and got locked through 2 ½ hours before we had planned.
The Pasquotank River (where the dismal swamp dumps us) is wild and smelled exactly like archery season in our swamp at home. There is a quite a bit of cypress but the forest itself looks to be impenetrable.
We anchored behind an island about seven miles short of Elizabeth City. Bill and Betty (Inspiration) dinghied over to invite is for after dinner socialization and we had to say yes even though it was already dark. We were joined by Tom and Cathy of (Perseverance 2) and had a very enjoyable evening as always when anchoring in the middle of nowhere with new friends.
The new dinghy
Mike and Kathy
10/23/2008, Deep Creek, VA
October 18th...Saturday Deep Creek Lock, MD
There was a nice steady rain all night and it continued most of the day. We decided to spend our day off installing our new radio. The idea was to be finished by 3:30 to listen to the Spartans. As is sometimes the case things did not work out as we wanted. Actually the wiring of the radio was not a problem but when I wired in the XM tuner as per instructions (which I read ahead of time) we couldn't make the radio recognize the XM signal.
We called Sony, who manufactured the radio... but when I finally got to speak to someone, I couldn't comprehend what she was saying through the accent. Later we made contact with the Sony help site and were told that the XM tuner we had purchased was not compatible with our radio. (Even though it say "for all Sony radios" on the package and it is what both Best Buy and Circuit City told us to buy.)
Anyway, we weren't feeling too happy ... although the radio sounds fine.... when it was time for the football game. We dialed in WJR on the computer and listened to one of the worst halves of football in the history of the game.
Luckily we had dinner plans and didn't have to listen to the remainder of the game. Instead we joined four other couples for dinner at the local Mexican Place. La Familia is a REAL Mexican restaurant with great food. We had a great time and luckily there were enough of us at the table with a little Spanish that we were able make ourselves understood.
October 19th...Sunday Deep Creek, VA
Since it looks like Tuesday will be a better day to cross the Albemarle Sound we opted to stay here at Deep Creek and leave tomorrow. We knew that Robert was scheduled to work today so we wandered up to the Lockmaster's shack to see what he was supplying for breakfast and to have another cup of coffee. Most of the folks at the docked with us were there and the menu was breakfast sandwiches and pastry.
After chatting for an hour or so and watching a lone power boat lock through we headed back to the dock to assist the boats who were leaving.
A little later Kathy and I walked to town, which was about a mile away and picked up a few things at the grocery and the hardware.
After lunch I went to work building a new system of attaching our dinghy to the davits. The hardware had everything we needed to do the job-even a 2 X 4 of the right length.