You never know what you might see!
06/28/2009, Goat Island, N.C.
June 26th... Reeds Pt, NC to Goat Island NC
06/28/2009, In southern Albemarle Sound-Reeds Point
We were up and gone by 7am to cross the Albemarle Sound. We had nice wind and made good time across the sound and up the Pasquotank to Elizabeth City. Rather than stopping for a free dock, we continued another 8 miles upstream to Goat Island where we've anchored in the past, although the bridge tender did his best to try to get us to stay in Elizabeth City. We were anchored by 1pm and had some lunch. It's a beautiful spot completely in the wild...except for the water skiers who like this remote area.
The only thing worth mentioning ... besides the wall to wall crab pots was the dirigible that was in the area. It looked like someone was taking lessons. It would make a circle over the river going up quite high and then head into the wind and touch down in a field. It never actually landed but continued to make a circle of a couple of miles and then go in for a touch....and then back up. It was actually quite close at times.
A thunder storm started to build in the west, but we looked on the computer and knew that is was sliding to the south of us. We weren't so luck a little later when one came right over the top of us. There was no wind but loads of rain and lots of nearby lightning.
We had a nice dinner, read until dark and went to bed. We needed to leave in the morning before 7am to make the 8:30 lock opening about 10 more miles upstream at the southern entrance to the Dismal Swamp Canal.
June 25th... Ocracoke to Reeds Pt.
I was up early and got the boat organized so that by the time Kathy got up we were ready to hoist the outboard up to its rail mount and the dingy in the davits. We were ready to roll a little before 6am when Steve and Kim came over to bid us good bye. It was a nice gesture, but totally unnecessary.
We reversed our course out the 5 mile channel and into the Pamlico before turning north. We had a nice breeze and had all our sails up in a matter of minutes. There were 4 or 5 boats leaving Ocracoke behind us, but they all headed south. In an hour we were out of sight of land and totally alone on the water. In fact during the 40 mile trip north to the Old House Channel which runs to the east side of Roanoke Island, we saw two boats. An anchored shrimper and a small work boat in the distance. We saw no sail boats for 10 hours.
The 18 miles around Roanoke is all done in a dredged channel. At times very narrow, but we had no trouble. We were planning on stopping in the town of Manteo, but it was such a nice day we wanted to go two more miles and get through narrowest part of the trip today instead of tomorrow morning.
Finally out in open water, we motored around the north end of Roanoke Island and found a secluded cove on the mainland with some SW protection. We put the boat back in order and were just beginning to relax after a long day... when a boat headed right for us. It was a large flat bottom skiff with carrying a couple roughly our age. They pulled up to chat and wanted to know where we'd been and where we were headed. They have a log cabin around the corner and had been out fishing. Anyway, before they left they gave us a nice mess of speckled trout. It took no time to get them cleaned and we ended up with enough for two meals. There were seven fish ranging is size for about 12 inches to 20. They looked like freshwater trout but the meat was white and they actually tasted more like a walleye than a brookie.
I was pooped after a 66 mile day and we went to bed reasonably early.
06/28/2009, Ocracoke, N.C.
June 24th... Ocracoke, NC
It rained hard most of the morning so we spent the time reading. I cooked breakfast and a pot of red beans and rice for traveling food tomorrow. It cleared up about 10 am and by 11 the four of us were ashore for a hike around town. We stopped at a raw bar and Steve and I split a dozen oysters. On our way back to our dinghies we stopped at the grocery and another restaurant so that Kim and Steve could eat lunch... Kathy and I were still full from breakfast... and oysters.
We got back about 3pm and watched a line of thunder storms heading our way across Pamlico Sound. They arrived about the time we were supposed have a farewell dinner on "Fine Lion." It rained like crazy and we had a little lightening but there was no wind... a good thing, as boats here are anchored too close to each other.
When things died down, we bailed the dinghy for the second time today and motored over for dinner. Steve grilled some rib-eyes and potatoes that were excellent. Kim made a mushroom sauce that was also tasty.
We said our good byes and went back to set the alarm. I needed to be up at daylight to get things organized for a 6am departure.
June 23rd... Oriental, NC to Ocracoke, NC
We left Oriental this morning at 8am. "Fine Lion" is joining us for the trip out to Ocracoke and will return on Thursday and we will continue north. "Sapphire" worked her way to the northeast out of the Neuse River to the Pamlico Sound. After a couple of hours we turned east to avoid a shoal and were able to get some sails working. NOAA was calling for 5 to 10 knots, but by early afternoon we had wind over 20 and seas of 6 or 7 feet. It was a wet ride. I put a life jacket and worked my way out to the foredeck to douse the main as we approach the long channel to Ocracoke. We rolled our way in the 3 mile channel but had no trouble making our way into Silver Lake and the town of Ocracoke at about 4:00. The anchorage here was once the home of Blackbeard and is fully protected.
It took a while to get the boat in order and with lots of hot water, we took the opportunity to take showers. A little later we joined Steve and Kim for a dinghy tour of the harbor and stopped at a restaurant for dinner.
We walked around a little after we ate but decided to explore the town tomorrow. Back at the boat we were reading in the cockpit when a guy in an aluminum boat went by and Kim started yelling at him. As it turns out it was Brian who spent quite a bit of time with Steve and Kim last year. He is also a good friend of Barry and Susan ... and says Hi.
Brian is working here on a charter boat and will try to bring us some fish after tomorrow's trip.
When it got too dark to read we went below and watched a movie... although I didn't make it to the end.