Crossing the Albemarle
30 October 2015
Well, actually, we are skirting around the Albemarle from Edenton, but I like the sound of crossing the Albemarle! It was overcast this morning when we left Edenton at 10:10 a.m. The little Duffy tour boat, "Liber-tea", pulled away from the dock just ahead of us. There was not much traffic today on the sound. . We passed by a couple of tugs pushing barges. The sun peeked out a little after noon. The winds were 6-8 out of the S.W.. The head sail was out only briefly. It was nearly 3:30 p.m. when we reached the ICW again. Wally Moran and his group, sponsored by Waterway Guide, was just ahead of us. We last saw Wally in Key Biscayne. He graciously shared his rental car and gave us a ride to the grocery store there. We have chosen a familiar anchorage that we stopped at going north. The "Wally Rally" is headed another 13 miles to the next anchorage. It is 4:15 when we set the anchor. The temperature is very comfortable. We put in a few screens panels. It is quiet here. We are alone, with just the sound of the water on the hull. The sound reminds me of gentle waves on a beach. After finishing our leftover spaghetti, we returned top side to find another boat had joined us in the anchorage. It made for a pretty sunset picture. The winds are supposed to build the next few days. We are planning ahead to see where we will be. Our next stop will probably be Belhaven.
The winds kicked up overnight. We were dragging anchor at 3 a.m. The knot meter showed 26-29 knots. We weren't dragging any more , but we pulled the anchor and moved to another location in the dark. We could see another anchor light. Another boat had joined us after dark. We didn't sleep much after that. The Alligator swing bridge won't open in winds over 35 mph. So Carl called the bridge tender to check. He said that he saw sustained winds at 26 mph, and they are calling for winds to build over the next three hours. We decided that we had better go now! So we pulled the anchor up at 7:30a.m. and headed towards the bridge. The fetch is building across the Albemarle and the waves are already 3-4 ft. with whitecaps. Once through the bridge and into the river it was somewhat calmer. We looked for wildlife on the river and also on the Alligator Pungo canal. We've seen eagles and bears crossing the canal before and were disappointed that we didn't see anything this time. We talked to Don and Judy this morning. They are leaving Elizabeth City and hope to make it to Belhaven tonight. We all make reservations at Dowry Creek marina just outside of Belhaven. We were in our slip at 3:15. Nemo arrived at 6:00. We invited Don and Judy to join us for dinner. We enjoyed catching up with them and seeing pictures of their new house.
We are a little anxious to get to Bath to see Robert and Becky. The winds are still up, so we decide to stay put. We borrowed the marina car and went to Belhaven for lunch. We all walked around town and then ate at Fish Hooks. I took advantage of the free laundry when we got back and did a small load. The Sail magazine rally group have been arriving here all day. They have about twenty boats in their group. There is a happy hour at the captains lounge every night here. There is quite a crowd tonight. The four of us ended up on Bay Breezin' for a game of Mexican train. A fun day!
Thought for sure we'd head to Bath today. We rocked and rolled all night. It rained a little this morning. The sun came out briefly and it has warmed up. Don and Carl consult their wind and weather applications and decide that we will wait until tomorrow to head to Bath. It looked pretty, but by noon the winds are howling and rocking the boats around again. The knot meter reads 28.6. We are glad we waited. This has given me time to catch up on my blog. We had dinner on Nemo and finished our mexican train game. Hopefully we'll leave for Bath in the morning.