Home Sweet Home
17 May 2018
We were on our way through the Elizabeth City bridge at 7:30 a.m. Another hot day was ahead of us. Bay Breezin' is sporting a "Pamlico mustache". The water through this part of North Carolina is the color of coca cola and stains our white hull brown at the bow. We motored up the Pasquotank River to the South Mills Lock. We were traveling in a group with another sailboat, three trawlers and one motor vessel. The first three boats tied up on the port side and we tied up with two others on the starboard side. The lock master opened the flood gates and the water rushed in. We adjusted our lines as the boats floated up to ground level. The motor yacht behind us let their lines go too soon. The lock master had to run to help them tie up again. After the lock master gives us the signal to untie our lines, we exited the lock one at a time. Then, she jumped in her car and drove to the bridge to let us into the Dismal Swamp. It is quite a process with just one person operating both the lock and the bridge. We were happy to see that the "duck weed", that was so bad in the fall, was gone. We only saw a little bit when we reached the north end. Our depth alarm went off in the shallow spots, we bumped a few times on some debris on the bottom and we had to keep a watch skyward for tree branches that might damage the instruments on the top of the mast. The Dismal Swamp kept us on our toes. The foliage was lush and the smell of summer
( honeysuckle) was in the air. We decided to pick up our speed to get to the Deep Creek Lock by 3:00, along with the Canadian S/V and the M/V Almost There. All of the others stopped at the visitors center for the night. We had a short wait before the bridge tender/lock master opened the bridge for us. Then he jumped in his truck and met us at the lock. Our favorite lock master once again entertained us with a tune on his conch. He opened the gates and the water rushed out. We were on our way to the Gilmerton bridge. I called ahead for a slip at Waterside Marina in Norfolk. We had to circle around the entrance for 15 minutes, waiting for a slip assignment. We were tied up at 6:30 p.m. It was nice to plug into shore power for a little a.c. to cool us off. Storms were in the forcast. We were watching Netflix when the storm hit. The boat was rocking wildly. We poked our heads out to check on things. Umbrellas went flying, tables were overturned and the people ran for cover at the restaurants at Waterside. It rained on and off most of the night.
Tuesday, May 15
We left Waterside at 7:30a.m.. We had another long day ahead of us. The commercial traffic was heavy on the Elizabeth River. We stayed just outside of the channel, out of the way of the "big guys", except for the Naval vessel docks. A security patrol boat flashed his blue lights at us and asked us to move into the channel. So, we did until we got past their docks and then we cut back outside for a while. Then we crossed the channel and turned up to the Chesapeake Bay. We took advantage of the 15-20 kt. winds and put the jib out. It was a beautiful day on the Chesapeake Bay! The winds died down a little and we pulled the sail in. As we approached the Rappahanock River, the winds kicked back up to 30 knots. We cruised under the Norris bridge and made our way up to Urbanna Creek. We were in our slip at 5:30p.m. It was a good feeling to be "home" again. Now the work begins....off loading the boat and giving her a good bath! We are looking forward to spending the summer with family and reconnecting with old friends. Anyone want to go for a sail?