Greetings from Elizabeth City, NC! All kinds of adventures since our last confession, we left Regent Point Marina one week ago on Oct 27th and sailed to the Severn River in “boisterous” conditions. Learned how to heave-to while reefing the main, saw dolphins surfing in our bow wave, hit 8.3 knots while surfing downwind, attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. Spent a day drying out in the Severn and made it down to the Poquoson River and anchored up Chisman Creek. Rowed our wee dinghy into a marina on Chisman searching for beer, and a stranger-to-us then lent us his brand new F150 to drive up to the store! Thanks Dave! His truck is bigger than our boat. Waited out a small-craft advisory another day in Chisman, and hit the road for Hampton Roads. We took great pains to stay out of the shipping channels, but seeing 600 foot container ships, naval vessels, barges and tugs was still somewhat unnerving. Anchored up the Lafayette River for the night and struck out again, navigated our first bridge opening, banged a right for Deep Creek and locked up 8 feet to the Great Dismal Swamp Canal. Motored down the canal and rafted up with 8 other boats at the visitor center docks. Got up early and motored down the rest of the canal, locked down 8 feet into the Pasquotank River, passed through some other-worldly swamp in pouring rain, and popped out at Elizabeth City. Phew…that’s the short version. Along the way we’ve met a ton of very cool, kind, and helpful folks. Here are some pics, anecdotes, and some shout-outs to all the people who’ve been generous with their time and energy.
Sunrise on Chisman Creek. 0 photo editing. Seerusly.
Big ole smile, Big ole ship
Red Marker “36” Mile 0 on the ICW!
Scenic Elizabeth River
Selfie, Selfy, Self-ey?
DO THE DISMAL, the sign implored us
Drivin down the ditch, Swamp Style
-Oct 27th Sailing wing and wing up the Severn River under reefed main and working jib, watching the seas flatten as we pulled into the lee of Guinea Neck and anchoring under sail was a spectacular end to a somewhat stressful day on the Bay. Anchoring under sail makes me feel like a pirate.
-Nov 1st Upon motoring up the Elizabeth River, we got a hail on the VHF from the Elizabeth River Ferry that runs between Norfolk and Portsmouth, the skipper said he’s been reading this here blog and wished us a good trip! Ryan and I were giddy! Captain, if you’re reading this, your kind words gave us a huge boost after dodging tugs and barges, we smiled all the way to the Gilmerton Bridge!
-J&J on “Gemini” have been awesome to us, helped us raft up at the Dismal Swamp dock, helped us tie up while waiting for the Dismal Swamp Locks and bridges opened, and then we turned up again, like a bad penny, right next to them at the free docks in Elizabeth City. Gamely they took our lines and helped reign in the chaos of us docking.And gave us cold beer. And biscotti. Geez right? Thanks guys!
-Had a great, somewhat wild time with the good folks from “No Quarter” and “Steamboat” in the waterfront bars of Elizabeth City. “No Quarter” got the “Firefly” award of a bottle of Firefly for being smaller than us. Maybe. They certainly displace less at any rate. “Steamboat” gets the award for being a pirate ship, and crewed by good folks.
-We also need to thank all the folks at Regent Point Marina for their help and guidance in the run up to our departure- Jim, Paul, James, and Kenny, you guys really helped us out we can’t thank you enough! “Skipper Bob” has been awesome, and “Sea Clear II” is def way better than “OpenCPN.” Also, the oarlocks were in the wrong place. If anyone is looking for a marina on the lower Chesapeake, you couldn’t find a nicer one than Regent Point. It’s a special place.
-T on “Grace,” M on “Coconut,” thanks for all your advice and encouragement, we hope to see you again in the Spring!
-Jerd and Jess, we miss you guys alot, and your help is deeply appreciated and, well helpful. Thanks guys.
-Finally thanks to all of our parents whose assistance in the crazy run up to our departure was instrumental, thank you, thank you, thank you.
-We’re probably forgetting someone, so sorry, and thanks.
-Didn’t put names with boat names in here cause I’m internet-paranoid and didn’t ask anyone permission. I dunno, it made sense to me.