Monday, April 29, 2019

Edenton NC - Days 5 and 6

Sunday 4/28/2019 Crossing Albemarle Sound toward Edenton

Sunday was a very short travel day and we left quite early to avoid the increasing wind forecast (it was spot on).  By the time we arrived in Edenton NC (8:45 am) the clouds were heavy and the winds were blowing!  And in true boater fashion Mark (Miss Adventure) and Denham (Experiment) were there to catch our lines, getting us safely tied.  Then we introduced ourselves – meeting for the first time.  We got settled and I headed into town…a nice town…with 1700 cyclists camping and riding everywhere!!  There was a riding event this weekend and it was so great to see so many people all having fun!  Wonderful first impression!
Tents everywhere - cyclists were in for the weekend
Before long I was walking all over town.  This place has been voted “One of America’s prettiest towns” according to the brochure for the annual Pilgrimage (held 2 weeks ago).  I believe it!  And it’s also place that claims “history lives here”.  They are right on both accounts!!  If you like to walk, this place is not to be missed!!
One of the 20+ plaques. This is #12
There is a self-guided walking tour with over 20 points of interest.  With plaques on display, spoon feeding small bites of history at each stop – my favorite way to learn!! Then I stumbled upon the Historic Edenton Tree Walk trail and I don’t even know how many trees are featured but I can tell you, they are noted in various places!!  Along sidewalks, parks, cemeteries, front lawns – you name it!!

Some of the little-known (or forgotten by me) history about North Carolina is found on one stop of my tour.  Check out the age of these men! 

I really enjoyed finding myself in the Edenton Cotton Mill neighborhood.  Click HERE for more detail of this modern day renovation.

It wasn’t all walking, walking, walking…I did find time to do some laundry while Charlie went to the grocery store – this town offered a courtesy car!!! And then the usual boat chores; cleaning, checking fluids, washing/waxing exterior – it’s a glamorous life!!

I highly recommend a visit to the very friendly town of Edenton NC! The downtown is bustling, the people are super friendly and there is way too much to learn in just one visit. And the walking is FABULOUS!!!!

We will leave on Tuesday morning headed to Elizabeth City marking the end of our Albemarle Loop expedition.  But it’s not over yet so…

Stay tuned!!!
The Penelope Barker House
not in black and white - it was THAT cloudy!

Sunday, April 28, 2019

The Battle of Plymouth - Day 4

What a beautiful sunny day, light winds and many more people!  As mentioned before, this weekend is the Battle of Plymouth Living History Weekend. No, we didn’t plan to be here for the event but it’s great when things work out like that!

Everything kicked off around noon on Friday when the troops began to set up their camps and honestly, it would take a LOT of words to explain everything…I’ll let the pictures do the talking.  Click HERE if you need a script of the Battle.

And then the Battle of Plymouth begins on water and land (Roanoke River)

Live music by the Potecasi String Band

And a little more education from the Dueling Narrators: Confederate and Federal “recollections”

It was a very nice day – full of information I should have already known – organized, factual and well attended.  I noticed several out of county, state license plates.

A lot of work was involved to make this event happen…and this was the 29th year of effort!  Great job Port o’PlymouthMuseum!

Stay tuned as we depart Plymouth and make a short hop across the Albemarle Sound to Edenton!

Friday, April 26, 2019

Plymouth NC - Day 3

Main St., Plymouth NC 5:30 pm Friday

We had a full day of fun, food and dodging thunderstorms! Plymouth NC is a small town rich in Civil War history.  The day started with a wonderful breakfast on Phanthom!  Herb is a great cook and full of hospitality. Soon, I was on the self-guided walking tour of Plymouth’s Nationally Registered Historic District. I continue to be amazed at the sacrifice and determination of our forefathers.  Life wasn’t easy…and then there was this thing called the Civil War.

Read HERE for the history of Washington County, NC
Then click HERE for more information about the town of Plymouth.

The River Lighthouse as seen from our boat!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s exciting adventures…the reenactment  of the Plymouth Battle is scheduled!!

Public Parking in Plymouth - it works!

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Columbia to Plymouth NC - Day 2

Phanthom by our side on the Albemarle Sound

Underway from Columbia by 8:25AM, beautiful FLAT, CALM waters of the Scuppernong River gave way to very similar waters in the Albemarle Sound. Soon we were turning south onto the Roanoke River.  Other than the expected current any river creates the water remained the same…the wind however, caused us to notice and predict that docking would be “interesting”.  Six miles later the current AND wind were still on the bow and we had to dock perpendicular to the river bank.
The Lower Place docked on the Roanoke River
In true small town, fellow boater hospitality, Lou spotted us from the bank of the river.  We continued on to the town dock, I was on the bow running docking techniques in my brain.  I told Charlie, “That guy is really walking with a purpose, I hope he’s coming to help us.” And that’s how we met Lou! After a couple attempts we (Charlie) was able to “stern in” to the slip while I tossed stern lines to Lou and handled the mid ship tie.  YAY!!
Phanthom docked on the wall
Remember Phanthom?  Well, Herb was behind us watching the show and decided he would “just take the long wall down here”.  So here’s Phantom, 2 blocks away, docked behind the jail!!  We had to register our boats at the Maritime Museum with Leslie. She was completely OK with Herb’s decision – the wind made an already difficult docking (due to river current) situation almost impossible for someone alone on their boat.
The "Herb" garden on Phanthom's back porch

We walked quickly to Stella’s Cafe for lunch since she closes “promptly at 2”. Good food, friendly atmosphere and very reasonable prices, YAY!! Everyone was tired after the 4 hour boring cruise – not that I’m complaining – so a nap was on the to-do list for the guys.

I managed a quite walk around town and realized we were on the cusp of the Battle of Plymouth Living History Weekend! And since it looks like the weather will keep us here a couple days, the next post might just be a little history heavy! But for today – churches, cemeteries, funeral homes! This town has all of them!
Hampton Academy d/b/a Bryan Funeral Service
Plymouth United Methodist Church and Cemetery

And FYI as I type this…there is no wind and it looks like the current has been turned off – imagine that!

Stay tuned!

Jus' so you know...

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Alligator River to Columbia NC - Day 1

We arrived in Columbia NC

Up early and off the dock at Alligator River Marina by 8:25AM.  We didn’t have a long day planned (35+/- miles) but we wanted time to tour our first stop – Columbia NC – in daylight hours. As soon as we stuck our nose into the Albemarle Sound we remembered the very important role that wind plays in our adventure. Ripples turned to chop, chop turned to waves, waves turned to swells and swells turned to bigger swells (think: 1’ -4’ beam to bow action).  Then we turned off the Albemarle Sound onto the Scuppernong River…ahhh, calm wind and water. Side note: because of our Bahamas cruising experience, this was a completely acceptable travel day.
Phanthom safely docked! Check out that handsome dock hand!
The Scuppernong River has a couple deep bends and plenty of depth. Before you know it there’s the Columbia Municipal Docks! And oh boy!!! These docks were not meant for Trawler sized boats!  The Lower Place (42’) was leading the way and Phanthom (53’) was following waaaay back – it was a GOOD THING! We were too wide for the slips (14’3” beam will not slide into 12’-we tried).  The “lay along wall” wasn’t long enough for 95’ of boat! And of course, this dock is unmanned (no one to give instruction or suggestion).
The Lower Place (fore) and Phanthom - snugged in for the night
Ok, we can do this! We decided to point our bow toward the wall and securely tie off to the pilings on the port side.  Being young and agile we climbed over the side rail, placed our steps next to the pump out machine.  This position allowed Phanthom to drive behind us, turn 180° and “lay along” the dock on his starboard side. Herb is solo on his boat so he gets preferred dockage and we also grab his lines (sometimes in self-defense)!  Teamwork makes the dream work!!

Before long I was off to the Visitor’s Center to get the lay of the land (super friendly ladies), town hall to register for the night ($3 for power, free dockage) and back to the boat to get the guys!  We had a town to explore!!
First, lunch!
First stop was lunch!  Tienda Mexicana Peniel – authentic! No “chips & salsa filler” here, fresh and delicious AND a little provisioning if you wish. Next, I toured the Columbia Theater and Box Office Antiques – yay!! A locally sourced museum depicting the town history – small, well-appointed, self-guided…and FREE!! The guys found the Hardware and NAPA stores and we met in the street.
Not Kidding!
I used the Points of Interest map provided at the Visitor’s Center to peek in the shop windows as most were closed. Then we found ourselves in a neighborhood reading a front yard sign stating “Barber Shop out back” (I FAILED to snap a pic!). We followed the brick sidewalk around and lo and behold!!  There’s Mr. Reynolds Barber Shop!!  The guys each decided they needed a haircut (would ANY woman EVER do this??).  We walked in and Charlie said, “You still cutting hair?” A man was in the chair so they waited.  Seems Mr. Reynolds started cutting hair in 1957!! He was very interesting but didn’t say much, I’m sure he was more amused by our visit and conversation.  Herb asked “How much for the cut?”  Mr. Reynolds responded, “$8.00 if you have, nothing if you don’t.”  Yes, we have stepped back in time…
Mr. Reynolds Barber Shop
More walking, looking and commenting about various buildings, homes and businesses…and the lack of traffic!
Main Street at 2:40 PM

Columbia has a rich history you can read about in books or online but the richest part of our first stop on the Albemarle Loop has certainly been the people!!

Tomorrow we cruise on the Plymouth…

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Albemarle Loop 2019

Leaving Belhaven NC on the Pungo River

This morning we departed River Forest Marina in Belhaven NC at 8:35am. After a gorgeous day of clear skies, full sunshine, light wind, FLAT water and light traffic we docked at Alligator River Marina in Columbia NC.  Fifty-four miles with a caravan of boaters: Phantom (the infamous Herb Seaton!), Breathe, Panacea & Susan Celeste.  We only knew Phantom (we looped together in 2016-17) but everyone was happy at the end of an uneventful day!!

We invited Herb aboard The Lower Place for dinner and a planning session. The Albemarle Loop isn’t just something a boater discovered – no, it has actual historical value!  So over the next week or so we will cruise our way around protected waters learning bits and pieces of our great American history and try to pass it along to you!

The Alligator River is the main “highway” to the AlbemarleSound and in turn allows us to “loop” around the Sound ending our Albemarle Loop journey in Elizabeth City, NC. At which time we will traverse the Dismal Swamp!  But that’s a story for another time…

Stay tuned…

This guy wasn’t part of our caravan – more of an interruption. He was in quite a hurry apparently he thought the warm sunshine was going to dry up all the water!  Look how flat the water is in front of his boat…then his torpedo yacht blows right past us (he did slow down when he was next to us-known as a “slow pass”).

Monday, April 22, 2019

Back by popular demand...sort of...

Greetings from Belhaven, North Carolina

Yes, it's true - we are 3100 +/- miles into our second loop.  Unplanned, perhaps - but not unexpected!

I have not blogged during the majority of this trip simply because it's the same route, different stops but generally the same old stuff. And quite was starting to feel like a J. O. B. and it seemed as if the same statements were becoming repetitive.  All kinds of fun & sun - and you were grinding it out at work & battling winter weather - made me sound boastful. OR the not-so-fun grueling, high seas, high winds, getting slammed about by the angry Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean or various sounds in the Bahamas voyage would only worry Mama....nobody wants to worry Mama!!!

But starting tomorrow we will embark on a Loop within the Loop!!  The Albemarle Loop!!  Click for a general overview of what to expect and stay tuned for (hopefully) the daily recap as experienced by the crew of The Lower Place!

It's good to be back online AND to share new cruising ground with you.

Stay tuned...