Monday, April 25, 2022

Closer and closer but slowing down…

Morning traffic at RE Mayo Seafood 4/22/2022

April 22, 2022 We were off the dock by 7:10 am from RE Mayo Seafood….just after the morning rush.  A good stop – always!  It was going to be a super short day and in reality we could have waited until later to leave but wind and tide/current were in our favor earlier in the morning.  So before long we were across the Pamlico River and a good distance up the Pungo River docked in Belhaven NC at River Forest Manor and Marina…before 10:00 am!!!!  Henry (harbor master extraordinaire) and Rex were there to catch our lines!!  It was way too early to dock for the day but we had a list of things to get done and Belhaven was the chosen stop!  If you’re looking for a super friendly town with a laid back atmosphere and awesome Ace Hardware Store stop here – by boat or car!!!

We saw Never Land docked and by the days’ end there were a few more boats in the marina!  I was able to get laundry done and Charlie was successful in the replacement of the faucet in the galley…YAY!!! Since we spent Friday working, Saturday was a play day!!!  Several more boats came in, I walked all over town (twice) and Taylor’d for 2 rolled in around brunch time…FUN!!!  We had a great afternoon visiting and planning Sunday morning departure.


Docked behind Never Land

Sunday 4/24/2022 – the EARLY boats get the smooth water!!!  We were off the dock by 6:39 am.  We continued up the Pungo River then turn right on the Pungo River/Albemarle Canal and we were not alone!!! Sail boats, Catamarans and power boats – all taking advantage of the good weather to get to either the Alligator River Marina, Columbia NC (The Lower Place, Taylor’d for 2, Never Land) or get ALL the way across the Albemarle Sound.  We had fleeting thoughts of making the jump across since we had an early start.  But several boats a day ahead confirmed the Albemarle Sound was “picking up” and seas were rolling about 3’ and building…typical afternoon cycle…no thank you.


Daybreak 4/24/2022 @ 5:53 am
River Forest Marina, Belhaven NC

By 1:30 pm we were docked (bow in for the first time) at Alligator River Marina in the gusting wind!! Glad to be still!  Before long, the place filled up – Glenn the dock master said they had reservations for 20 boats coming in and they all came!!!  Taylor’d for 2 docked next to us and Never Land was across the basin on a wall – good reason to get off the boat and mingle.


Sunrise over the Alligator River 4/25/2022 

Monday 4/25/2022 Off the dock by 6:20 am and underway, light wind, no precipitation but seas a little more than I thought forecast.  Before long, beam seas of 3’ with a 4’ swell every so often – just to make us pay attention.  Oh and crab pots…LOTS and LOTS of crab pots – I thought we were back on the west coast of Florida!!

Until we left Alligator River Marina honestly we were undecided if we were going to cruise through the Virginia Cut (Albemarle Sound, North River to Coinjock) OR the Great Dismal Swamp (Albemarle Sound, Elizabeth City, and Pasquotank River).  We were only 85+/-miles from our Norfolk VA destination and that commitment doesn’t begin until May 1.  So we have a week to slow down – all of the “big water crossing” is complete for this trip. And taking the Great Dismal Swamp route provides us with  FREE docking, quaint, charming towns like Elizabeth City and the historical Great Dismal Swamp AND less commercial traffic!!!  So here we sit, tied to a dock on the back side of Jennette Brothers Provision Co!!  But wait, there’s more…

The Lower place docked at Jennette Brothers Provision Co.
Elizabeth City NC 4/25/2022

Elizabeth City NC is a charming town and GREAT STOP after the Albemarle Sound kicks your fanny!!  Well protected, and has a drawbridge that must open for boats over 12’ tall – that’s us. So, we cruised a little faster than usual crossing the sound and Never Land with Taylor’d for 2 were several miles behind us.  The bridge opened for us and we docked immediately at the Provision Co. as planned at 9:48 am.  When our buddies approached the bridge they were told the bridge wasn’t operating!!!  Apparently, The Lower Place broke the bridge and didn’t even know it!!!!  Thank goodness, the FREE city docks on the south side of the bridge were available and they were able to get docked there!!  WHEW!!!!  So, we are sitting all alone at the Provision Co. under a shade tree with a picnic table and Taylor’d for 2 and Never Land are dock in downtown Elizabeth City…we are only blocks apart!!!  We all met for lunch and now it’s naptime – after all, we did leave at daybreak!


The Elizabeth City draw bridge works...again!!!

Stay tuned as we make our way through the Great Dismal Swamp and tie up at Waterside Marina, Norfolk VA on May 1…it will be a S L O W 50 miles but that’s OK!!!


Picnic Table fun at Jennette Brothers!!

Stay healthy and God bless

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