Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rushing North through Virginia

From Oriental, we went to a favorite anchorage off the Alligator River at Catfish Point. It's a little disconcerting finding your way into the channel through a sunken forest of trees on both sides.

Once we got in, we anchored in a lovely little cove with only one other boat and were treated to a full moonset, immediately followed by a sunrise the next morning.

"Shore Thing" is from Groton, CT
We then found our way back to Elizabeth City and its free docks and the traditional Rose Buddy wine and beer and cheese reception which is held any time there are at least four boats at the docks. Each lady is given a rose.

We were held up for about three hours the next morning because the drawbridge would not open. It looked as if we might never get through the Dismal Swamp. At least I finally got a decent picture of the human target which is on the other side of the river from a rather disreputable looking trailer. (We go through this section as fast as we can!)

The South Mills lock raises us 8 feet to the level of the man-made canal through the Dismal Swamp. We met the crew on Scooter while we were waiting for the Elizabeth City Bridge to open.
Between the two locks, we passed by the North Carolina Visitor Center and its free dock and then into Virginia. Unfortunately, the old canal superintendent's house continues to crumble.

Robert, the lock tender at Deep Creek on the other end was kind enough to wait for us to arrive since he had heard of our delay that morning on the othere end. He collects conch shells and has them all around his lock keeper's house. We gave him a large one from Abaco which the captain had made into a horn.

Because of Robert's kindness, we were able to get all the way through and managed to come up with another free space at a public dock in Portsmouth right in front of Olde Towne and across the way from a huge cruise ship which was drydocked in Norfolk. Scooter had been with us all day and took our recommendation to go to the dinner movie theatre, The Commodore, while we collapsed on board.

For once, the weather gods were kind, and we were able to move right along to Jackson Creek in Deltaville and its beautiful Chesapeake Bay work boats.

Chesapeake Bay work boats.
We were anxious to get a bit further north to see various family members.

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