Light breeze this morning out of the south with clear and sunny skies. We plan on going to the Alligator River Marina today unless conditions are good for crossing the Albemarle Sound. Last year we had very windy conditions with winds from the Northeast. This year we arrived at the Alligator River Bridge just in time for an opening and the water had a hint if a southerly breeze. We did not hesitate and we crossed the Sound and headed to Elizabeth City.
The cruise from Dowry Creek goes thru the Pungo River/Alligator River Canal that is about 25 miles long. Most of the shore for the length of the canal is cypress swamps with quite a few dead trees. Lenore did spot a eagle in a tree along the south shore of the canal.
There was not a lot of traffic. A trawler that was at Dowry Creek last night left just after us and was about 2 miles behind us. They passed us in the canal and were about 1 1/2 miles ahead of us when we got onto the Albemarle Sound. They went the Virginia Cut route while we headed for Elizabeth City.
As we were crossing the Albemarle Sound the wind at one time actually died to nothing and the water was relatively smooth. When you couple this with the 90 degree temps it was pretty warm in the cockpit. We noticed that the bascule bridge in Elizabeth City only opened on the 1//2 hour between 4:00 and 6:00 so we decided to pick up the pace some so we would arrive at the bridge well before 4:00. That got us a good breeze in the cockpit to cool things off.
We considered staying at the Elizabeth City Town Docks. They are free and the locals will hold a happy hour if there are 5 boats. There was a cautionary note that the docks were exposed to a South wind so we decided to stay at Lamb’s Marina. It was another 3 miles past the town docks and it is quite the place. The Active Captain comments were right on with their description and they had given it 4 stars. The marina is essentially a trailer park with a boat basin. We are really pushing the upper limits of the size of boat they can take. They have a grocery store, really more like a convenience store and a courtesy car. Pretty good price on diesel at $3.90/gal. and it is a flat rate of $35 per night.
The folks are friendly and the local boaters are very helpful. We are next to a catamaran that has a women and 3 cats aboard and 2 boats away from an English Bulldog, Lilly. None of the boats could be even loosely considered pristine. There are a couple of boats that are going to be sold by auction. Interesting place.
There is rain and thunderstorms in the forecast for tomorrow. It looks like it will arrive in the evening so we will go to the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center in the morning. Not a long day as it is only 22 miles but most will be at no wake speed.