Elizabeth City to South Lake, Alligator River, NC

Trip Start Oct 19, 2008
Trip End Jan 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Saturday, November 1, 2008

We were up and off the boat at 09:15 to do some shopping at the Saturday market on the green in front of the dock. We bought some great looking bread and some fruit and vegetables including some exotic purple string beans. Most of the other boats had gone already so we shortened up our lines and prepared to leave our very narrow slip. The mayor of the town came by to see us off and urged us to come back in the Spring. What a great town! It was warmer than it has been for many days and it was nice to move without the restriction of many layers!

As we made our way down the Pasquatank River we saw a blimp taking off and circle around. It seems there is an airfield there at Davis Bay and it was interesting to watch the huge object fly.

As soon as we entered the Albermarle Sound we put up the sails and sailed on a broad reach for 2 hours in about 7 knots of wind from the SSW at about 5 knots SOG, we had a good current running with us. It was most enjoyable to have a quiet sail, poor "Doris" - our diesel engine has been working overtime recently. Then the wind died so we continued to motor. As we neared the entrance to the Alligator River we heard a very upset sailor calling for a tow boat, his sailboat was on a sand bar at the entrance to the river. His anxiety and aggravation was increased by the fact that his VHF and cell phone were not working and he had to communicate via the Coastguard. A little later another call for a tow this time from a large power boat in the same location had us pulling out our paper charts and the two cruising guides and cross checking all marks with our chart plotter in the cockpit. As we entered the river it was easy to see that a mark could be missed causing a grounding. It made me realise that a chartplotter makes navigation so easy.

We passed the grounded motor boat and made our way cautiously through dozens of crab pots into the unmarked South Lake which was to be our anchorage for the night. The surrounding area was almost tropical looking. It was warm and sunny and we enjoyed sitting on the "back porch" in our cockpit. There were two other boats with us Kolibri the boat we had watched pick up an old anchor while leaving Fishing Creek and met in Hampton. The other boat was called "Plumpuppet" which had us wondering about the origin of the name!
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