Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Oriental NC

Norfolk Virginia Norfolk is a very large navel ship yard, sailing into town you pass at least 20 military ships, including at least 4 aircraft carriers. We toured the USS Wisconsin, a Iowa class battleship, 832’ long, it is quite imposing. While at the marina, “Buster” a 37’ Nordic Tug that we had met in August at Waterford NY on the Hudson river, arrived. Ken and Georganne live in Florida and had spent the summer up north. They we going to leave the boat soon and travel home. After a few days in Norfolk, we got up early and headed down the canal towards the first bridge ( a little bit behind Buster). By 8:30 when the bridge opened, there were at least 12 other boats. About 5 miles (and about 3 hours) along there is a small lock, that controls the water level between Chesapeake Bay and the canal. At the end of the lock we had caught up with Buster, they had arrived at their marina where Buster would stay for the winter while they returned to Florida. It was a bit sad to see them sitting on their boat knowing that their trip was over, but it sounded like they had a great summer. After a long day we tied to the side of the canal at Coinjock. While the kids watched a movie Janine and I got to have a dinner for 2 in the local restaurant. The next day, again was a long power down the canal, a short sail across Aberlmarle sound, and a long power up the Alligator river, and through the Alligator/Pungo river cut to Dowry Creek. This day was a little too long as we arrived at the dock an hour after dark, with 15kts of breeze, into a lee shore creek marina with unlit navigation markers that didn’t show up well on the radar. Fortunatly the marina operator was there and helped us through the markers to the dock, where 8 or so people greeted us and helped us dock. Dowry Creek had a pool, and a courtesy car, so after a sleep in, a pump out and a swim, we went into town for ice cream. The next morning we headed down the Pungo river, across the Pamlico river , up Goose creek, and into the Bay River. Several of the guide books said that we may see dolphins in this area, Janine and the kids were hopeful, I was skeptical. Everyone had there eyes peeled, and we were rewarded with a small pod, who played in our bow wave for 2 or 3 minutes. Every one was very excited, especially Janine, hope fully we will see lots more dolphins along the way.. By the end of the day, we made it to Oriental North Carolina. Coming into the harbour we saw a few more dolphins around, but none would come and play. The kids had bee complaining that we had not seen any other “kid” boats for a while so when we saw “Salt&Light” with 3 kids aboard we went straight over to say hi. It turns they are from Seattle, and are doing pretty much the same thing we are. They bought the boat in Charleston and are headed to the islands. After going ashore we met Kristopher, who works at the local marine store, and his wife Rebbecca, who works at M&M diner. They have 5 kids and their boat is currently out of the water being repainted and readied to return to the Bahamas in 4 or 5 weeks. If 5 kids was not enough, they take in a “troubled teen” for the winter to keep things interesting. Oriental is a nice small town. There are 6 or 8 eighty foot shrimp boats in the harbour. We want to be back here for Halloween. PS I think i linked the title to the town webcam

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