Saturday, October 15, 2016

North Landing to Elizabeth City - 2016

--Blogpost written by Bob

North Landing River to North River

We got up at 7 AM and realized that we were completely fogged in--we had to wait until 10:30 AM for the fog to lift.  As it lifted, we proceeded on our way down the North Landing River and into the Coinjock Bay.

We anchored within 50 yards of the green day mark #59 outside of the ICW
channel.  This photograph shows how we were fogged in at daybreak.

At 10:30 AM we left our anchorage as the fog was lifting to our south.

For the entire length of the ICW we have traveled so far, the channel has been between 12 and 15 feet deep.  The channel seems to be about 50 to 75 yards wide and is about 25 yards or so inboard of the channel markers.  (If one was to follow the green markers precisely you would actually be outside the actual dredged channel on the port side.)  Going south, green markers on our left, following the convention of "red right returning" (to Brownsville, TX).

We decided to stop at the Coinjock Marina with its 1200 foot bulkhead right along the ICW.  We filled up our fuel and water tanks and took (much needed) showers--our last shower was 3-1/2 days ago.  We also had a fantastic lunch at the marina's restaurant: Maggie had French dip and I had an open-faced prime rib sandwich.  Because it was almost 2:30 when we had lunch--we decided to call it "dunch" (a strange combination of the words "dinner" and "lunch").

At the time we tied up to the long dock at Coinjock Marina, the water
level was 2 feet above a normal high tide.

Upon leaving Coinjock Marina with a whole new attitude about life (clean bodies and full bellies, and unclogged ears in my case--first time after getting bronchitis) we passed under our only bridge of the day (Coinjock Bridge) and then went through the narrow Carolina Cut.  After the Carolina Cut we entered the winding head of the North River.  After all the bends in the river, it opened up into a wider body of water--here we found our anchorage for the night well to the east of the ICW channel.

We anchored at 4:30 PM for the night at a bend in the North River where we would be protected from the high northerly winds expected in the morning.  As we enjoyed our happy hour in the cockpit, three river otters played about 50 yards from our boat near the wooded shoreline.  The anchorage seemed worlds away from the industrial and military port of Norfolk we passed through just a day earlier.  Four other sailboats anchored in the lee of the wooded shoreline with us--each boat spaced more than 1/4-mile apart. 

Two other boats anchored to our east in the winding head of the North
River.  In the evening three river otters played about
50 yards away from our boat.

North River to Elizabeth City

We raised the anchor at 8:00 AM using the crank handle on the windlass because the motor wouldn't pull the chain up.  (We later found out that the clutch nut was not tight enough and allowed the chain sprocket to slip on the shaft.  We corrected this in Elizabeth City by tightening the clutch nut from on deck.)  We motored about 6 miles down the North River in a lot of southbound traffic, some sailboats motor sailing with their jib alone taking advantage of the northerly wind and the wide channel.  When we met the Abermarle Sound we motored west and picked up the mouth of the Pasquotank River toward Elizabeth City.  We were the only boat traveling in this direction.

Elizabeth City NC

When we arrived at Elizabeth City (1:30 PM), the water level was still very high and we docked in a free slip that was 15 feet wide and only about 24 feet long (our boat is 38 feet long).  Not only was the boat hanging out of the slip but it was a long step down to the pier between the slips.  Since the Dismal Swamp Canal has been closed due to flooding and there is no idea when it will reopen, as the only boat here we were able to use the free slip here in Elizabeth City a little longer than the normally allotted 48 hours. 

Simply adjusting the clutch nut on the windlass proved to be an easy task after
a call to VETUS, something I could have done right away if I had
known it was the problem.  I didn't get a chance to use the
windlass before leaving on this trip and, of course, this
was the only manual I didn't convert to
electronic format before leaving.

A view looking east down the Pasquotank River from Elizabeth City just
before sunrise.  Just moment after this photo the sky turned a
brilliant red and then to a cool gray as the sun came up.

In the morning the temperature in Elizabeth City dropped to near 50 degrees and I turned on the propane fireplaces to remove the chill in the cabin--what a luxury to have on board!

s/v Rainy Days is the only transient vessel at Elizabeth City's Mariner's
Wharf due to the fact that the Dismal Swamp Canal
has been closed due to flooding.

We bought a lot of fresh fresh veggies, apples, and eggs at the Saturday
morning farmer's market at the wharf in Elizabeth City. 

These cutouts were props in a jewelry stand at the farmer's market.  The lady
who made the jewelry was a retired school teacher from Baltimore.

On Saturday afternoon, we got groceries at Food Lion and got a bottle of Fireball whiskey from the local ABC liquor store.  Hiawatha Sylvester (252.267.8891) provided inexpensive and outstanding taxi service (with some local color thrown in) while we re-provisioned. 

We visited an art coop gallery on Main Street and Maggie went to the Museum of the Abermarle, right across the street from Mariner's Wharf.  Elizabeth City is truly the "Harbor of Hospitality."


As we are getting ready to leave Elizabeth City I have become more aware of our need to average a certain number of miles each day so that we can be in St. Augustine for Thanksgiving.  With roughly 725 (statute) miles to St. Augustine and 38 days until Thanksgiving, we must average at least 19 (statute) miles per day (16.5 nautical miles per day).  This sounds pretty easy but we don't expect to be traveling every single day--it's still pretty easy, but a reminder that we have to keep moving.

Thanks for following our blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment