Thursday, May 1, 2014

Sneads Ferry to Elizabeth City NC

On our way to Sneads Ferry we passed a replica of the Pinta.  Not sure where the Nina or Santa Maria were.  The trip to Sneads Ferry was pretty boring and we pulled in to the Swan Point Marina that was run and owned by a mother and daughter.  The marina was pretty rustic but had electric and most amenities.  We got some laundry done and watched the Nina pass by after I passed it some time back.  Next morning we untied and we're off to Morehead City.  When you leave Sneads Ferry there is a swing bridge we needed opened, but only opens on the half hour.  It's part of the Marine base at Camp Lejeune.  There are also signs posted if the lights are flashing you can not continue any further because they are having live fire exercises.  Luckily not on the day we went thru.  We ended up at the Portside Marina in Morehead City on an outside tie exposed to boats passing by and the wind kicking up the water.  Glad to leave there the next day for Oriental, so we thought.  Arrived at a nice little marina called Whittaker Point Marina where we caught up with Attitude Changer.  That night we had tornado warnings, rain and  high winds that kicked up the water in the marina because of very little protection and it was as rough in the marina  as out in the sound.  We used the loaner car to go get our propane tanks filled and have lunch and then used it again to go into town to meet a couple other loopers at a very protected marina and later went to dinner.  There were 9 tornado's that touched down around us. The storms finally passed through about 11:00 that night and I was up the whole time making sure our lines held the boat in position.  We left next day for Belhaven to Dowry Creek Marina.  There were four other looper boats there when we pulled into the marina.  CJ (from San Diego who took their boat through the Panama Canal), Limelight, Summer Recess, and Attitude Changer.  We all got together for docktails that late afternoon.  Next stop was up the Alligator River / Canal to a layover marina at a Shell gas station in Columbia NC on Hwy 64.  Alligator River was a really beautiful section of the ICW where it says you could see deer and bears.  We didn't see anything except tree trunks along the shore.  In fact as a barge was going by Panacea found on of those tree trunks that was underwater and we now have a bent prop.  Sorry I can't tell you what came out of my mouth at the time but it was not good.  Now we can't run the starboard engine over an idle or the boat vibrates violently.  We got into Alligator River Marina with the other four boats and tried to figure out a plan to have the boat repaired.  The boat CJ invited us to have a potluck at the boaters lounge with spaghetti.  We provided the hor dourves  and garlic bread.  Next day was about crossing a very large sound called Albemarle Sound which is the largest fresh water sound in North America.  It is 50 miles long and about 18 miles wide with crab pots all along the route.  We had to cross the sound to Elizabeth City and did not want any wind.  When we left the forecast was for 10 mph winds and 1 foot waves.  Soon after leaving we had 3 to 4 footers directly from the East hitting us on the beam with about 15 mph winds.  I must say it was one of the most uncomforable boat rides we have ever experienced.  Even poor Chloe was sliding down the floor and everything that wasn't tied down was on the floor.  All this on one engine.  We all decided to go to a small marina called Lamb's.  I can't tell you how happy we were to be there.  I must say the people we have met in North Carolina are some of the nicest people we have ever met.  We have been here for three day now because of weather.  We have even had more tornadoe warnings and watches.  Since we were going to be here for a while I changed the oil and filters on both engines.   Our next goal is to head up the Dismal Swamp to Norfolk.  We have arranged with a boat repair facility to have the prop replaced and the air conditioner repaired once we get to Norfolk.

Passing the Pinta 

I don't know, something about pink houses

Swan Point Marina, Sneads Ferry

Swan Point Marina
Barb from Attitude Changer

Us with Don from Limelight

Here we all are gathered in Oriental NC
Panacea on the Alligator River

Tug we passed just after hitting a sumberged tree trunk

See those tree trunks?
Attitude Changer from Michigan 

Limelight from Wisconsin

CJ from San Diego
Gathered for potluck

Just passed Elizabeth City for Lamb;s Marina in Camden

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