Friday, June 27. Pearce scrubbed Kibon down and tried to get off the
"mustache" that we had grown coming up the Waccamaw River, but Dawn
didn't do it. We'll get out the fiberglass cleaner when we stop at a
marina again. Kay did the laundry while Pearce looked at a few more
galleries. A truly great one is The Beaufort Fine Arts Gallery, on Turner
Street a half-block back from the docks. Pearce took one of his paintings there,
the curator liked "the colors", etc., but said,
"We're really only interested in North Carolina artists..." Pearce's
pitch that "I pass through North Carolina twice a year" didn't cut the
ice. It's okay, he can handle rejection after a lifetime in sales. We left shortly after noon and rejoined the ICW above
Beaufort. We are quite a distance inland as the ICW cuts through to the
Neuse River. The trip up the Neuse has been quiet so far. We
by-passed Oriental because our friends left yesterday to attend graduation
ceremonies on Long Island, NY. We'll catch them on the way back next
fall. We didn't go very far today, perhaps because we only left at noon,
but we have found a lovely anchorage on Broad Creek off of mile 173. We
did not go into the guide book's suggestion of Burton Creek because we saw two
local sailboats anchored opposite that creek. There is a dockage further
up the creek, and there are a few sailboats anchored near the docks. We
are very happy here, and we hope this good weather will hold for the rest of our
trip up the river and around the corner at Pamlico River.
Saturday, June 28. We're out early to be sure we catch the gentle
winds. There's a bit of a bumpy ride down the rest of the Neuse River, but
things calm down as we head up the Pamlico River... then the Pungo River and
into the Pungo Alligator Canal. Doesn't that sound delightful? There
are only a few docks along the way, and the homes are all temporary mobile homes
hopefully awaiting the permanent structures. We did pass a few boats on
the shore with the occupants enjoying the water. There were no water
skiers, and most of the boats we passed were working crabers.
The whole canal is narrow and is lined with stumps. Later, when we came
into tonight's marina, we met one of the boats that had passed us. The
fast sport fisherman ran into engine problems and came into the Alligator River
Marina, the only place for 51 miles from Bellhaven just before we entered the
canal. We found out that they are running the boat from Palm Beach to
Barrington, RI. The skipper is Bill Gillbane, Brown class of '99, whose
uncle Dick Carrolan is from our class. You never know who you are
traveling with or meeting along the way.
Pearce found a kite while he was sorting out things in the lockers, so he flew
the kite for a while as we motored down the canal. That's always a way to
pass slow time. We didn't see too much wild life along the way.
There was a wild turkey drinking his fill at the waterside. Do you think
he will still be here next Fall? He may be a bit bigger then to serve for
Kay went down to the cabin during the afternoon, turned on the generator so that
she could sew up one of the v-berth cushions, and the generator stopped.
We thought about barbecuing dinner, but we weren't sure that a breeze would come
up so we wouldn't need the air conditioner, so we continued another 30
miles. We are hooked up to dockside electricity, and Pearce will check out
the generator's problems tomorrow morning when the engine compartment cools
down. By the way, the people here are really nice, the gas station store
has all kinds of items you might need, but don't believe their ad about Capt'n
Charlies Seafood Restaurant. There's a short order grill, lots of deep
fried items, and a few eat-in booths.
Sunday, June 29. Pearce spent several hours working on the generator and
decided that the problem was in the filters. Unfortunately we had not
packed any spares, so we started out toward Albemarle Sound and the Virginia
Cut where we were sure to find a marine supply store and maybe someone who would
look at the generator. Kay remembered that an e-mail from the Armstrongs
said they intended to be in Manteo on Roanoke Island. Pearce said that's
just to the east of us, call them, and maybe we should go visit. So we
made a right hand turn to the east and came over to Roanoke Island. It was
a bit further than his 7 mile guess, but we arrived there in a few hours and
have found a lovely dock at the Shallowbag Bay Club. It is a condominium
and marina, and the people are just wonderful. We passed by the Elizabeth
II, a replica of the boats that brought the early colonists to this New
World. When we got to Shallowbag Bay Marina, the dockmaster, Joe, gave
Pearce the name of someone to call tomorrow about the generator. Pearce
also used their landline to try to fix his computer woes. Still no
luck. We spent an afternoon exchanging travel and winter hiatus
stories with Mary and Don Armstrong. We all then had a fantastic
dinner at the Lone Cedar Cafe.
Monday, June 30. Pearce called the mechanic who said he might be able to
come see us tomorrow or Wednesday. Since a storm is due through here about
Thursday, Pearce had hoped to leave ahead of it. We began to plan for some
touristy jaunts. Mary and Kay walked next door to the Christmas Shop and
Island Gallery where they spent several hours browsing. Pearce and Don did
computer things. Our web server had been having some problems which caused
most of our problems. We're back on line, but we had to delete all the
messages that came in during the last 10 days or so. Pearce also began
tracing the many communication wires on the boat. We again have cable TV on
the dock, and he wanted to hook that up to the inside wiring. He's also
going to install a 3-way option of antenna/satellite/cable for both the TV in
the salon and the one we will install in the stateroom. Luxury?
Sure, but it keeps idle hands busy.
We were finishing up a late lunch and planning to visit the Wright Brothers
Monument in Kitty Hawk when the dockmaster called. He had contacted the
mechanic who was on his way to see us. The mechanic, Billy, spent the rest of the afternoon
working on our generator -- new filters and new fuel pump. Everything
seems to be good. Mary and Don invited us for dinner, and we spent a
relaxing evening with them.
Tuesday, July 1.
We went shopping to get the necessary bolts and nuts to attach the new fuel
pump, which is smaller than the original.
Also drove to the Wright Brothers Memorial. We didn't climb up because the
day was humid and Pearce was having trouble breathing. Maybe we were
looking for an excuse to not indulge in exercise. This is the 100th
Anniversary of their flight on December 17, 1903. One of the celebrations
is a display of winged horses along the roadside. Many of the businesses
have embellished the horses to suit their commerce.
We had breakfast at a Grits place, and resisted the impulse to buy the
tee-shirt. Since it was already after 10:30 when we finally stopped for
breakfast, Kay declared it Brunch. Back at the boat, Pearce installed the
bolts, we said good-bye to Mary and Don Armstrong, and left. The crossing
of Albemarle Sound was quiet, and we headed up the Northr to an
anchorage. Pearce turned on the generator, and we listened to some strange
sounds before it quit. A telephone call to Billy the mechanic speculated
that the water pump had given up. So, up with the anchor, and onward six
more miles to the Midway Marina in Coinjock. Billy will stop off on his
way to work tomorrow, and we hope he will solve the problem. This place is
very nice -- it even has a pool that Kay said she might try in the morning while
the repairs are underway.
Wednesday, July 2. Billy woke us up at 6:30 -- it may have been early, but
it was very nice of him to try to solve our problem. The impeller that was
here on the boat must have been
from some previous pump. It didn't fit. Billy left to see if his
shop had one -- it did, but he couldn't get back to us until tonight. We
headed north in hopes of finding a fit somewhere. Atlantic Marine had one
and would save it until we got there. It was only 38 miles, but it took us
most of the day to get there. Two of the bridges that are only 5 miles
apart open every half hour. We got to the first one 5 minutes after the
scheduled opening -- it hadn't opened and wouldn't do a late opening. We
couldn't get to the next one
within the half hour, so we had to hang around that one, too. Just beyond
Atlantic Marina is the Great Bridge and Lock. We timed that one nicely and
continued up the ICW. Wouldn't you know that as we locked through this
108th lock, that it was raining! Our first several locks on the Erie Canal
involved donning slickers as well as proper gloves while we manned (womanned?)
the lines. This lock didn't even need the poles to keep us off the walls
while we dropped 18 inches, but the rain came down until we motored out on the
We're getting close to mile 0! But first we had to negotiate two more
bridges which had restricted opening times because of commuter traffic. We
made the first one on time. The bridge tender asked us to wait until the
two sailboats caught up. They had locked through with us (the Great Bridge
bridge tender had yelled at them to hurry up and don't hang back so far.)
So we hung around while they dawdled. The bridge tender told them to hurry
up, and he even suggested that he would open for us and close before they got
there (you know these bridge captains talk to each other.) There was a lot
of chatter from various boats, but Kay heard someone say, "He doesn't dare
do that." The second boat motored around the first boat -- they
weren't going to be caught on the wrong side!
We all had to wait an hour while the last bridge, the Gilmarten, remained closed
for the commuters. Pearce anchored and went below to install the
impeller. He got part of it done before we took off again. A tow
boat (without any barges) pulled out in front of all of us and led the way down
to the Jordon Bridge. We went through with him and were closely followed
by a tow and two barges. The bridge tender asked this tow to hurry up so
the bridge wouldn't have to remain open so long. The tow captain said,
"I need you to stay
open for me because the current is carrying me down." The bridge
captain said, "If you don't hurry up, I'll have to close." The
tow captain replied, "I can't stop, I'll come on through the
bridge." Bridge captain, "That's your problem, not
mine." The bridge remained open, and every one came through smiling.
We motored carefully through the Naval Yards. The little
"police" boats march up and down in front of the huge boats.
Their crews watch us diligently with their binoculars. We even had a
helicopter fly over -- was it coincidental or were we being watched from above,
too? We continued past mile 0, and we are anchored just off the Naval
Hospital here in Norfolk. There are many other boats here -- all but one
are sailboats. Pearce has successfully installed the impeller, and the
generator is working beautifully. It's time to create dinner.
The last of hurricane Bill is dribbling all over coastal
North Carolina and Virginia tonight. We're snug at anchor, but bouncing a bit.
Tomorrow we head up toward Maryland and Delaware. We have been thinking about
taking the less traveled route outside the the Delmarva peninsular, but wind and
waves tonight have us leaning more toward the inside Chesapeake route.
Tomorrow will be time enough for that decision. Stay Tuned.
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