Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Elizabeth City - at a free dock

The free docks at Elizabeth City proper, not full yet
The forecast changed abruptly last night. Rain all day and thunderstorms in the afternoon had been predicted but this morning the forecast changed to no rain or thunderstorms until late afternoon. Also, the wind had abated overnight (less than 10 kts) and we were anxious to get out before the wind piped up again based on our experience from yesterday when the wind increased to 20 to 25 kts and then gusted to 30.

We're on the other side of the bridge at the Jennette docks
We were tied to a face dock with big, ugly pilings facing the boat and the most convenient exit was forward but that required a spin turn (forward, turn, aft to stop the boat but it continues to turn, then forward to exit). I manned the lines and Ann executed the procedure. I can't remember the last time I brought a boat into a dock or left one. I think maybe that was Charleston with the high winds but she's getting good at that too. Even there she backed the boat off the dock and out the narrow entrance into the harbor (no room to turn around in the small marina with 2 kts of current).

So we're off and running and the high winds never materialized and even the sun came out, what a difference!  It actually got warm for a change., even the Albemarle cooperated with waves less than 1/2 foot. During the night the storms are all passed off to the east, at least until much later in the day.

This has got to be a good omen - it's even in the direction of where we go tomorrow!
Elizabeth City prides itself on being boater friendly and to that extent they promote a town policy of providing free dockage. Many of the businesses or organizations that have frontage on the ICW erect free docks, usually with financial help from the town. They even hold a meeting of the Rose Buds where they hand out a rose to visiting boaters at a wine and cheese tasting party in the evening. We docked at the Jennette free dock on the north side of the bridge. It's a face dock with the main advantage that it's protected from south winds that can rock the original free docks.

Arriving in the early afternoon, we decided to have a late lunch at Cypress Creek Grill, a recommended place for sandwiches. We'll take off again Wednesday morning for the Welcome Center on the Dismal Swamp and then go on to Hampton the next day, hope the weather holds.