Sunday, May 1, 2011

Elizabeth City – At the town free docks

Elizabeth City is a big center for blimps
The boat ahead of us had a 5’ 9” keel but still made it through the channel out of the Alligator River Marina although he came to a halt and had to power forward to plow through the mud to get out. We followed and saw 4.9 ft on the depth sounder and didn’t touch bottom. I figured we had about an inch of water between us and the mud bottom – but it was enough, no problem.

The wind was on the button of course as we headed north but as we cleared the Alligator River entrance, we put up our sails and had an enjoyable ride for almost two hours before the wind died.

Fixed docks - lots of hard things to bang into if you're not careful
Coming into Elizabeth City we expected to see the “Rose Buddies” to help us into the dock but with it being a Sunday I guess everybody was off-duty and we made it in by ourselves. The dock is free, the best part, but it does lack conveniences. First of all, you have to be very careful in docking so as not to ram into the stonewall at the end of the dock (you dock bow in). The docks are fixed, not floating and four piers are at the four corners to be used as tie-off points for the boat. It’s actually a good arrangement in that it keeps the boat from hitting anything (once you have everything tied-off!) We were lucky that when we docked the wind had died off completely so we had a relatively easy time of it.

Don and Liz Bunch and their cruising flotilla arrived a couple of hours later and we helped them find the right slip and offered a hand for lines. The wind started to blow pretty good out of the south which is not a good direction for the Elizabeth City docks which are wide open in that direction. Still, we weren't too bad and we all walked to dinner next door and shared cruising stories. The group is headed north to the visitors’ center in the Dismal Canal on Monday with a pot-luck dinner in store for the evening, should be fun.