Sunday, October 9, 2011

Alligator River Marina

The marina has one long face dock and several finger docks (not shown)
We made a much better exit than entry this morning out of Elizabeth City. Ann was at the helm  while I handled the lines and she did a short spurt in reverse, then took it out of gear so as the boat started moving aft. Putting the boat in neutral allowed it to continue to move aft without the action of the prop causing a drift to port. So we exited with grace.

Reaching the Ablemarle Sound we discovered that we could make use of part of the boat's equipment that we hadn't tried out for awhile - the sails! With 12 to 15 kts on the beam, we sailed all the way across the Ablemarle! The entrance to the Alligator River is shown incorrectly on the charts but by following the advice in Active Captain, we had no trouble with depths. It's one of the most popular places on the ICW to go aground, the tow companies love it. Along the way were heard a boat call the Coast Guard saying that he didn't know where he was, he had no GPS and the boat was being overwhelmed by the wind and waves. Some fellow boaters came up along side and led him into the Alligator River off the Ablemarle and he's anchored about a mile north of us out in the Alligator River for the night. Ann talked to the Coast Guard later this afternoon after they had checked up on the boat to see if he was okay, which he was - he was an elderly gentleman and was a little disoriented and with very little in the way of boating skills. He was single-handling the boat south, not good.

Here's Ann talking to the handsome CG officers!
Meanwhile we had our own adventures. After filling up at the fuel dock, we found that we were pinned against the dock by the north wind. After trying briefly to push the bow out with no success, we decided to back out since we could swing the aft out easier than the bow. So with a hard push we were off and I jumped on board and took over the wheel. We were backing successfully but there was a boat on the dock immediately behind us! I turned the wheel and rev'ed the diesel and just barely missed the boat and curved the bow around to miss in front too, whew!

After all that excitement we did laundry. But mainly we collapsed. We did have a great sail for a change. Monday it's off to an anchorage and then the Zeisings on Tuesday.