Saturday, October 8, 2011

Elizabeth City at the town free dock

Boats lined up at the free dock - Nice park!
There were more of us than I've ever seen before going through the south lock, eight of us in all. It took about an hour to get everyone in and tied up before the lockmaster could start the lock draining. Nevertheless, we all got situated and the descent began. When we were in France on a canal boat, the locks were like a waterfall when the water was let in and out, on the Dismal Canal locks, it's very gradual.

Once out of the locks, the waterway quickly widens and deepens, even though we lost 10 feet or so of water height in the locks. Still, you had to be careful to avoid the floating debris although there wasn't much of it, less than I expected from Irene.

Lots of tie ups at the lock - lots of trading stories too!
Arriving at Elizabeth City I really messed up. There are free docks but you go in bow first with a very short dock in front and two pilings in back to use for side to side positioning. So in I went and found out that there was a substantial current from the river pushing the boat sideways. Not having accounted for that, I backed out and tried again but this time I went in the wrong slot and again backed out. On the third try I was successful but selected the 13 ft wide dock instead of the 18 ft wide dock right next to me. Wrong! Fleetwing is 12' 9" wide so we did slide in but not without touching a lot. So did not do well but at least there was no damage to Fleetwing, the wooden pilings have no nails and just rub against the fiberglass sides.

Once in, I had to arrange a step for Ann since the short dock is about 4 ft below the level of Fleetwing's deck. Finally, Hoolie had no trouble getting off but getting back on required a boost from me. The town is fun to explore and great for walking around. The weather has turned quite warm with temps in the high 70's, very nice.