Monday, April 30, 2012

Elizabeth City - At a dock but not by the Rose Buddies

Coming sideways into the pilings - ouch! If hit too hard... (sail is in now)
"Let's take a face dock on the north side of the bridge so we'll be ready to go int he morning". "Fine, let's go, I'll approach the dock slowly".  "Hum, we seem to drifting sideways to the dock rather rapidly..." "Krunch, a rather hard landing against the face dock" "Quick, let's put in the fenders against the pilings" "Seems awfully hard to push the boat away from the dock, the wind's not that strong" Looking up for the first time, "Crap (or words similar), I left the mainsail up!" "No wonder the boat is hard to move against the wind!"

Rose Buddies roses for visiting boaters
It is not common practice to dock a sailboat with the mainsail up! We had sailed for about half the way to Elizabeth City and forgot all about the mainsail being deployed, groan! Once pulled in, the boat could easily be managed for fine tuning the fender placement.

There were high winds predicted for the usual docks at Elizabeth City on the south side of the bridge.We've learned that with a south wind like tonight, it can get very rocky with the wind driven waves rolling all the way down the river and against the docks and bulkhead and reflecting back for a second lick at the boats. So we decided to duck through the bridge and dock against the bulkhead on the other side, totally protected from the south waves and wind. The downside is the absence of any facilities, no water, no electricity but also no charge. It's part of the tradition of Elizabeth City and the Rose Buddies, a group of people that greet boats and host a welcome party everyday in town at the free docks there, very friendly.

On Tuesday we're headed to the welcome center on the Dismal Swamp Canal before continuing the next day to Hampton, Virginia.