Sunday, May 8, 2016

North Carolina Welcome Center - at their free dock

Towards to Dismal Swamp Canal, wilderness
The prediction for the Albemarle was for the winds to start out from the west and then shift to the northwest and increase. That was not good news so we started out at 6:45 am to beat the shift to the northwest, we thought. When we reached the Albemarle we found the winds out of the west as expected but already up to 15 to 17 kts. It was a lumpy ride north, at least for the first three hours. Eventually it lessened as we entered the Pasquotank River leading to Elizabeth City. With the early start we were due to reach Elizabeth City by 11:00 AM so we continued on to reach the North Carolina Welcome Center which has a free dock for boats transiting the ICW.

The free dock was full, we rafted
Once there, the five boats declared a party at 6:00! There's a picnic area nearby with a charcoal brazier so we all met there at the appointed time. As usual at these gatherings, a lot of info was exchanged on where they've been and where they're headed. Boaters are interesting people and the conversations went on way past easting time and the wine flowed. Unfortunately the attack of the mosquitoes commenced and we were scattered. They were out in hordes. We retreated to the safety of our boat with the pollen grade screening which is even finer than what's required to keep out no see'ums.

the picnic started out fine, but then the mosquitoes came out
On Monday we are headed for Hampton and a dock. We'll rent a car and provision for the last leg of the trip north. It's also a staging area for good weather up the Chesapeake. We want a south wind or no wind, we'll take either .