Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9th, 2012

Oh fiddle de dee, a sailor's life for me!!

Today we traversed the Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina. The waterway was actually a canal so was narrow and shallow. We had good charts so did not encounter any problems.  The weather was smashing -  but cool. The sky a lovely azure without any clouds and best of all there were no waves, I repeat no waves. This meant that 2nd mate Mia and I did not have to take shelter below deck and could enjoy looking out of the windows.

We stopped at the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center and put Mia into her life jacket so that we could take her for a "walk" or should I say "pull". She did not like the leash one little bit, crouched down on her belly and refused to budge despite gentle coaxing. I did manage to get her to a mulch covered flower bed which was nice and warm in the afternoon sun. There she hunkered down and would not move. She remained there for approx 10 mins allowing Gary to visit the Welcome Center whilst I stood holding onto a leash with a cat on the end of it looking a right chump. In the end, the cat was picked up and carried back to the  boat.

The next part of the journey through the swamp was spectacular. Of interest were many cyprus tree stumps growing in the water with ferns and plants growing out of the top of them. I am known for my photos of reflections and managed to take several nice ones which we show you here.

We went through 2 locks with the help and guidance of one very nice lock keeper, Robert. Crews from the other boats already waiting in the lock also gave us advise on what to do as we have never been in a lock before. The locks raised and lowered the boat 8 feet. We met Al from Baltimore sailing in the Salty Spray who gave us good advise on how to continue travelling on the "loop". In fact, we docked near him for the night in Elizabeth City. He is a lone sailor in a lovely old fashioned galleon type sail boat on his way to Florida. He told us he had done the journey 8 times before so was a seasoned sailor.

Tomorrow, we plan on  crossing the Albemarle Sound, a 22 mile open stretch of water into the Alligator River. The weather is supposed to be good with light winds which should make the crossing more pleasant than going down the Chesapeake Bay.

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