After a relaxing day at the town dock in Oriental, NC we headed out into calm calm weather and were greeted by a beautiful sunrise. The wind picked up as predicted mid-morning so instead of motoring inside the waterway, we sailed around a few peninsulas before coming up the Pungo River to Belhaven, NC.
Calm as can be outside Oriental, NC! Later that night in the Pungo River massive thunderstorms swarmed around us. To our north, lightening continued in bright bursts for hours and hours! It was fun to watch and we didn’t get directly hit.
The next day we motored through the Alligator River, which we’d skipped on our way down last Fall by sailing near the Outer Banks. It was a straight canal, with submerged logs and stumps everywhere. Thankfully no collisions! We made it to Elizabeth City a day later, sailing across the Albemarle Sound. It was some great sunny weather and warmer temperatures!
When we finally reached the Dismal Swamp Canal we felt home-free! Almost back to Annapolis. (After this we are practically in the Chesapeake Bay!) The swamp canal was just a beautiful as we’d remembered. Lots of birds, tons of turtles and lily pads.
The first lock, South Mills, raised Velocir up 8 feet with water gushing in.
At our second lock, Deep Creek, we added a conch shell to the lockmaster’s collection. The conch garden is quite full!
We headed to an anchorage we like near Old Point Comfort, VA. It was so close from the Dismal Swamp Canal but many obstacles were in our path. The only scheduled bridge was on a temporary schedule, so it was opening less-frequently than we thought. By the time it opened, a train bridge in front of it had come down and a train was stopped in the middle, not moving. It took two hours and there was a huge pile-up of boats waiting!
Now we will sit near Old Point Comfort for a weather window to sail north up the Chesapeake!