The section of the Intra-Coastal Waterway south of Elizabeth City is made of of the Albermarle Sound and the Alligator River. Coming out of Elizabeth City into the sound we found ourselves among hundreds and hundreds of crab pots! Crab pots are traps laid on the sea floor with a line running up to a small floating marker on the surface. There were so many crab pots that for about an hour & half we were dodging them, the danger being that one of the lines will get caught on the propeller & shaft and foul it up. Typically they are dropped in somewhat of a grid pattern making it easy to go straight down a lane but other times they are (or become) randomly spaced making it a game of dodge pot. They were spaced between 60ft to 35ft apart, sometimes making it a tight squeeze for a 35ft long and 12ft wide yacht. The water was very flat early in the morning making it easy to spot them from back at the helm but as the wind picked up and the surface got a bit choppy they became very difficult to see. We started a spotting system where Cassandra would point to them and yell from the bow. Even out into the open water of Albermarle Sound they continued quite a distance until finally becoming sparse.
In the open waters of the sound we got both sails hoisted & unfurled, shut down the engine and enjoyed 4knots of boat speed in 7knots of wind. We love our new wind indicator! Unfortunately the wind dropped to zero and we had to motor half way across. Once across guess what? More crab pots! Through a swing bridge into Alligator River we followed the channel markers and joined four other sail yachts at anchor in a cove. There's something so reassuring about masthead anchor lights; you have your privacy but you're not alone, physically (nearby in case of emergency) and conceptually (other people have chosen this lifestyle too). A beautiful sunset preceded a delicious dinner. Moonrise was early and bright all night. The moonlight and clouds quite spectacular. The evening's serenity awesomely shattered a few times by fighter jet flyovers (we had read in the reviews of this anchorage that it was near a airforce training area). Wow were these things fast!
North Carolina is notorious very poor cellular coverage along our route so you'll have forgive us if our blog posting becomes a little more sporadic.
|Bye Bye E-Town|
|Hello crab pots|
|You see it?|
|Little slice of heaven|
|Hey! It's a loonnnngggg canal|
|10 minutes later...|
|... and ten minutes later... keep driving south|