Sunday, May 14, 2017

5/10-5/15 Alligator River, NC to Atlantic Yacht Basin, Chesapeake, VA

5/10/17  Alligator River  The weather is good with winds calm and water flat.  Most boaters are  headed across Albemarle Sound today because conditions are treacherous when it is windy.  We did not want to arrive at Coinjock Marina after 6:30 pm so we decided to stay at Alligator River and cross the Sound tomorrow. For a while, we were the ONLY boaters there.

We had a glitch while docking.  I was doing the lasso thing again, and caught the piling, but it slid all the way in to the water instead of catching on the hook.  That presented a problem because there was a tight loop around the piling 12 feet down.  Ron decided to go in the water until I reminded him there was a reason this was called Alligator River.  So he rigged up two poles, tied together that reached the base of the piling and we finally were able to get the loop of line up where it was supposed to be.  UGH!!!

Finally, three boats came in about dark.

5/11/17 We had storms during the night, but by morning they were gone and we proceeded across the Sound.  Winds were at 23 (predicted to be 5 to 10) and waves were two feet, but it was a manageable ride.  Our arrival at Coinjock put us in before noon, so we were one of the first boats tied up.  Later, the dock was filled with boats.  One of them, Redhead, belonging to Jeff and Karen Siegel, the owners/managers of Active Captain, an interactive website for boaters.  We learned this evening that Jeff has sold the business to Garmin.  Prior to owning this business, it is our understanding that Jeff was the person who developed digital imagery for x-rays.  Their boat, Redhead

originally belonged to Billy Joel and, when he owned it, had a grand piano in the lower salon.

A 101 foot boat came in with a crew in uniform.  I heard a dock hand say that it took 4000 gallons of fuel.

We had dinner with Derek and Lori (Donna Jean).  They are the ones that we handed Waldhose to a few days ago.  The saga of Waldhose, the hose originally left at a Jeckyl Island Marina, continues.

We decided to let the big boats get underway before us, so we didn't take off until 1000.  It was windy and raining, but that wasn't a problem until we came to Currituck Sound.  A northbound barge, Island Trader,  had passed us while we were still at the dock.

  He was about 10 minutes in front of us.  Still not a problem until we got to the Sound, which is shallow and the wind was howling at 32.  Suddenly, we saw the barge turn 90 degrees to port.
Island Trader caught in the wind

Evelyn Doris

  He was out of the channel and stuck in water a foot deep.  Ron got on the radio and asked him for permission to pass behind him before he started backing into the channel.  Permission was granted, we scooted right past him. Within 10 minutes, we met an oncoming barge, Evelyn Doris.  The channel there was narrow, and on either side, the depth was 1 foot, so we got to the edge of the channel and waited. When the Evelyn Doris got to the site where the Island Trader was stuck, the Evelyn D was somehow able to get around.  We saw on AIS 30 minutes later, that Island Trader was still stuck.

On our 2 hour trip across the Currituck Sound we encountered the roughest conditions of our whole trip.  We timed our arrival at the bridges perfectly.They open on the half hour, so it is best to arrive only minutes before the openings. When we got to Atlantic Yacht Basin, they were very busy and we had to wait a while before we were directed to our slip which was in the back of the boatyard.  This is a boatyard, not a fancy marina, so we are surrounded by boats under repair.

Once we docked, we learned from another boater that a boat had been struck last night by a barge coming out of the lock. The barge was the Evelyn Doris, the  same one we encountered this morning in Currituck Sound. The boat (SuzyQ) belonging to Susan Pellett and was tied up at the marina.  Susan, fortunately, was not onboard when it was struck at 12:48am.  Her 21 foot boat was totalled.  She was a month and a half into the Great Loop trip, and she must now decide whether to get another boat and proceed, or go home and give up on the trip of a lifetime.

5/13/17  Workday at Atlantic Yacht Basin
Ron changed the engine oil and transmission oil, replaced the filters and did some other odd jobs.
I was headed for the laundry, when I heard from another boater that she had gotten a $15 haircut in town, so I took off on the 3/4 mile walk.

We had docktails with Derek, Lori, Terry and Pat.  All of us have been keepers of Waldhose.  Terry and Pat will deliver the hose to its rightful owners within the next few weeks.

5/14/17 Sunday
We took Uber to Prince of Peace Church.  

This is the ONLY Catholic Church we have ever visited that did not have kneelers.  Their music was fantastic.  Not only did they have a wonderful choir, they had a piano, flutes, violins, trombones, cello, drummer and a guitarist.  Many of the parishioners were Asian/Pacific Islanders, as was the priest. Following the service, they held a mortgage burning in their parking lot.  Eight years ago, they had a mortgage of $1.3 million when they refinanced, expecting to pay it off in 2018.  Now they are mortgage free.

By asking the ushers, we were again able to obtain a ride from church to the grocery store.  Nearby was a Panera Bread, so we had lunch before getting a few groceries and walking back to the marina.  Tomorrow, we head to Portsmouth, VA, which is only 10 miles from here.  We are meeting up with boating friends, Carey and Nancy Cook from Racine, WI.

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