Sunday, December 17, 2006

North Carolina Welcome Station to Elizabeth City, NC

19.6 nm
Wind: SW 10 knots
Maximum speed: 5.3 knots
Average speed: 3.6 knots
Latitude: 36°17.93’N
Longitude: 076°13.10’W

Well, we've made it here to Elizabeth City, the harbor of hospitality, and it may be hard to leave. For one thing, they have super-speedy wifi right at the free dock. Showers at the fitness center, laundry, groceries, and everything we need. Lise and Marcel have pulled right up next to us, exactly on schedule, even though they came through the Virginia Cut. The swamp was gorgeous all day today--after we got through the canal it opened up into far more of a swampy feel, which made Karl happy. Trees growing in the water, spooky channels shooting off, but no gators. He's convinced he heard one slapping its tail against the water last night at the dock, but I don't believe him. He's just gator-happy.

No wine and cheese, though, and no roses, yet. They say that you need five boats in order to have the party. Marcel did his level best to try to convince them, and if anyone can be convincing it’s a Frenchman in need of wine, but it didn’t work. We may go out with them for dinner, if I can convince Karl to spend the money. So far, the budget is suffering a little bit, but far be it from me to forego a night on the town.

Fred Fearing, the legendary Rose Buddy, didn’t come to greet us at the dock. He is 93 years old, after all. But according to the local guy who did come to meet us, he might be by tomorrow in a golf cart. Craziness. The local guy is the one that mans the dock when Fred isn’t here, and gives rides to the gas station and lets us use his hose for water. It’s pretty crazy. When we first pulled into the slip and didn’t see anyone, and there were no boats, and the downtown didn’t even look very promising, I thought “harbor of hospitality, my foot,” but my skepticism was unwarranted. I said, before we got here, that this was supposed to be the Saufleys of the ICW, and if you’ve hiked the PCT, you know what that means. It may be shaping up to be true.

So I’m sure that tonight will be another night of carousing with crazy French Canadians, until we set off again. I cleaned the boat yet again today, and now we’ve discovered a mysterious smell, like sewage, drifting back from one of the back lockers. Not pleasant. So we have to try to find it, or bleach it out, or something. Other things that are not cool about today: A dock line has mysteriously disappeared. We haven’t seen it since Rock Hall Harbor, and Karl is convinced someone stole it. I’m still hopeful it will show up.


Ellen, John & Sophia said...

We were too late for the wine and cheese too! Not enough boats . . . But you made my mouth water remembering the Mexican food in Deep Creek!!

Melissa said...

We had to go to the Mexican restaurant, just because you told us to... Even though our dining out budget was used up for the month. (Of course, that didn't stop us in Elizabeth City, either.) I wish we had ordered the fish tacos, though!

Bob Gray said...

Congratulations! You've gotten underway. The most regretted adventures are those never undertaken and you have beaten that.
Bob Gray