May 28, 2005 - June 5, 2005
Mary and I stayed at the
Manteo Waterfront Marina
for our union. Directly across from us was the Elizabeth II
, a replica of a sailboat slightly newer than the one that brought the colonist
to Roanoke Island in the late 1500's. A wonderful place to stay -
highly recommended. Leaving Manteo, we motored pass the Roanoke Marsh
Lighthouse there in Shallowbag Bay. As noted, we were motoring
because there was no wind at all!
Eventually the wind did build as we sailed across the Albemarle Sound for the
Pasquotank River and Elizabeth City. We hoisted the flags that spelled
Fansler and had been signed by guests to our union.
The swells were small and the heel was not much and this was more than Mary
Admiral's prerogative! Meanwhile, I headed up front to make sure there
were no ice burgs in our path.
Heading up the Pasquotank River you pass an
enormous building that is a blimp factory (still operating) constructed during
World War II.
Keep in mind this is the smaller of two buildings that
were built. The larger (one of the largest wooden buildings in the world)
burned in the 1990's. Just outside of Elizabeth City is a large Coast
We stayed at Pelican Marina in Elizabeth City. A
friendlier group of people we have never met. As we docked, we were invited over for a
wonderful dinner which included a crab dish, barbeque, shrimp, hot wings, pasta
and much more - not to mention the deserts. And to top it off, we were
invited back the next night as they did it all over again! Pelican Marina
is a great facility with the most reasonable rates we have found anywhere.
From the boat we could see an Osprey nest located in a Cypress tree.
From Elizabeth City, we headed across the Albemarle Sound into the Scuppernong
River to the sleepy little town of Columbia. Free public docks were at the
end of Main Street, where Annabelle's Banner could clearly be seen.
A beautiful setting, the waterfront is visible from the highway 64 bridge
passing over the river.
There is a visitor center there which features a walk into the wetlands on a
The sunset that evening was delightful.
We started out early the next morning (5:30 AM) knowing it was going to be a
Once out into the Albemarle Sound, the wind was coming straight at us at 20
knots with a 3-4' chop. This made for a rough ride for 3 hours.
The chop calmed down once we entered the Alligator River. After passing
through the Alligator River Swing Bridge, we hoisted the sails and motor sailed
at speeds of up to 8 knots.
Along the Alligator-Pungo Canal we saw unspoiled nature, including this doe and
We finished out a 13 hour, 97 mile day in Belhaven, NC with a light rain
falling. The next morning it was still raining, and the wind had stiffened
to 20-25 knot , but we had our hearts set on leaving Belhaven and getting
to Washington, NC. The wind was blowing on our stern, the boats on either
side of us were stern in, sticking out beyond their pylons with anchors on the
bows ready to chew us up. We worked out a plan of how to release the dock
lines that kept us off the pylons and anchors - not to mention the rock barrier
100' behind us. The planning worked and we were out of the dock and marina
without a mishap. Motoring down the Pungo River we had the wind and chop
off our port beam, making for a rough ride. But as before, the hardtop and
totally enclosed cockpit kept us dry. Once out into the Pamlico River the
seas and wind were on our stern, so we unfurled the Genoa and surfed our way to
Washington - at one point the GPS showed us making 9.4 knots. Arriving in
Washington was a delight. The waterfront has under gone urban renewal and
is clean and well maintained.
With our banner flying, we caused enough of a stir to have the local newspaper
take a picture of Annabelle
and another picture or us which they placed on the front page of the Saturday
edition, along with an interview.
It was lots of fun. As I noted, Washington is a great place. There
is the N.C. Estuarium there that has
wonderful exhibits about the Pamlico-Tar river. Items of interest were a
floating duck blind,
and several tanks of live aquatic animals such as this blue crab.
The food available just off the waterfront is wonderful. Our favorite
place was "A Slice of Heaven" - a coffee and desert shop, were we had a piece of
chocolate cream cheese cake that was to die for. As with all good things,
we had to eventually start back home. Leaving Washington, it was a foggy
on which the chart plotter earned its keep. As were were about half way
down the river, one of the NC Ferry System ferries crossed our stern.
Passing by Hoboken Coast Guard Station, we passed a dredge as it moved up the ICW.
From the dark clouds you can imagine we ran through some more rain.
Late that afternoon, as we approached Oriental, the sky started clearing.
We had a wonderful time on our honeymoon. The "Just Married" banner was
the source for many well wishes and fun conversations (several we heard on the
VHF radio). It brought joy into our lives and to others as well. A
trip to always remember
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