Alligator River Marina, across the Albemarle Sound, to Elizabeth City

Left this morning at 5:30 to try to get across the Albemarle (20 miles across, which takes me over 3 hours) before the wind came up. This is my first view of the day – conditions are not bad – blowing about 10 mph, when the weather says zero (calm).
I can see better now, to be able to see the markers and avoid the numerous crab traps…
Sunrise is getting better, wind conditions a little worse.
The sun is coming up over the horizon – I hope these conditions last my whole way across, about 18 miles to go at this point before I get to sheltered water.
The wind is coming up and conditions are getting worse, the boat is rolling so much I have to stand and hold on – stuff is already on the floor. But, my destination, the sheltered point coming up is in view.
Its blowing about 14 here, when it wasn’t supposed to be over 10 for the whole day – and it is only just after 7 in the morning at this point – good thing I left at 5:30!
This is before the worst of it – still over an hour to go – during that hour I couldn’t even hold the camera, had to hold on with both hands to not get thrown off my feet.
Across the Albmarle Sound and into more sheltered water now – whew! That large building was used in WW II to make and maintain military blimps. It is now a private military contractor make blimps for surveillance and communications purposes.
Just passed Elizabeth City and went under their bridge – continuing on to a Marina further up the Intracoastal. Originally I had planned to stay at the Elizabeth City free docks, but when I saw that there was a bridge I had to go under, and the chart said the height was two feet, I felt I had to make the marina reservation and get through the bridge today. As I approached the bridge I was that it was not 2 feet – so I called the bridgetender and asked what the clearance was. He told me 12 feet, but as I got there to go under, I saw that the board said it was only seven feet! Luckily is was more like 10 feet, so I made it under.
Coming into the channel to Lamb’s Marina. I decided to stay here because I need to get to the lock another 15 miles up the way by its first opening at 8:30 AM, and I was worried that the previous bridge would not open for me that early (of course I found out I could get under it anyway…).
A nice marina – a lot of liveaboards and I’ve heard it is a great Hurricane hole. Adagio happily at the dock, with free power.
The marina is also a gas station on the local highway – unfortunately, the restaurant was closed. A lot of us here were looking forward to going there. Later I rode my folding bike back into Elizabeth City to see my friends who were staying at the free docks and tour the town – the road is definitely not bike friendly!
The were remodeling the office and store, which is why the restaurant was closed.
These are my friends on A River Derci (you can see the name on the dinghy). Been travelling off and on with them since Beaufort NC.
The front street of Elizabeth City – the free docks are a little was down the road.
Elizabeth City has been welcoming Great Loopers for a long time – the roses come into play in a moment, everyone who landed at the free docks today was handed a rose as they got off their boats.
These are my Great Loop friends at the free docks – Bella Gatto in the middle.
The stone monument that explains the roses – the Rose Buddies.
The local brewery – in an alley paved with bricks. Unfortunately, it was close – but, at the next bar I went to with the guys from Bella Gatto, they had some of the brewery beer on tap. I mixed the two they had and really enjoyed it – then got to meet the brewery owner and he though it was pretty cool that I had done that.
The brick pavers in the brewery alley.
Went to this amazing free museum in the town.
The museum takes up most of that huge two story building – very friendly people, and as the next photos show, great presentation of the local phases of history in the area.
Full size shad boat hanging over the lobby.
“The South part of Virginia now the North part of Carolina”.
An original 1700s home moved and put up in this museum…
The origins of the Dismal Swamp Canal, which I will traverse tomorrow.
An original fire engine.
And an old farm tractor – I figured my friend Grant would like this…
A roving playhouse, moving up and down the rivers town to town.
Elizabeth City waterfront – I really like this town.
Happy Hour with the Loopers here at Lamb’s Marina.
My route today – tomorrow the Dismal Swamp and Norfolk.