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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pungo/Alligator Canal

Today we left our secure anchorage and headed up the long Pungo River - Alligator River Canal. It was an eerie 21+ miles of narrow canal lined by menacing tree stumps and dotted with dangers afloat such as large logs and tree stumps. It did not seem natural to have a 42 foot sailboat so close to a river bank. I never saw an alligator but I did see turtles peek through the surface at us. We plugged along at 1200 RPM making just over five knots. There was little wind, if any, which added to the surreal ambiance. I wish I could share pictures, but it will have to wait until we get internet.

As we exited the canal into what seemed to be an open swamp, I looked back and wondered how the in the world we would ever find the entrance that was now swallowed up in the vegetation. I thank God for our chart plotters (yes, plural). Even out of the canal, the channel we could run was still very narrow for quite some time, with shoals on either side. The channel is lined with crab pots, a kind of double trouble if you do not stay between the lines. We call it "play the video game" in which you make sure the little boat on the chart plotter stays on the ICW magenta line. Today we were an hour on, an hour off.

I powered through my first draw bridge today, talked to the bridge tender and all. *SIGH* He called me 'mam.'

Myron talked over the radio to a man on 'Sail Off.' They are headed north of the Chesapeake, maybe even Maine. We may run into them again in Elizabeth City. We get as much ICW and anchorage information off passing boaters as they will give out.

Tonight we are at the open roadstead anchorage of Little Alligator River, just before the Albemarle Sound. As we pulled in to anchor, dodging crab pots, the swallows came out to Hold Fast. Not to greet us, but thankfully to dine on the mean biting flies that had stowed away during our journey through the canal and swamp. At this point I think the score is: Swallows: one dozen; Dena: one; Myron: one. I am glad we have some serious deet on board. It must wear off after some time because we still find ourselves slapping legs, feet, arms and even face. We only slap ourselves silly though, not each other.

Much love to all,
Dena

{GMST}35|56.167|N|076|00.540|W|easy day|Little Alligator River{GEND}

1 comment:

Barb & Barry said...

I Hope we can get a chance to catch up with you in the Chesapeake. Enjoy the Dismal Swamp I love that route.

Barry