We had been at the marina in Belhaven for a week and had a one-day window to get up the Alligator River and across the Albemarle. If the weather was accurate, we’d be in Elizabeth City by the end of the day. If not, we’d be at the Alligator River Marina for at least three nights – if not longer.
Albemarle Sound is 50 miles wide (from east to west) and anywhere from 5-14 miles long (north to south). It’s deepest water is only 25 feet, but the route cruisers follow to get to Elizabeth City or Coinjock is generally about 10 -15 feet deep and 10 miles across. Because it’s so long and so shallow, any wind over 15 knots creates a nasty chop and tends to be a no-go for most boaters. On our first trip south we had 15-18 knots from behind and we surfed our way across, making a note never to cross it in winds over 15 knots (although we’d be willing to bump it up a tad once again if the wind was on our stern). Our forecast was for 15 knots from the northeast and dropping throughout the day, so with a reservation in hand at the Alligator River Marina in case it proved necessary, we set off with all of our fingers crossed. Continue reading “And just like that, the weather turned.”
When I last left off we were debating whether we were going to head north for awhile or spend some time in Long Island before moving south. Ultimately we decided to take the slow route though Long Island, but Mother Nature (also known as our desire not to motor everywhere) dictated that we first spend another 12 days in Fishers Island Sound.
Criss-crossing the Sound, we spent some time in West Harbor before moving to Mystic. Mystic personifies the growth in our confidence over the past year. Before we went cruising we had talked about taking Pegu Club up the river into Mystic, but several things made us hesitate: the long motor up the river, having to time the openings for two bridges (the first of which doesn’t keep an opening schedule because it’s a busy Amtrak railroad bridge), and the fact that the charts indicated that the water above the Seaport was extremely shallow even though we had heard it had been dredged.
Continue reading “Snippets of Southern New England”
As we talked to various cruisers about our plans for heading north, everyone assured us that it would take much less time than the trip south. The weather would be better, and with the additional daylight we could make more progress each day. Well, they were absolutely right. Going north is MUCH faster.
Granted, we’ve done a few passages in order to get some miles under the keel, but there’s no question that this has been a quicker trip for us. There have been very few weather delays, and the warmer temperatures leave us less fatigued so we can put in longer days.
Readers of this blog know that typically we move along very slowly. We like to take our time and poke along. So why the big hurry? Well, we would like to spend some time this summer cruising in southern New England again. But before we can do that, we have a few projects that we want to do on Pegu Club, we have some medical appointments to take care of in Connecticut, and we want to visit family in Rochester and the west coast. We also want to leave to start heading south much earlier this time – ideally by mid-August. Between all of those things, if we want to have ANY time to cruise our home waters we need to put the pedal to the metal and get north. If we went at our usual slow pace, we’d have to turn around and leave as soon as we arrive!
Honestly though, this pace is working out just fine for us. We wouldn’t want to do it both ways, but we do think that we’ll stick with this strategy in the future – take our time going south while moving quickly north.
Continue reading “It’s true what they said.”