Greetings from River Dunes Marina, about 2 miles up the winding Broad Creek off the Neuse River in northeastern North Carolina, i.e., just north of the famed sailing community of Oriental, NC. We arrived yesterday and have decided to stay here to wait out the remnants of tropical storm IDA. Our friends on Sojourner NY went on to Beaufort, but it sounds as if the winds and rain from IDA will be worse there than here. We are in what is often called a “Hurricane Hole,” i.e., a sheltered place, safe from the winds and water action of hurricanes and other major storms. Though IDA wasn’t a hurricane when it hit land (at Mobile Bay, right where we were a year ago!), the associated winds and rain can still be quite dangerous. Not for us, though!
Other than a couple very windy and difficult dockings, the trip from the Dismal Swamp and the Pasquotank River was a gentle and easy one. We overnighted first in Elizabeth City and then, after a slight delay while Slade of Sojourner NY replaced a recalcitrant alternator, we followed the river as it widened gradually into the Albemarle Sound. In addition to the generally, beautiful shorelines, perhaps the most notable sight on the river was one of the only blimp factories in the country. So strange…. The Sound itself was on its best behavior, and we arrived at Miss Wanda’s marina, aka the Shell gas station on the Alligator River, again with increasing wind at docking, but basically without incident. The next day took us through several hours in the Alligator-Pungo River Canal, not unlike the Dismal Swamp Canal, tho’ much wider and with many more boats, especially fast ones passing us by. After a night at Belhaven, Sojourner NY and Sojourner KY went our separate ways. They made it to Beaufort after a long and tiring day. We left later, stopped earlier, and had an interesting trip.
While travelling the Erie Canal/Mohawk River last summer we heard gun shots on two or three occasions (“Guns on the Mohawk”, a log entry that never made it into the blog). This day near Hobucken, NC we saw the hunter… a frightening sight indeed!
Needless to say, we are very glad to be down and in here. Today we took the marina’s courtesy car into Oriental and bought groceries in case we don’t want to go out once the storm hits. We’re warm, cozy and safe. The only amenity lacking is phone service! Evidently Ma Bell/ATT isn’t aware of the beauty –and population!!– in rural northeastern North Carolina! [More pix]