Norfolk to Manteo

Well, we’ve done it again. Gone so long without a blog post that a real meaty update would be ridiculously long. So here are the bones, shreds of meat attached where necessary. Leaving Rebel Marina at first light proved we weren’t the only crazy people out on the water but once again, we were the only people crazy enough to be sailing south in December. Of course, there’s crazy and then there’s military. We motored down the Elizabeth River and down to the hard-to-starboard turn into Deep Creek. Deep Creek Lock doesn’t open but 4 times a day, so we anchored in glass (shallow water, little rode) for a brief time. Once inside, we tended the lines as the water rose 8 feet from the river level. Folks like to be noticed, don’t they? So we slowly but surely entered the Dismal Swamp Canal, less horrible for us than for those who dug it out of the swampland. We visited the Great Dismal Swamp a couple years ago on my (James’) birthday and discovered that most of the canal was hand-dug by slaves in the 1830’s but later used as a thoroughfare for the Underground Railroad. Then it was motoring on glass for miles and miles. And such hard work. Though all looks calm, the water is brown with tannic acid. I’d like to blame the troubles we had on the acidic water, but I think it might be the fact that the belts on our engine are, at the very least, 7 years old. Pretty good, considering how much we’ve used them. Troubles. Yep. I (Dena) was at the helm and James started back to the cockpit from his seat on the bow. Suddenly, the sound of the exhaust changed from a glug to a cough. A quick glance[…]

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On to Rebel

Thanksgiving eased past with a good day and a great meal. With inclement weather patterns in full swing, we pulled the hook from the muck of Baltimore’s inner harbor on a dreary day and headed south for the winter. The wind was about as “light and variable” as you can get coming out of the Patapsco so we made a short day of it and anchored at the mouth of the Magothy (Maggotty was the original name, ick!) River just as the sun dipped into the grayness of a calm starless night. The following day we sailed double reefed with a full genoa all the way to Kent Island and stuck the ground tackle in some sand just off the coast in a nice little protected hook of the island. Then the weather kicked in… Fresh winds, gray skies and choppy seas were enough inspiration to don our foulies and motor-sail (jib only) all the way to our next anchorage, Solomons, MD. We had a few things to do- Dena’s birthday, provisioning, propane etc… Dena’s BIRTHDAY!!! We went to the local Maritime Museum, had a great meal and then scammed the local Holiday Inn. We talked to the hotel marina manager after checking the listing for the place in Active Captain and the guy was a total dick. A.C. said you could get a pass-card for the showers with your $2.00 dingy dock fee and that’s the only reason we anchored that close to the Holiday Inn. Well, when we asked the marina manager for a key he just shook his head and told us no. Okay, he wasn’t a 100% dick, he did wave the $2.00 dingy dock fee, thanks bud! A couple in a Huntejunabentalina were taking off just as we were pulling in so I felt around[…]

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