November 11, 2013




It's time to leave Deltaville, Virginia and head south before it gets too cold.  OOPS, too late, it's freezing !

Renaming of the boat: Done.  Life raft on the deck: Done. Ditch bag: Done. Fixing this and that: Done. It's all done so time to leave. Better yet: It'll never be done so let's just go and have fun. So, off we went on a Friday...I know, some sailors say never to leave on a Friday, but we did just fine.

Friday, November 8th. Departure time: 7am. Weather: Sunny. Wind: N10. Temperature: 45F. It was cold. Very cold. We had everything warm we owned on our backs. The winds were pretty weak at the beginning of our sail but soon picked up to 15 and gusts to 25. We sailed all day except for when we had to take evasive action when a huge aircraft carrier was coming out of it's slip. We motored to get out of his way, because simply, he was so big, it was quite intimidating. In no time, we set sail once more.

We travelled 52 miles and finally anchored in Norfolk, Virginia across from the Wisconsin War ship and the Nauticus Museum. It was still quite cold so heating up the oven for pizza that night was a nice treat.
Tim caught my cold but he was well enough to spend the day with me visiting the Wisconsin war ship & the Nauticus Museum. We dinghy'ed across the channel and tied up next to the Wisconsin.


Since it was nice and warm, we wanted to spend some time outdoors so we walked downtown Norfolk and along the historic district. For a Saturday, the streets were very quiet. Well, we found the crowd ! They were all at the mall. We entered the mall to get some batteries at Radio Shack and ran out of there as soon as we could. 

We spent Saturday evening discussing our next route and read under the warm covers of our bed.

Sunday, Nov. 11th. Time of departure: 8:30am. I'm not sure how cold it was but it was certainly much warmer than the last few days. We spent most of today in long pants and t-shirts. The Gilmerton bridge was opened at 9:30 so there was no use in leaving any earlier. We started down the ICW at Mile marker 0 ! We decided to go down the Dismal Swamp. We had no choice anyhow because the lock on the other route is dissabled.

There were 7 boats going thru the Deer Creek lock. It took one and a half hours to get thru ! Much longer than the 12 locks we went thru this summer down the Champlain canal. We already met a few people going our way. A young couple from New York, Rachel & Jonathan. It was their first lock and bridge. How exciting ! On a large Cat, Brian & Jim delivering the boat to Mexico. Jim & Linda on a troller. Jim used to work at the Naval Academy in Annapolis taking care of their sailboat fleet. He retired last May. A couple from Nova Scotia and more.

At Mile marker 28, is the Dismal Swamp Visitor's center. 7 boats rafted up and we had cocktails all together swamping stories. It was such fun. After dinner, many of our new friends came aboard and we served them hot tea, cocktails and brownies I just took out of the oven.

Next morning we all left pretty early to go thru the Mills lock. We had a more difficult time in the lock whereby the current took our stern along with other boats and well, we ended up pointing north. No worries, we were able to turn around, however the lock attendant wasn't too happy because we all took too long. Oh well.

This part of the ICW was really nice as the trees were turning color. The weather was really good, cool but sunny and not too windy. We arrived in Elizabeth City, docking at their free city docks on Monday, November 11th. Our neighbors are a mix of sailors from Vancouver, Quebec city, and the Netherlands. Some are new to cruising, other's have been around the world and on their boats for 15 years.

We would of left this morning to go south however the weather is calling for NNW winds up to 21 mph and rain/snow mix tonight. If the winds stay NNW, we'll be leaving tomorrow.



Hints for cruisers:
1- In Elizabeth city, the city docks are free.  There's not much room but you can look at their webcam before you get there to see if there's room. 
2 - From the city dock, there's a shop, 2 minutes away that have loner bikes.
3 - You can shower at the gym for $5.
4 - Walking distance to the library with fast free wifi.
5 - Museum is not to be missed.

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