Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Back home!

This morning Sea Scout arrived in Galesville, MD. All's well.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

“Bring it on, Captain Woody”

To exit the canal onto the main branch of the Elizabeth River approaching Norfolk is like leaving Walden’s Pond and stepping into the streets of Manhattan. A simple left turn into the channel and in an instant a colossal barge is upon us barreling head-on at 12-plus knots. Time for evasive maneuvers. After a slow three-sixty we head up river staring skyward in awe at the towering cranes, freighters, and Navy carriers. Look out! Another tug is backing into our path. We hold up and wait as it rumbles into the channel with a 70-foot tall crane barge cabled to its bow.

Though Norfolk harbor is only 6 miles distant, we must pass through five lift bridges and draw bridges, and we do not know their schedules. We theorize they will certainly open ahead of the crane barge, so Geert radios the captain of the tug, the Captain Woody, to ask if we might tag along in his wake. “No problem,” he answers, “over and out.”

And so we bobble along in the prop wash of the tug, listening like gleeful children as we hear the tug radio each upcoming bridge requesting an opening. The last bridge master responds to the tug with what will become the anthem for our day, “Bring it on, Captain Woody!”

Voices Past

Thursday, May 3rd. Elizabeth City. Captain’s Reprieve. We slept in and spent the morning provisioning and visiting with other transients comparing notes on journeys north. Several older cruisers were on their first and sometimes second turn of the “great circle route.” This is a seven or eight thousand mile trip up the ICW, Hudson River, Erie Canal, to the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi, and around Florida to start all over again. Sailors can follow the seasons and enjoy year-round travel. We could have listened all day, but by late morning it was time to push off and continue a small segment of that route ourselves.

To journey through the Dismal Swamp is to take a trip back in time. The low drone of the diesel blends with the boat’s bubbling wake to create a hypnotic trance. In the early morning, swirls of mist curl beneath overhanging tree boughs as if rising from witch’s cauldrons just beneath the surface. As we passed, each of our crew perched on the deck in solitude and gazed at the symmetry of the canal that extended in perfect perspective into the horizon. A heron hop scotched ahead of us for a period as if our shepherd. Both your eyes and ears can play tricks on you. As I stared – Were those the ghostly voices of travelers past I heard floating through the trees?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Almost there - by Geert

We reached Norfolk this afternoon, after a rainy passage through the Dismal Swamp Canal. Tomorrow we plan to push on through the night, hopefully reaching southern Maryland before the weather turns on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

great trip

It's wendsday evening and we launch at Elizabet city port.After 13 hours riding a boat we are happy to be on ground.Yesterday we swimm in Pamlico and Pungo river after all sunny day.I would say coffe river it has such a color like cuban coffe Geert serving us every day at morning.
Riding a sailing boat is one of the things I like so much except one spot.I have to wake up so early :-)

Nazdar ,
Vsetci co sledujete moju vypravu na plachetnici odkazujem ze sa mam dobre .Plavime sa zo severnej Karoliny do Anapolisu.Sme 3 na lodi.Kapitan(holandan) sa plavi z Kuby a je na pol rocnej vyprave smerom do Washingtonu.Na ceste nam obcas robia spolocnost delfiny.
Predpokladany prijazd je asi az na buduci tyzden.
Michal michlo

Not a Typical Monday

Ha! If only for a handful of days I have slipped the away from the daily rat race! Monday evening I flew from Baltimore, MD to New Bern, NC and soon thereafter stepped onto the deck of the Sea Scout in Oriental, NC. I am happy to be guest crew of Geert’s to help shepherd Sea Scout on her final legs home to Annapolis.

Tuesday morning we threw off the lines at 7:00am traveling east, north then east yet again up the Neuse, Pamlico, and Pungo rivers. Half a dozen dolphins followed us for a time – a harbinger for safe passage. We anchored in the reeds of Pungo Creek just past Belhaven Tuesday evening and the winds set in to howl through the night.

Wednesday proved a true “hump” day. Our challenge was to travel north and cross the Albemarle Sound with following winds before a North Easter blew in Wednesday night to put the wind on our nose. Geert and Michael hauled the anchor at 6:00am and for the next 13 hours we passed through canals, rivers, and sounds like clockwork arriving at our target destination, Elizabeth City, NC at 7:00pm. What a glorious day. We will sleep well. The Dismal Swamp awaits us!