And Windy has Stormy Eyes

Victory Lap Week 6/8

Monday May 9, wind forecast has Gale warnings on the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds. The swing bridge crossing the Alligator River will not open in winds 35 knots or greater, it’s been closed for several days. On the ocean, strong winds coming from the North against the Gulf Stream flowing North creates big waves. Good time to just stay put.

Dan and I took a golf cart ride to the marine store to check on hoses for the engine and to the Food Lion for a few groceries.

For dinner I made a grilled vegetable pasta salad with orzo.

18 days to go.

Tuesday May 10, Dan removed the hoses from the fresh water engine pump in anticipation of replacing them. The overnight shipment did not arrive as the airplane had issues.

Sundowners with Robin and Joe on their boat. I made roasted red pepper hummus. It had a great texture, next time I’ll adjust the ingredients a bit.

*Sourdough Notes* Levain was started mid morning, with the heat on in Trance, it grew quickly. Did I mention it’s cold here too? Baked a Belle loaf at night, love the smell of baking bread!

17 days to go.

Wednesday May 11, The afternoon was spent replacing the pump hoses and engine thermostat as well as the belt.

16 days to go.

Thursday May 12, departed at 7:30am from River Forest Marina heading North on this rainy, cold, damp day.

It’s a boots kind of day
Alligator River Swing Bridge

We dropped anchor near Elizabeth City at 7:15pm. Chicken Cacciatore over rice was on menu for dinner.

15 days to go.

Friday May 13, we woke in a fog this morning…our plan to make the 8:30am bridge opening will not happen. At least the sun is trying to clear the haze. By 9:30am all was clear and anchor up.

Elizabeth City Bridge

The Great Dismal Swamp is the oldest operating artificial waterway in the United States. It is also a National Wildlife Refuge and is on the National Registry of Historic Places. Construction began in 1793 and was completed in 1805. Flat boats and log rafts manually poled, because the canal was shallow, were used to transport wood products taken from the swamp. The canal was was dug by hand, mostly by slaves. The slaves became very familiar with the swamp which eventually became a haven for runaways. In 1940-1941 concrete and steel locks were built at South Mills and Deep Creek, both are 300’ by 52’. The locks and drawbridge operate 4 times daily, 8:30 am • 11:00 am • 1:30 pm • 3:30 pm if needed. The locks raise and lower about 10feet.

The Swamp runs between Elizabeth City and Chesapeake-Albemarle Canal. It is an alternate route part of the ICW. (Photo from

On a side note, we anticipated cruising the Swamp would be a quite peaceful event. Did not foresee the sound of car traffic on Route 17, that parallels the water. Takes away from the ambiance of the Great Dismal Swamp. Bucket list ✅.

14 days to go.

Saturday May 14, by 8:30am we had departed the free dock at the Visitors Center.

Deep Creek Lock…Going down (20second video with music)
Gilmerton Highway Lift Bridge, the last moving bridge on our journey!

Arrived at Safe Harbor Bluewater Marina at 5:30pm. This is the first place we stopped at when our journey began in 2019.

13 days to go.

Sunday May 15, lunch with an old friend! “Hawaii Beth” we called her as to not not confuse her in conversation with our daughter Beth. We first met in Hawaii, 2020, she’s back in Virginia now. Great to catch up with her!

12 days to go.

8 thoughts on “And Windy has Stormy Eyes

  1. Back at you.  Greetings from Chobe Natl Park in Botswana Africa.  We finally made the trip we booked over two years ago.  Perfect weather and an amazing game drive.Our return flight is scheduled for Sunday May 29 and we’re planning to join you for your homecoming party.  Sue


  2. Very interesting about your inland waterways.
    12 days to go – your really on your way home! In 12 days time we are going sailing along the East coast of Australia for 6 weeks. We are really looking forward to it.


    1. Yes the Intercostal Waterway is natural inlets, saltwater rivers, bays, and sounds, and artificial canals. It runs from Massachusetts to Texas.

      Sounds like a great trip sailing the coast for 6 weeks, enjoy!


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