Making the turn into the river leading to the canal was nice as it got us out of the wind, but was also a symbolic leaving of the ‘north’ and making our way into the south.
But it was still chilly!
There are two locks on the canal. The first on the Norfolk side raises you up to the 20 mile ditch (dug by hand in the early 1800’s). There are three times a day when you can enter either side so you have to prepare accordingly. We locked through at 11am knowing we could make it 18 miles before dark to the highway rest stop that has tie up docks.
From inside the boat, you can hear people getting out of their cars from the highway rest stop and walking down to the boats…
Even in December, by the time we got there, two other boats had the whole dock. They kindly made room for us, and we just tied up the powerboat that came in after us outboard of Yume.
In the morning there was frost on the docks and decks!
5 miles on we locked in to the southern lock with three others and dropped 8 feet to the river.
Then it was a nice morning motor sail to Elizabeth City, including this old hand operated railroad bridge!
We anchored and piddled the rest of the day in this cool old forgotten town. The sign showing the picture of the boat the Wright Brothers took out to Kitty Hawk is sitting in exactly the same place as Yume! (you can just see Yume in the back of the sign)
Underway early the next morning for the long run to Bellhaven. When we set out I had no idea I would be pulling into the anchorage after an absolutely wonderful day of sailing and a gorgeous sunset.
Goose and Ryan as usual are just as excited about sailing as I am!
The next morning found us out again in the fog early for the 60 miles to Beaufort. We sailed much of this day as the wind blew 15-20 most of the day from the NE which is good when you are going SE!
A day in Beaufort to rest and recuperate, and pull the transmission to tighten up some bolts that had come loose and we are ready to go again!
Next layover – Wrightsville Beach NC!