We started to raise our anchor hoping that it would come up without a problem. Al from Euphoria dropped a trip line when he set his anchor last night and we didn't. A trip line makes it easier to raise the anchor if it's hooked to an object lying on the bottom....otherwise if the anchor can't be raised, the chain might have to be cut and the anchor would be lost! The anchor came up clean and so did the anchor! Shortly after we were free, Colette from Euphoria texted to let us know that their windlass wasn't working. Al had to haul their anchor up by hand.
We led out of our anchorage with Colette at the helm, following us. This enabled Al to play with his anchor and windlass to scope out the problem. Once we zigzagged around the crab traps we motored about 5 miles to get back into the channel at the Alligator River Swing Bridge.
From the bridge, it was another 15 miles to the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal which is 22 miles long. Last night the four of us decided we wanted to stop at the Dowry Creek Marina instead of Belhaven which is the traditional stop for cruisers. Colette called and reserved two docks....which we found out later wasn't necessary.
|Alligator Swing Bridge|
When we started this leg of the trip, the water didn't have a ripple on it. As the morning progressed, we started to get some wave action. The Alligator River is very wide and Chuck and I both commented on the fact that there aren't many houses along this stretch of the ICW. Because of this, we had 3 eagles soaring and hunting for fish off our starboard side. They flew over and near us for the longest time...until a pair of jets swooped several times at a low altitude over the river.
We finally entered the canal at about noon. there's not much happening along this waterway. Of course there are many dead heads in the water close to the shore. Some of them are the knees of the Bald Cypress trees. Up until today, we haven't seen any small birds...but today we see a few flying around the boat! The only other activity along the Alligator-Pungo Canal is when other boats pass by....they've been curtious and make a 'slow pass'.
We pulled into our slips at 4:00 and it turned out we really didn't need the reservations. This marina is small but lovely. It's an easy in and out with a well marked channel that I think they privately maintain. It has all the amenities that boaters need plus a pool, club house, and free courtesy car to drive into Belhaven. There are live-a-boards here and call it 'Hotel California'....you check in and never check out! Very nice.
As soon as we docked, our dock neighbor called over to tell us that happy hour was at 5:00 at the club house. I also read that if they have a lot of transients, they have a potluck dinner. The happy hour is a great way to meet other boaters heading south. I'm sure we'll run into some of them off and on throughout our trip.
Since Dowry Creek has 2 washers and 2 dryers, we thought we should do our laundry tonight. I never know when the next opportunity might be...I can't wash/dry clothes while anchored and not all marinas have machines. While waiting for our laundry to dry the four of us(Al, Colette, Chuck, and I) comfortably sat and chatted at the club house. Because of tonight's schedule, we had a late dinner! I'm getting really good at cooking on our propane stove! LOL