We decided to sit out the 4th of July holiday at a marina and leave the river for the weekend warriors and all the folks traveling to see fireworks in Albany and beyond. It turned out to be a productive decision and we accomplished a lot of projects we hadn’t undertaken for one reason or another like cleaning the hull, taking care of the teak, cleaning out the main bilge, and more. We have been staying at Donovan’s Shady Harbor Marina in New Baltimore, NY. This place is the last full service marina before heading to the Erie Canal and trust me, they are total full service. They filled our propane, replaced our windshield wipers, filled a flat fender, filled us up with diesel, pumped us out and more. They have a really nice store and a great restaurant and bar, The Sunset Grille. We reconnected with a couple of folks we met in Fort Meyers, before we left on the Loop. We also met five other couples who are at various stages of completing the loop. I love this place. It’s the boonies and it’s not~~~
Yesterday, we borrowed the marina’s courtesy car and I drove David to Albany to pick up a rental so he could go to Burlington for some physician appointments and take care of other business. This afternoon I will drive back to Albany and pick him up and he will be bringing two of our grandchildren back with him. Ronin and Leda will be joining us for a few days to experience a little bit of life on the river and a few legs of the Erie Canal.
That’s the update for now. Recharged, refueled and all cleaned up for the next leg of this journey. There are 57 locks on the Erie Canal and a lot of current and that promises to be a big workout. Peace.
From Oriental we had hoped to head 46 miles out the Atlantic to Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks. The weather would not permit it. We will take that route when we return late fall. So we headed up the enormous Neuse River to begin a few day trek across creeks and more rivers that make up the intracoastal waterway.
In the the Neuse we encountered fog, as the air got considerably colder the farther north we went. It was lifting a little when we headed up the Pamlico River finally reaching our anchorage 4 hours later in Hobucken at Eastham Creek. What a beautiful spot- guided to the creek entrance by a bald eagle.
It was the first night in the 50’s and it felt like a fall night in Vermont! I think we rose early in the morning not only because the commercial fisherman were out, but also because there was a brilliant sunrise and we wanted hot coffee. We took our time getting ready for a long day up Alligator River Pungo River Canal. 21 miles of the straightest “man-made” waterway I’ve ever seen.
We exited the canal into the beginning of the shallow and wide Alligator River. The wind had shifted and we had to go further than we’d hoped to find a protected creek. Nearly 8 hours from our departure that morning we finally anchored inside Catfish Point. It was spectacular and terrifyingly beautiful. In the midst of calming down and setting in for a sunset, out of nowhere comes a tow boat looking for a “bigger boat” that had run aground. I wish I’d thought to grab my phone when an hour later he emerges from deeper in the creek with a humongous 60 foot trawler in tow. The whole experience was surreal.
(Also, got to FaceTime with the Little’s- Ronin and Leda, and see their new puppy, Nardo, in person. Saw Owen too ❤️❤️❤️❤️.)
This morning we took a slow 10 mile run up the Alligator River, through the swing bridge, to the Alligator River Marina. We were on the dock by 10AM 😁 we had IRENE scrubbed, fueled up, laundry done and a beer by noon. Tonight, we rest up and make plans for next leg of this journey.