Voyage 2008: Chapter 2

Passage to Wilmington NC

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9 Oct 2008, A Day on the DSC, 36 30.42 N/ 076 21.37 W

Today was a great day as we spent it on the DSC. We began the morning with Robert having coffee, chatting about the DSC, and watching him do his magic on the Deep Creek Lock. He and his dog Uturn helped two boats come through the lock. It was an experience to see the locking process from the other side. Not bad.
Mr. Robert invited us to the control station for the lock doors. He pointed out all of the old equipment that has performed flawlessly over the years. He described the maintenance procedures for the lock doors and the controls. We could easily tell that Robert loved his job. Ann made it a point to get Robert's autograph on her DSC book that she got last year at the Visitor's Center.
Robert maintains an active conch garden where he encourages cruisers to contribute conchs to his collection. He is a virtuoso in blowing on the conch. He normally will entertain the cruiser community as they transit his locks. If you haven't done the DSC, we encourage you to do so before they are closed by the Government (threatened many times in the last 8 years)
We left Deep Creek around 0930 and slowly transited the canal. The DSC is one of the richest experiences that we know. Many complain of the debris in the water, the deadheads, and the overhanging trees. We have transited the canal over 6 times and never hit anything. We believe a constant watch is required for both flotsam and overhead threats. Nevertheless, it is the most delightful experince. We arrived at the Visitor's Center at 1330 ET with SV Illusion (with the dog Nicky). Later, two other sailboats rafted up to us. This place is always a delight.

11 Oct 2008, Elizabeth City, 36 17.99 N/ 076 12.73 W

Yesterday, we spent some time at the DSC Visitor Center and the DSC State Park. Both were truly delightful. We chatted with Penny and discussed the future of the DSC. We left the Visitor's Center at 0735 ET with lots of natural 'junk' in the water. We locked through South Mills lock at 0938. Of coure, Ann got Frank's (lockmaster) autograph. Frank is quiet but very effective in his job. We then entered the Pasquatank River, which is a truly beautiful river (at least the northern part). The northern Pasquatank is a meandering swamp-like river with rich flora including cypress, oak, and lots of stuff we did not recognize.
We arrived at the Pelican Marina in light rain at 1300 ET greeted by Josh and Billy. We love this marina as it is close to everything, the staff is very friendly, and we can take a shower. The marina has been growing in popularity and we were lucky to find a slip (actually, Josh and Billy found us a home). We really recommend Pelican to those who transit the Pasquatank. The price is right, the staff is great, and the facilities are first rate.
Sadly, we could only spend one day at EC as we had a good weather window to Wilmington. If we delayed it a day we would experience headwinds on our last day on the Atlantic. Remember, we are fair weather sailors so headwinds are not our friends. We did not do the Rose Buddy thing nor did we visit the downtown area. First time that we did not. Turns out that there were not enough boats for a Rose Buddy event. We miss Mr. Fred! However, Josh was kind enough to provide Ann with a rose in a Pepsi bottle. It was quite nice.

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