Elizabeth's Dock at Deep Creek Lock

11/9, 980.0, E15-20, 67/47 - No alarm this morning - I just got up when I felt like it, which was 6am. Dobbs and I ate breakfast, showered, topped up the water tank, and cast off the dock lines at 9am. The day was gray - cloudy, rainy, and windy. We raised sail as soon as we were clear of the shallows outside of Hampton, working with the 2nd reef again. Grace took off across Hampton Roads, sailing easily on a reach.

We had no issues with commercial traffic and sailed in to the corner at Lamberts Point.

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Beyond there, we would have had to beat, so we chose to motor. By lunchtime we were exiting Portsmouth into the industrial area of Chesapeake, VA. It’s a stretch dense with bridges but all are either on-demand or remain open when not in use.

We like turning the corner into Deep Creek and entering the Dismal Swamp, through which runs a canal lined by marsh, cypress, and woodland. At 1:05pm, we arrived at Deep Creek Lock and anchored, awaiting the 1:30pm locking. When we got the green light, I went to start the engine and nothing happened - just the alarm and key click. Twice more I did this with the same result. Dobbs moved the starter a little by turning the crankshaft by hand and that did the trick. Perhaps we have teeth missing on the starter and/or are coming due for a new one.

We entered the lock and were greeted by Robert, the same tender who has locked through every boat we’ve owned (3 of them), every time, for the last twenty years. I must admit, I wasn’t sure it was him at first, with a crop of silver hair. We’re all getting gray!

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 Preparing to go up eight feet.

Preparing to go up eight feet.

We try to spend an hour or so with Robert every time we come through, catching up, sharing the latest on our families and communities.

 Robert keeps a garden of conch shells, gifts from cruisers passing through the lock. He’s also quite accomplished at making and blowing conch horns.

Robert keeps a garden of conch shells, gifts from cruisers passing through the lock. He’s also quite accomplished at making and blowing conch horns.

Robert has a new 10-week-old puppy, Bull, who is cute as can be. He pestered the heck out of old Murph as only a puppy can.

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We’re tied up at Elizabeth’s Dock for the evening. The dock is a gift to the canal from Bill Spaur in honor of his wife Elizabeth. It’s so quiet and still here - easy to forget we’re on a boat.

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For dinner, I fried up some fish, pan-roasted cauliflower, and pressure-cooked potatoes. Dobbs is early to bed tonight - he has a sore throat and is concerned he might be coming down with something.