Mile Marker 105

11/12, 992.6, NE5-10>E10-15, 68/55, partly cloudy - (I’m actually writing this at 1:19am the next morning.) I can’t sleep. The wind is howling through the rigging at 20-25 gusting to 30 and we’re anchored in the swamp to the west of the entrance to the Alligator-Pungo Canal. “Olive Oyl” (a little trawler) is out in the open to the east of Deep Point and “Desperado” is just off the canal entrance. We came back further in to be closer to a public boat ramp I found, up a creek opposite Piney Point. We knew this weather was coming and this seemed as good a free place as any to wait it out. The next two days are forecast to be quite windy, so we were eager to get across the Albemarle and south of the Alligator River Bridge.

The sail here was lovely - beam-reaching the whole way at 4.5-6+ knots, perhaps the most pleasant sail we’ve had along this stretch, and certainly the most enjoyable sailing we’ve done since Labor Day weekend.

We anchored at 3:15pm, using the delta with a trip line float in case it snags a stump. The dinghy was launched and then we had a snack and fed the pets early so that Dobbs could start to row Murphy in at 4pm. We’ve come as far in as we felt comfortable via an unmarked channel through cypress swamp. That’s a lot of faith in a chart plotter. It’s still a long row to the landing - 3 miles round-trip.

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“Coquille” is occasionally jumping at her polypropylene tow line astern. We positioned Grace for the most wave and wind protection we could muster and it’s still choppy. There’s not much we can do about the wind - this whole area is low-lying.

While Dobbs was away, I cooked butternut squash to mash for Maxwell (food supplement) and then cooked blueberry hand pies in the cast iron skillet. I had a pie crust frozen when I emptied out the freezer at home - I’m pleased it survived this long. The pies aren’t pretty - quite rustic - but they are very tasty.

Since it was reasonably warm tonight, we braved cockpit baths with cold river water. It was simultaneously excruciatingly cold and invigorating, and a hot fresh water rinse at the end felt like heaven.

For dinner I made a hash of potatoes, peppers, onions, and greens topped with a fried egg each. The ice in the ice box has melted away (two 10lb. blocks bought in Solomons). I should have bought more when we stopped for fuel at Lamb’s, but I wanted to wait one more day. Then it was Sunday in Elizabeth City and most stores are closed - no ice available within transportable distance. Then our plans changed from stopping at marinas up the Albemarle. We hope to buy ice tomorrow.

Earlier today, Dobbs made contact with the Kubota dealer in Washington and their price for the starter is about $100 more than we’ve seen online, plus we’d have to turn in the old starter. We’re going to see about ordering online from DB Electrical and having it shipped to a marina a couple days ahead of us.