But there's not a gator in sight, and this late in the season we don't expect to see any until we reach Florida. I guess what I mean to say is, we are now in North Carolina.
This place we're in now is simply lovely. I mean, truly beautiful. Nice downtown with lots of historic buildings and houses. A free dock with 48 hours of allotted time to tie up while we take it all in, and a laundry room all to ourselves to do as much laundry as we can stand for the nominal cost of $5. Washington, NC is exactly as was promised when we were reading about it and considering making a side trip up the Pamlico River to experience it for ourselves. It took a bit of doing to get here, and we'll be casting off in the morning to leave here, but it was so worth it!
The last time I wrote here, one week ago, Stinkpot was tied up in Deltaville, Virginia at the Fishing Bay Yacht Club. The very next day, Monday, October 10, we had a beautiful, flat-calm day to run down the bay to stay in our regular spot on the Portsmouth, VA free dock at High Street Landing. We enjoyed being in a "downtown" location, and took a nice long walk to admire the the city's architecture and take in the ambiance of the waterfront.
Tuesday morning, we set off early to avail ourselves of the inexpensive diesel price at Top Rack Marina. We had it in our plans to stop there for fuel for several days, but when we arrived in Portsmouth, someone let us know they'd just run out of fuel. We were gutted by the news, but called as soon as they opened in the morning to learn that they had just received a delivery and had not (yet) raised the price. We were there by 9am, pulled in, waited our turn, fueled, and were back underway one hour later.
We spent the rest of the day running the Virginia Cut, a system of canals and rivers that connect Chesapeake Bay to Albemarle Sound, crossing into North Carolina in the process. We anchored in the North River, just south of Buck Island at the end of a very long cruising day.
Wednesday, we had the anchor up with the sun and made a picture-perfect crossing of Albemarle Sound, which is Stacey's nemesis. There is no body of water that frightens her much more after having seen it angry in the spring of 2019. It was flat-calm and beautiful, and we continued on transiting the Alligator River to the Alligator-Pungo Canal, and then the Pungo River, anchoring in Slade Creek near Allison Creek to avoid the south winds overnight.
Thursday, we weighed anchor early and made a dreary short hop to the free state dock in Bath, North Carolina to visit the home port of Edward Teach, A.K.A. Blackbeard. It's a cute, quiet, sleepy town up Bath Creek with 300 year-old architecture to enjoy and very little else. We did stop by Blackbeard's Tavern for a beverage and a small pizza that was completely forgettable. It was also a kind of homecoming for Stinkpot as Bath, NC was her hailing port when we bought her—because of the Blackbeard connection, we were told.
We stayed in Bath a couple of nights, shoving off not altogether early in the morning for the short cruise up the Pamlico River to…drumroll…Washington, NC. Another picturesque town with a lot of old buildings, but it's more 19th and early 20th century than the 18th century buildings we enjoyed in Bath. Washington is considered a "sticky" town, meaning boaters come and stay for extended periods because it just has such a nice feel and has very affordable marina rates. I did deploy my bicycle for a ride to the local Food Lion to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Tomorrow we'll be shoving off to head toward Beaufort, NC and a much different vibe. For tonight, we'll enjoy one more night in this very chill little harbor.
Captain's Log, Supplemental: We did a thing tonight. After the sun began to go down, I looked up at the voltage gauge and determined that we didn't get nearly enough solar charging time to make it through the night without some serious powered intervention, so we made the decision to pay for a slip and have power. We moved the boat to the only open Stinkpot-sized slip in the marina for the night.
Stacey and Dave are nomadic explorers who travel the waters of the eastern United States aboard their Bayliner 3870, m/y Stinkpot.