ICW Side Trips and a Disappointing Revisit

The Albemarle Sound is famous for being a body of water to be respected. After a great visit to Edenton, NC, we headed out on the Albemarle toward the Alligator River. The weather forecast was for northeast 5 to 10 and that would put the wind and seas right on our nose. To give it some perspective, if the winds were only at 10 knots and we travel at about 8 knots, the apparent wind on our bow will be 18 knots - the actual wind speed and our boat speed combined. The Albemarle can be very uncomfortable even in moderate conditions, and of course, we are well aware that the weather service seldom gets the forecast right. Our practice is to add 5 knots to their forecast for winds and 1-2 feet to the forecast sea conditions. Most of the time, this winds up being pretty close to the conditions we find. Heading east, the winds began building and soon we were experiencing 20 to 22 knots apparent. Needless to say, the steep seas, spaced closely together, were slowing our progress somewhat as water came over the bow and splashed on the windows of the lower helm. Maybe we should have turned back, but these were the best conditions we were going to get for days, so we pressed on.

NOAA Stops Printing Nautical Charts


Office of Coast Survey
Effective April 13, 2014, government stops lithographic printing of NOAA nautical charts

Frequently Asked Questions
I buy my nautical charts at my local boating store. Why should I care whether the government prints NOAA charts?
The federal government prints the NOAA lithograph nautical charts, and then sells them to commercial chart agents who sell them to the public. As of April 13, 2014, these charts will no longer be printed.

Edenton, North Carolina

From a boater’s perspective, Edenton, North Carolina is one of those destinations you have to want to go to. We left Elizabeth City and traveled some 15 miles down the Pasquotank River to the Albemarle Sound. The Albemarle is best known for its unpleasant conditions if the weather is not right. Under normal conditions, it’s no different than any other body of water we have transited. Once into the Albemarle from the Pasquotank, the trip is another 35 miles or more west to the entrance to Edenton harbor. (It is more than 40 miles off the Virginia Cut route.) The water depths are fine for the entire trip, but do keep a sharp lookout for the many commercial floats marking traps that can extend far out into the Sound.

Rain, Rain, Will You Ever Give Us A Break?

It's like deja vu all over again. On the trip north, we had to deal with wet weather for weeks until we were in the Chesapeake, and now that we're out of the Chesapeake, the wet weather has settled in again with a vengeance. After four days, the rains did relent and although it was still cloudy, cool and damp, we departed the Dismal Swamp Welcome Center and headed downstream to Elizabeth City. Locking through at South Mills was easy and there was only a large catamaran that locked through with us. As we exited the lock, once again, we were in for an unwanted surprise.

More Cruising Photos and Info on Facebook

We have posted many, many more photos along our cruising routes, including free docks and anchorages along the way and important information on waterway conditions, on our Facebook page. Drop by and see what's new and where we're currently located. Hit the "Like" button to stay updated. Also, let us know what else you would like to see on the page.


So Long, Old Friend

It's always with mixed feelings that we say so long to one of our favorite cruising destinations. There is sadness in knowing that we will miss some locations that time did not allow for. Sadness to say so long to our friends and family that we won't see again for many months. We will miss revisiting the many spectacular anchorages we enjoyed. But there is also a bit of joy in the anticipation of being underway again and transiting the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. Even though we have done the ICW many times, each new cruise is different from the last. You just never get tired of it. At least we don't. There will be new towns to visit, favorite anchorages to enjoy and most important, meeting new friends and faces along the way. For us, that's the best part of cruising. For now, we just needed to finish getting down the Chesapeake. And the winds in the lower Bay were finally subsiding.