I arrived in Elizabeth City, North Carolina midday to join the fleet, crewing on the F.D. Crockett. Five buyboats and an accompanying classic motor yacht were on the their way south on a two-week cruise. Hailing from different parts of the Chesapeake this group had continued on after rendezvousing with a total of 13 buyboats in Poquoson, Virginia. Through the Elizabeth River to Portsmouth and on down the Dismal Swamp Canal, the group had already seen much when I stepped onboard.
After a steamy day, some fine fried fish at Quality Seafood, and a television shoot we headed south down the Pasquotank River and across the Albermarle Sound. As we approached the northern shore of Roanoke Island the channel turned east and and back south through a narrow channel that led to Manteo. For me it was a homecoming of sorts, having lived in the small town over 35 years before. It was a lot different as one might expect. A new waterfront, shops and restaurants, and lots of tourists milling about. Like St. Augustine it is beautiful and easily draws a crowd.
|Leaving Elizabeth City|
|Aboard the F.D. Crockett|
|Capt. Dave prepares for a blow, Propwash|
|55th Virginia's '671'|
|Capt. Bill's berth, 55th Virginia|
|Rope steering, Thomas J.|
|Rope locker, Nellie Crockett|
|Down below, Nellie Crockett|
|Elizabeth II, a colonial reconstruction, Manteo harbor|
|Visitors learning about the F. D. Crockett's log construction|
|Tied up stern to|
After a rainy day onshore, the boats headed north back across the sound toward the Albemarle Chesapeake Canal. With strong NE winds the decision to go came at the last hour. Good time was made into the wind and a five hour run found me at the wheel meandering up the North River to Coinjock along the canal. Steve and Spartina had come down to sail in the river and I was fortunate to get a ride with Steve to retrieve my truck in Elizabeth City.
Thanks to John, Vera, Gordon and all those aboard the 'fleet' for a great four days!
|Pushing through a NE blow|