Posted by: rminchin | October 28, 2015

In the Wilds of North Carolina


It has been 3 weeks, 415 nautical miles, and only 38 engine hours since our last blog.   Visits include Cape May, Chesapeake City, Worton Creek, Annapolis, Solomon’s, Reedville, Deltaville, Hampton Roads, Hampton River, Portsmouth, then 6 slow days exploring the Dismal Swamp Canal, and Elizabeth City. We are now way up the Alligator River tucked around a bend anticipating 25 knot winds tonight.

There are 4 fighter jets circling around and banking above our boat.   As we arrived, there was smoke in the marsh then it dissipated.  Hmmm, I wonder what the jet may have dropped?

Leaving Atlantic City, heading off shore, we met our friends, Tom & Sue, onboard “Sandcastle” briefly before they continued on to Florida.  They are currently about 750 miles further south than us slowpokes.

The Chesapeake gave us the opportunity to play with our new sails using our asymmetrical spinnaker numerous times.  As you can imagine, Ron doesn’t sit still. In a few hours, he had tried 5 different combinations of rig.

The highlight of our Chesapeake cruise was the anchorage in Spa Creek and attending the Annapolis Sailboat Show.  Leaving the Chesapeake and heading into the ICW, our timing was perfect as the schooners from the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race ( just departed Portsmouth allowing us to stay at the free waterfront dock.  A walking tour of the historic homes ended with a visit to the Commodore Theater.  The Commodore is a restored 1940’s art deco theater where the rows of seats have been replaced with dining tables and comfy chairs and dinner is served while watching a movie, Bridge of Spies in our case. (

Leaving the urban setting of Portsmouth/Norfolk led us to the peace and quiet of the Dismal Swamp Canal as two cruising rallies, one sponsored by Sail magazine and the other sponsored by the Waterway Guide passed through. We spotted an eagle overhead and encountered numerous turtles sunning on the logs while enjoying the fall foliage and the root beer colored water. The Dismal Swamp Canal is the oldest, continuously operating canal in the United States, originally surveyed by George Washington. We sat in on a talk of the history of the canal by Robert, the Deep Creek Lockmaster.  35 feet of peat filters artesian water filling Lake Drummond, the water supply for the canal, making it quite unusual. Due to tannic acid from the Cypress and Juniper roots, bacteria doesn’t grow and it is famous for being used on sailing vessels of old because it would stay fresh in barrels for many years.  (

While docked at the Visitors Center in the canal, our daughter and son-in-law, Dawn & Juan, drove down for a wonderful 2-day visit.

We are enjoying our time sailing as we anticipate further adventures and visits with our friends as we make our way down the waterway.

At the Deltaville Marine Mueseum

At the Deltaville Marine Mueseum

Thomas Point Light

Thomas Point Light

Reflections in the Dismal Swamp Canal

Reflections in the Dismal Swamp Canal

Historic Homes of Portsmouth VA

Historic Homes of Portsmouth VA




  1. Thanks for the update and great pics. Remember the Commodore as a high schooler in Portsmouth. Fair winds, Pete

  2. Sounds nice.

  3. Looking forward to see you heading up Northwest creek very soon!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: