By Diana Doyle
Dowry Creek Marina is always a great stop: stunning location, friendly ambiance, poolside captains’ lounge with evening happy hour get-togethers. But for the Rally, Mary Klapperich and Nick Leva really rolled out the welcome mat, arranging a Downeast BBQ dinner with live local entertainment. Just another community band you might think? It turns out that Milton Bullock, of the hit Motown group from the 1950s and ’60s, The Platters, lives nearby! No kidding! We have photographic evidence—here’s Milton by Dowry Creek poolside, with Mary “Bubbling Brown Sugar.”
Boaters are always hungry, so first we demolished the North ... Read More
If you have friends or family in the Rally, and you haven’t heard much from them lately, don’t worry. We’re in the area of North Carolina known as the Inner Banks (protected by the Outer Banks). For ICW travelers, it’s known as the area with no cell service. Here’s an AT&T coverage map: That’s us, in the white, no service, area.
The remaining half of the fleet departed Elizabeth City (and its cell service) in the cloudy, drizzly, pre-dawn light. We wanted to get as much of a head-start on the building wind and seas. Here is s/v Ecola 2, ... Read More
Today was scheduled for our Albemarle Sound crossing, although “schedule” is a misnomer here. You don’t schedule the Albemarle. You go when it tells you that your particular boat model and your crew can cross. It’s only 16 miles across at the shortest point, but it has a vast fetch to the east. And it’s very shallow, only 20 feet deep. If you’re from the Chesapeake Bay, then you know that shallow depths do strange things to waves, forcing that energy into waves that are steep, square, and with short frequency. These two-foot waves feel like cinder blocks.
Late last ... Read More
In some ways, the Dismal Swamp Canal is one of the most challenging sections of the trip for the SAIL Magazine Rally. The navigation is a cinch, and lockmaster, Robert Peek, reassured us that the occasional “bump-bump” of a sunken piece of wood is no problem with a sailboat’s keel-protected prop.
But the canal also means that we need to fit our 20 Rally boats, plus all the other boats of peak season, into the locks. It took a couple of lockings at South Mills, rafting us all the way across, to get everyone through. Move over, there is lots ... Read More