Albemarle Sound

26 Oct

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.

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Late last ...

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Elizabeth City Rose Buddies

25 Oct

Dismal Swamp Canal Janet Anderson

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 ...

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