November 17, 2013

November 17, 2013  Day 3   South for the Winter
At anchor
Alligator River, NC

Dr. Seuss, “Oh the Places You’ll Go”

“I’m sorry to say so but sadly it’s true that bang ups and hang ups can happen to you.”
Well not “bang ups” today but definitely “hang ups”.  We had hoped to leave our anchorage by 7:30 but our port engine did not start until 8:30.  Add a heavy fog to that scene and that started our day on the North River.  We entered the Albemarle Sound at 9:55 and were quite happy it was calm.  We had enough to deal with the fog!  By 11:30 we entered the Alligator River and the fog which had lifted slightly now became much worse.  We were 100 feet from the red and green markers before we could see them! 

We knew a boat which had passed us was waiting at the Alligator River Bridge because we saw him on AIS. We slowly approached the bridge and finally saw the boat as we got very close.  We got in line to wait for a bridge opening (this one opens on demand).  However, the bridge operator would not open the bridge because of the fog, so the cars continued to cross and we became the spectators.  About two hours later, the fog lifted.  However, the gate that stops the cars was stuck!  By now it is 2:00 and an electrician has been called (yes, on Sunday).  The line of boats has increased to at least eight (although two or three bailed out and went to the Alligator River Marina nearby).  We had already set the anchor and several others followed suit!  At 3:40 the bridge opened and we quickly pulled anchor and hurried through the opening.
We continued on the Alligator River racing against the clock as sundown was approaching all too soon.  We arrived at our anchorage thirty minutes after dark!  Joyce had to use a flashlight to see the painted markings on the anchor chain to lower it to the right level.  

The rest of the evening included dinner on board and watching television.  We hope to get an early start tomorrow because the weather forecast is for rain and wind. We have to cross the Pamlico Sound!  Let’s hope there are no bridges along the way!