Taking a little time in Oriental, NC. So nice to have internet and phone. Left Elizabeth City, NC from their city 'free' docks. The town was nice, but the economy has hit it hard. The town still welcomes boaters with open arms. The church folks visit to welcome you to town. They offer literature and conversation. Had 'cocktail hour' at a park bench with other boats. Went to the deli and walked to the liquor store. On the way early am to get across the Albermarle River.
Had very poor signal from the Alligator River through to Oriental. Anchored off the Alligator/Pungo canal the first night. This was the first time that we were not anchor space crowded by French Canadians. We tried a new anchor accessory. We took a 1/2 gallon orange juice jug, filled it with craft foam, and tied it to the anchor. The jug goes right thru the laucher! We added a 28 foot line. Now we know where our anchor is. If it gets snagged, we can use the jug line to locate it and help pull it up. We've already lost one anchor.
Tried to travel between 5.5 and 6 knts. We got to sail part of the way to Oriental We crossed the Palmico and the Neuse rivers. You could really see the damage from Irene. The trees were snapped off about 18 ft from the ground. It looked like Paul Bunyon swung his axe though the forest.
I am so glad we had time on the Chesapeake and liked to visit rivers, creeks and cities. Going 'gunkholing' was the best training for going down the ICW. You use charts, chart plotters and guidebooks together to plot your route. No one book or chart has the all the information you need. Learning how to plot, route, steer and check depth and traffic are all a constant task. Who would have thought that all the sailing we did on the Chesapeake would be so helpful.