Sunday, July 13, 2008
Over the past year there have been brief reports of Lulu and Gigi's adventures in the Caribbean. Finally we caught up with them in Deltaville and heard the more robust edition of their travels over dinner. While we trust to see them again soon, this may be our last goodbye to Roi Soleil. She will be up for sale soon as Lulu and Gigi look for a more shallow draft boat.
We'd traveled through the wild lands of the Alligator River, small towns, open waters of the sounds, and the Dismal Swamp to reach Norfolk. There we enjoyed the pleasures of civilization: dinner in a restored 1940's movie theater, a tour of the mighty destroyer the Wisconsin, and museum visits. We even picked up 3D glasses for the July 4th fireworks. Unfortunately they were cancelled due to severe storms and high winds, but the mishaps and bad behavior of drunken boaters in the anchorage provided entertainment and some exciting near disasters.
For several days we worked our way through the intracoastal waterway as it traveled through large sounds and narrow canals. From Elizabeth City we entered the Dismal Swamp. Several boaters and guidebooks have reported that the dark cola colored waters are excellent for drinking and filling the boat's water tanks. They do seem to be a wonderful home for cotton mouths, turtles, and osprey, but we were not tempted to drink from them.
Ben was last seen at Manjack Island and it was wonderful to catch up with him in Oriental. We all had dinner together and headed over to meet his parents at their home on the shore of a small river. His generosity, humor, and fun appear to be genetically based charactoristics.
We arrived in Southport NC after 3 days sailing offshore. Several hours later Katherine arrived. She bravely chose to join us for a 10 day ordeal, rather than the less grueling extended weekend tour. Frankly, we were impressed with her daring, resilience, and great attitude. Here she has just completed a rather rough off shore passage and she is still smiling, with days and days more of boat life to go.
In late June we escaped from the boatyard's oppressive heat and carnivorous bugs. The weather brought us great winds for sailing north and a few thunderstorms, or as NOAA announces, THU UNDER STORMS. On our first day, these clouds announced an approaching storm and we managed to drop sails in time. The next night a storm snuck up in a dark and moonless sky and brought some excitement to our midnight hour.