Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hello and Goodbye Roi Soleil

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.

Big City Fun

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.

Boat savvy

By the time we sailed into Norfolk, Katherine had well developed sea legs and boat sense.

Tall enough

From the Dismal we traveled to the busy waters and many bridges of Norfolk. Although the charts indicate that the bridge height is much taller than our mast, it is always a happy moment when we successfully pass underneath.


Like other members of the family, Katherine does not like to be at the wrong end of a camera lens, but she was patient with tedious requests to pose at local attractions.


Katherine quickly adjusted to the walking lifestyle. She hiked through meadows, historic districts, and down city streets to libraries, grocery stores, and restaurants.


To travel the Dismal we went through two locks. Unlike previous years, we were the only boat.

The Dismal

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.

Boat Life

Katherine adjusted to the small world of boat life, arranging her worldly goods in the V berth which was now her room, closet, and personal space.

Where's Ben?

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.

Beaufort NC

We came ashore at Beaufort NC and anchored between the city and Shackleford Island, which is home to the memory of two long ago abandoned towns and a herd of wild horses.

Katherine joins the crew

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.