Oriental Deja Vu

Stephen and Roberta Arnold
Tue 26 Oct 2010 01:12

35:01.4236N 076:42.0256W


October 25, 2010 9PM


We are back in Oriental NC. It was two long days to get here from the north end of the Dismal Swamp and now we’re beginning to see the exodus south. We were one of three boats that locked into the Dismal Swamp and the only boat in the lock exiting the swamp 20 miles later. We motored by Elizabeth City which has about 9 free slips and at least two were empty. It left me wondering where everybody was. We soon found out; there are two ways to go south from Norfolk, the Dismal Swamp and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). They come together about 80 miles south of Norfolk and I felt like we were merging onto a freeway.


Over the past 2 days there have been times when I could see 15+ boats all headed south and there is definite difference in the approach the sailboats take as opposed to the powerboats. The sailboats tend to get going at first light and the powerboats and hour or so later. So for the first couple of hours us sail boaters have the water all to ourselves. Then about midmorning the power boaters start to come by. The slower powerboats come by first then the faster ones.  In two days I’ve been passed by the many of the same boats twice.


We plan to stay in Oriental until at least Thursday. I found a piece of our roller furler (the thingy that holds the jib onto the boat) on the deck. It was just half of the part so now I need to see if the other half is still in place or if I only have half of the part. If I have all the parts we will motor to Beaufort NC on Thursday then motor for 2 days down the ICW to Cape Fear. We’ll be motoring south in the ICW because the offshore weather forecast between now and Saturday is only conducive to breaking things and throwing up.