Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Harbor of Hospitality

We got up super early today in order to make it to the Deep Creek Lock by its 8:30 opening time (it only opens 4 times a day). We made it through and entered the Dismal Swamp (sounds absolutely picturesque doesn't it?). But it was actually quite beautiful. All the green stuff is called Duckweed and we had to stop the engine for a minute because it clogged up the strainer in the engine. Yuck. 
In the locks
Dismal swamp

Not sure what that stuff is

Along the dismal swamp we saw a lot of little turtles on logs. The sun was out for a bit which was so nice. But you really have to keep an eye out while going down the canal, it's very narrow and there are tons of dead heads (logs) sticking out all over the place and trees overhanging that can hit the mast. We went over some logs that you couldn't see sticking out at all, luckily no damage was done.
Finally in North Carolina!
The canal
A bridge used by a farmer to get his livestock across
Dangerous deadheads
One more lock and several more bridges later, we made it to Elizabeth City (known to be "The Harbor of Hospitality") and tied up at one of the free docks at Mariners wharf. These are free docks owned by the city. Back in the day two men named Fred Fearing and Joe Kramer used to throw wine and cheese parties for visiting boaters. They apparently called them "Rose Buddies" I think because they planted rose bushes, since the bushes were transplanted to the Mariners' Wharf when they died. But people still volunteer as 'Rose Buddy Volunteers' who help boaters, give info and also throw wine and cheese parties! How awesome is that?! I love wine AND I love cheese. Unfortunately we made it in a bit too late to join the party.
Harbor of Hospitality

John wanted to take me to a nice dinner, especially since Steve and Sharon on boat Stevedore offered to keep Dexter for a playmate with their dog while we ate. We went to Thumper's restaurant (no, Bambi wasn't there). We had read good reviews about it and had gotten some recommendations from the locals. Unfortunately we were somewhat disappointed (really disappointed actually). We ordered, and about the time we expected our food to arrive at our table the waitress comes over to tell us that they don't have either of the things we ordered anymore. We order something else (as other people are leaving because of this). Basically, the soup was cold, I've never seen a waitress so scatterbrained in my life, and the food wasn't great. Too bad. I think next time we'll eat in.
Now we can see Dexter when its dark!

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