Today was our last day of travel and we don't really want to get home! It has been a great two weeks. Today we did the reverse of the first day - running up the North Landing River to the southern branch of the Elizabeth River and then on into Norfolk. We ran the bridges and locked thru at Great Bridge as we did coming down. Time-wise it's the longest day, because one must stop at many bridges and wait for their next opening. Today we waited as long as 45 minutes. It seems to me that they are timed for traveling southbound, rather than northbound, but that may not be correct.
We arrived in Portsmouth around 1:00, but had left before 8:00 this morning to make the first bridge. Everyone is tired and hot this afternoon, so not much is going on. Mitchell took one guy to a supply store to buy a gasket, and I have already packed my stuff, but we still have a cocktail party, dinner and one last night on the boat. We will help Don cast off in the morning, see the rest of the boats off to Deltaville and Osborne Landing, and then head up 64 ourselves.
I have learned at lot of things over the past two weeks. Among them:
Four people can vacation together without killing each other. This was our biggest fear - that one of us [well, me] would succumb to lack of sleep or food and get.... can you say "bitchy"? it did not happen. I weathered my shoulder problems early in the trip and Mitchell's illness in the middle in good humor. On the days I felt badly, I was able to find ways to keep to myself a bit and never acted out. One point for me!
When docking, the wind wants to push you away, so the windward bowline goes on first. We learned this the hard - and very public - way at Albemarle Plantation. We have done it perfectly every time since - including today when the wind whipped up at the last minute. Don has twice complimented us on our good line-handling skills. One for both of us.
Wifi is only available some places, but crab pots are everywhere! There have been several places that promised wifi, but the signal was not strong enough to access even email. It has been good for me to not be able to check email every day. I have currently gone three days without checking my office email. They can live without me, and I without them. Good lesson. One more point.
You can't get a manicure on the Sound. Well at least not without a car. I tried in Manteo - two employees, not working, who told me that the soonest they could work me in was "tomorrow afternoon". At Edenton the nail shop was closed on Saturday. There was not one in Columbia, altho the clerk at Farm Fresh clearly had gone somewhere 'cause hers were great! And in Elizabeth City there was no manicurist working that day. They could call around and see if anyone wanted to come in.... if I really wanted, and could wait several hours. So I have managed a new broken nail nearly every day for the past 10 days! I shall tip Ahn extra on Monday. No points awarded.
They don't do crepe murder in North Carolina, and good for them! Five points to the good folks of North Carolina.
Those 18th century folks sure liked their cemetery monuments - angels of many sorts, obelisks, and animals galore in the old cemeteries. Makes our modern ones look pretty boring. I am thinking of collecting photos of them for a while. No points yet.
This is a gorgeous country and we don't take enough opportunities to explore it. The early settlers must have thought they had found the land of milk and honey. It is simply gorgeous from the water - marsh mallows growing all over the marshes (duh), egrets, herons and wading birds in the shallows, and ospreys on every other marker post. [Of course, the early settlers didn't find marker posts!] You can just see the opportunity - at least in the places where there aren't condos wall-to-wall, and clearly someone already saw the opportunity there. Ten points to the U.S. and minus two for the condo developers.
A two-week vacation is a bit too long. It's really nice to be home. We are both pretty tired this afternoon - well, four loads of washing and drying will do that any old time. We saw the boats off from Portsmouth a little after 8:00 this morning and then fought the traffic back home. I think I would have liked to come home on Friday to have a couple of days to decompress before going back to work. Two weeks away from work was fine - if you know what I mean.
Hope you have enjoyed our journey. If you are interested in seeing more photos, I will eventually upload them all to Kodak Gallery. There are about 200, so let me know and I will give you the address when I have it.
Pretty, but Fleeting
8 hours ago