Saturday, October 22, 2011

Holding Our Breath! October 18, 2011, Mile Marker 125

 Again we left before dawn. The entrance to the Alligator River required a swing bridge opening, an easy step when the bridge tender is pleasant at an early hour. We had a pleasant trip to the turn into the Alligator-Pungo River canal but the whole day required we motor as one had to be vigilant about depths and markers. The canal had about twelve feet of water in it and was yet another cypress swamp with submerged dead head trees. We were comfortable heading under the 65 foot high Fairfield Bridge with our 65+ foot mast. Anxiety built as we approached the Walter B. Jones Bridge because it is charted as 64 foot vertical clearance and stories abound about people having to turn around or incurring damage. Rick had to radio a huge cruiser to back off and not wake us before we started under the bridge. Engine in neutral, we drifted slowly, listening to the antenna clink several times until we cleared the far side of the bridge - we made it with our own story to tell. Neither of us remembered to photograph the bridge board as testimony to our stress. The rest of the bridges are a piece of cake after this.

High winds and a two day storm will keep us in Belhaven, Mile Marker 130, at Dowry Creek Marina for a few days. It will be a bumpy ride here in the slip as winds are still out of the SE and there are no protected places to hole up. A 36 foot Columbia lays in the marsh across from our slip, never to be reclaimed because it rests in protected wetlands you may not disturb when you conduct salvage, compliments of hurricane Irene. Funny how nature works, providing this beautiful scenery but teasing you with risk and rules to protect itself.

Compliments of Irene