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Circumnavigation Completed

Discussion in 'Roger Long - Cruising on Strider' started by Roger Long, Apr 4, 2014. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. Roger Long

    Roger Long

    Joined Nov 22, 2008
    3,563 posts, 8 likes
    Endeavour 32
    US Portland, Maine
    (Of the Dismal Swamp / Virginia Cut loop that is.)

    Jimm, who is about half way up the Pasquotank as I write, emailed to comment on our rapid progress and asked if we were in a hurry. No hurry, just great sailing and traveling.

    We left R. F. Mayo with the promise of a somewhat dark and blustery day and a capful of wind predicted to burst out of the WNW about 1100. We set the sails as soon as there was sufficient room off Peterson Creek and were soon tearing along. I’d double reefed the main even before setting it and set the jib leads for full reef. It was all the sail we wanted coming out into the Pamlico River and the sky promised more. It looked like 1100 had already arrived as far as the wind gods were concerned.

    We could beam reach about twenty degrees above our course so I put some weather gauge in the bank as we crossed the river in rapidly rising waves and wind. It was a strategy that served us well as, right on schedule, the wind rose suddenly at 1100 and I was then able to run off to the red “PR” marker at the mouth of the Pasquotank. It was getting impressively lumpy as we rounded the mark.

    Not being a purist, I elected not to spend an hour fighting our way wetly up into the lee of the land but ran off, rolled up the little of the jib we had set, and started the engine. It was a wet mile and a half up into the lee but it was over quickly.

    We then unrolled the jib to the third reef and began sailing again up the river. We were close hauled but had a good slant that almost brought us to the turn off Belhaven. We didn’t quite make it but one short tack got us around and running dead downwind.

    I furled the main just before entering the Alligator / Pungo Canal and hoped that the wind would let us sail through but it was soon apparent that it would be much too long a trip with a bit of foul current and the shelter of the land. The engine was soon running, the jib rolled up, and we settled down to a long and gloomy run to the other end.

    When we came out into Georgia Bay, where I had my great anchoring adventure on my first return north, the wind was hard and insistent, sending a good chop down the creek. Anchoring there was out of the question so we continued on around to the shelter of Deep Point.

    (Links to previous adventure:

    There is no Internet or cell service here so we turned on the radio as we relaxed, or tried to. The waves refracting around the point made it bouncier than promised a good sleep. We were shocked to hear a forecast for gust of 30 to 40 overnight and realized that our position was untenable. Reluctantly, we got the anchor up and moved around to the better shelter of the “Logging Camp” anchorage shown in the lower left here:


    It was substantially quieter here with the wind blowing directly off the land.
    We woke early in the night rolling heavily. I checked the GPS and we hadn’t moved an inch. In the morning the cause could be seen. There is always some refraction of waves around a point but there was another factor at work. We could see large waves pouring out into the main part of the river. The impulse of these was sending a perfect cross sea in our direction with the wind holding us beam on. I put out a stern anchor to try and hold us more bow into the waves but we ended up pitching heavily. Dreameagle got seasick for the only time on this cruise even though we were anchored. It was an uncomfortable day but the sun was bright and the conditions gradually improved until dead calm at sunset and a blissfully quiet night that could have been in a motel ashore.

    We woke to mysterious mist and a beautiful departure for a quiet motor up the river and through the bridge.



    Full album of Dreameagle’s pictures here:

    There was a nice sailing breeze across Pamlico Sound but it was dead on the nose so we ran under power up to Elizabeth City. The wind was veering into the south east and we abandoned the stop we were looking forward to in the “Harbor of Hospitality” after looking at the boats bouncing around and the white froth at the base of the sheet pile bulkhead throwing standing waves back out into the harbor.

    The bridge opened promptly and we were soon running up through the cypress swamps in beautifully smooth water to the dead calm and quiet beauty of the Goat Island anchorage.
    Another night of quiet bliss was followed by an ethereally beautiful run up to the Dismal Swamp canal. Never in my life, I think, have I seen such perfect water reflections.



    (The Goat Island anchorage where there is a short boardwalk and a couple of camping platforms.)

    Another of Dreameagle’s albums here:

    We locked through and had a passage through the swamp on as beautiful an early spring day as one could ask for. Our early rising gave us time for a couple hours at the visitor’s center and a walk on the swamp boardwalk and canal road.

    We reached Deep Creek in time to dock for a quick run for beer and ice and then went through the bridge and lock with the usual wonderful chat with Robert. With him was a fellow who recognized Strider and turned out to be one of those fellow cruisers that I have corresponded with for years but not yet met.

    We anchored in the “Hole in the Wall” were we could hear spring peepers all evening. After a leisurely start due to the morning Gilmerton Bridge closure, we crossed our outbound track in the Elizabeth River, completing Dreameagle’s first circumnavigation of something. An easy run brought us up to Hampton where we are now anchored to do some shore things for a couple days.

  2. MSter


    Joined Apr 12, 2010
    131 posts, 0 likes
    Sabre 38' MK II
    CA Oriental, NC
    Your travels and adventures are inspiring!
    Best wish's for continued health and fair winds.
    Mike Sterling

  3. Jimm


    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    363 posts, 6 likes
    Catalina 30MkII Tall rig
    US Eastport , Md
    Finally caught up in Hampton. Thanks Roger for being at the dock to take my lines! Completed my round trip to Key West at Mile 0 after a pretty run from the Dismal Swamp Visitor Center. Good to be back in the Chesapeake!

  4. hoges in wa

    hoges in wa

    Joined Sep 23, 2009
    35 posts, 0 likes
    Catalina 42 Mk II
    Au Fremantle, West Australia
    That brings back memories. I have a photo of Strider tied up at the Visitors' Centre on 20 November 2011 as we passed you while you were in the dinghy up in the reservoir, and another a few days later on the Elizabeth City dock where we finally met up after some years of emailing. I still enjoy all your reports and like the new Photographer, too :).


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