Sunday, October 10, 2010

More Than We Bargained For

Abemarle Sound

Ah, The Abemarle sound is much feared and respected by cruisers because of its reputation for bad weather and nasty waves.   Yesterday and today though it is still as a mill pond.  We're taking advantage of that.

We visited Columbia, NC yesterday.  We've never been there before.   It turned out that we got more than we bargained for.   

As we approached Columbia on the Scuppernong River we saw a very strange sight.  It was an ironclad, the Monitor or the Merrimack (I never remember which is which).  She was under power and heading straight at us.   It turns out that the vessel we saw is a 3/8 scale reproduction of the ironclad CSS Abemarle.   She was there for the Suppernong River Festival.   We normally avoid festivals and boat shows because of crowding.  No problem this time, we pulled right up to the city dock.

Columbia is a very cute, but very small southern City.  Normally, I suppose the adjective sleppy should apply.  Not today.  All the streets are full of people.  The festival probably attracted everybody from 25 miles around.  Libby and I had fun walking the streets and people watching.   The crowd was very happy, and family oriented.  We really enjoyed ourselves.   As a treat, we bought a blooming onion.   We love those, and we haven't seen blooming onions for sale since the Lobster Festival in Rockland, Maine.

In the evening, it turned out that Tarwathie gave us the best seat in the house to watch fireworks.   It was a great show, and we were close enough to feel each WHUMP in our chests as well as in our ears.  That makes it really fun.

After the fireworks, we were a little nervous.  The crowd cleared out except for a bunch of teen agers who were hanging out only feet away from Tarwathie.  We're not used to having people so close to the boat.   No problem though, they were well behaved and quiet and caused no trouble at all.

Now we're heading for the Alligator River.  Sorry, no sailing to Manteo or Ocracoke until our rigging is repaired.   To get there we have to take a big detour around a Marine Corps practice bombing range.  I don't think they bomb on Sundays, but we're not inclined to test that.

Cruisers: if you want to explore the Abemarle Sound, Columbia is a very nice stop, but Edenton is much better because of the many beautiful Antebellum houses in Edenton.

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