Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday, June 18

We spent an interesting evening at the Welcome Center on the Dismal Ditch Canal. It was a cool evening - meaning few bugs. That is always a good thing on the Dismal Ditch. We arrived after a cabin cruiser, so there were two of us at the small dock. And then a large cabin cruiser showed up, and the dock was full - after we moved us and the cabin cruiser up a bit. Then a sailboat showed up. They wanted to raft up with us. We assured them that was fine - as long as they realized that we intended to leave no later than 5 AM. Then, another sailboat showed up. They rafted up with the large cabin cruiser. Luckily, that was the end of the parade for the day. The Welcome Center said that the record is 23 boats rafted up there. I would not like to have tried to work our way out of the center of 23 boats. And, yes, we would have been at the center of the 23 boats.  So, it is now 6 AM, and we are on our way. Yes, the sailboat rafted up to us woke up as well, and they are now following us to the first lock of the day. There was no excitement this morning. The engines started right up. There was no wind, so we were not pushed against the dock. The only downside was that there wasn't a gas station to make us egg biscuits. But, we have our own Peggy. She is busy warming up the last of our cinnamon bread. For someone who has been awake since 4 AM, she is doing a great job. Oh, wait a minute! Excitement on the canal. Mike had to slow down to avoid ducks swimming. Yes, they were true bird brains. One kept swimming straight ahead in front of us. Now one is flying in front of us. Finally, he has flown off. No ducks will be harmed in this voyage! And it is a beautiful morning. The sun is shining. There is a mist on the water. Peggy, Carol and I are dressed in long pants and jackets here inside the cabin. Jacob would be in long pants, but he doesn't have any! Mike is outside at the wheel in thin shorts and a tee shirt. It does, indeed, take all kinds. It is 8 AM, and we are at the lock. That is a good thing since you have to be hear for the 8:30 opening. The temperature has risen to 61 degrees. We are still shocked that we started the morning at 58 degrees in the middle of June. But, as I keep saying, better to be cold with no bugs than sweltering with lots of black flies. It's a good day on the water! One downside of buying a boat in the BVIs is that the blankets are a lovely light cotton. However, they are not very efficient in 58 degree weather. In retrospect, I really must say that, for the most part, we have had nice weather. The worst weather was centered around the time that Sam and Howard were with us. But, they had warned us that they brought bad weather with them. So, we were duly warned. Okay, more excitement in the lock. We are now in position with FIVE boats going northbound. Even the lock tender thinks it is going to be a little tight.

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