Arrival at Albemarle Plantation

After surviving our crossing of the Albemarle Sound, we finally made our way into the Albemarle Plantation Marina. We had been concerned about the depth of the approach into the marina so we had called ahead to ask about the depths, approach and our slip assignment. They assured us that we would have plenty of depth and to keep the red bouy on our right as we come into the marina. No problem, we can do that.

As we came into the marina area, Mark was watching our depth gauge and saw 2 – 3 feet under our keel, it’s all good. We have the red bouy far off to our right. All of a sudden the boat stopped hard and quickly. So quickly that I was thrown forward and had the companionway been open, I might have fallen down the companionway. We are aground within about 20 feet from the marina and the slip we had to get to. I called the marina staff on the VHF and they offer some advice for trying to get free of our situation as they prepare to get into a boat to come out and tow us off. We tried several times to back up to get off, go forward with the wheel hard to one side and then the other. We were not moving. Finally we tried to hoist the jib, our forward sail. Having the boat lean over, even if just a bit, was the trick to get us free of our predicament. Once we finally landed at the end of B dock and tied up we were chatting with the marina staff. They commented, “What were you doing way over there?” We don’t know why we were “way over there”. We were keeping the red bouy on our right. Then they commented, “Why is the red bouy way over there?” Again, not sure we know the answer to the question. The marina staff went out in a small boat to inspect the red bouy. It appears that the chain broke on the red bouy that anchors it to the bottom of the sea floor. The red bouy was not in the place that it should have been, completely unknown to us. Well, we survived our first grounding and lived to tell the tale.

After our tiresome and eventful day of getting to Albemarle Plantation, we think that a happy hour is in order and all the sailing friends old and new agreed to join us. I don’t think we could fit any more friends aboard Painkiller. From left to right, we have Ellen, June, Pat, Mark, Steve, Steve, Joe, Vicki and Jack. I am taking the picture. Of course the couples did not sit next to one another, so it’s Joe and Ellen from La Vida, Steve and June from Sabbatical, Steve and Pat from Calypso and Jack and Vicki from Sojourn. After happy hour we all headed to the clubhouse for dinner together.

The next morning we got a golf cart and toured around the property that is the Albemarle Plantation. It’s really a gated community with golf course, pool, club house, restaurants, etc and the marina. The property is quite large so it’s great to have a golf cart to get around. Best of all you can park your golf cart right next to your boat on the dock.

Here are some more pics of the grounds along our little tour.

They even have fresh herbs for all the boaters to take.

The tent is all set up for the pig roast for tonight.

We all had a blast at the pig roast! I thought I took more photos of the pig roast but I guess I was too busy having fun.

After the pig roast we all ended up back aboard Painkiller, but this time everyone brought their instruments. We had 3 ukulele’s, 2 guitars and a trumpet. We had a great jam session butchering a few songs as we all sang along. So much fun!

The next day was a day of cleaning the boat both inside and out. While I was vacuuming the stairs, Mark came inside and I stopped what I was doing for a minute when we both noticed that the cabin was filled with a considerable amount of smoke!! Where did all this smoke come from? We quickly determined that it also smelled like a burnt electrical smell and it was coming from the area of the electrical panel of the boat. We immediately turned everything off and disconnected the shore power and Mark opened up the electrical panel to find this burned up wire behind our panel. That’s not good!

I walked to the marina office to see if they had some information about boat electricians in the area that we can call to come take a look at this and fix this. After a bit of calling, discussion and changing plans to accommodate getting this fixed, we have determined that the electrician can’t come until Tuesday to fix this and today is Saturday. So, I guess we are hanging out here until Tuesday.

We filled our time here with boat chores, laundry, cleaning, blog posts, walking, exploring, dinner and some small sewing projects. All our friends left on Monday morning to head to Norfolk to get there for the America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association Rendezvous. It was really quiet around here after all the boaters left after the pig roast. However, we were eating dinner one night at the club house/restaurant and we met Jon and Dee Dee aboard War Eagle. They, of course, are headed the same direction as we are. They are gold loopers meaning that they have already completed all 5,250 miles of the great loop in the last year and they loved it so much they are going around a second time. After dinner we invited them aboard Painkiller, however a sudden downpouring of rain interrupted our plans as they didn’t want to walk from their boat to ours in the down pour.

The marine electrician came on Tuesday as planned and was able to determine that everything seemed to be ok, just a burned up wire, likely due to the wire being loose and then the current being overloaded. Note to self, don’t turn on the water heater, and the battery charger and then vacuum at the same time. Too much for the 30 amp breaker. We are glad he was able to replace the wire and determine that we shouldn’t have any more issues. We are all set to leave Albemarle Plantation on Thursday morning.

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