Friday, April 27, 2012

Rose Buddies at Elizabeth City, NC

Days on cruise:  35

Miles today: 37.9

Travel time:  4 hrs,  57 minutes

Total odometer: 1,009 statute miles


After we left Albemarle Sound (whew!  see below) and continued 15 miles north on the Pasquotank River, we arrived in Elizabeth City, NC under mild, sunny skies and calm water. Along the way we passed the nation’s largest balloon manufacturing facility (above), where balloons ranging from spy camera platforms for Afghanistan to cartoon balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving parades are made.


Elizabeth City LOVES boaters and treats them accordingly.  On their downtown waterfront boardwalk are a dozen or so boat slips, and several hundred feet of bulkhead wall, at which boaters are allowed to tie up for free!  There’s no electricity or water, but there are showers a block away (which we won’t use as our shower suits us fine) and trash cans in the park. Nice!


At 3pm we heard a knock on our hull (how people notify you they want your attention at the helm door), and there stood Charlotte from the Elizabeth City Visitors Center to invite us to a “welcome party” of wine, cheese and roses at the city dock a block away. She explained that anytime there are 5 or more boaters in their free slips, they host such a party and tell us about the things to see and do in Elizabeth City. 


So at 4:30 off we went to the City dock adjacent to the Visitor’s Center office. Charlotte and a former mayor filled us in on their charming town of 15,000 inhabitants, gave us a glass of wine, crackers and cheese, and each couple got a rose, cut from the rose bushes a few yards away, contributed by the original Rose Buddies who began this tradition in 1983. We were told they host about 60 such parties each year, generally from late April through mid-October. Wow!



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