Well, we made the bridge blocking our path into Elizabeth City. This bridge opens on demand except at rush hour when it opens, at 4:30 p.m. The sun is down by six so you do not miss the last opening.
Anyone reading the last post will know I have my times a bit out of synch but this is what happens when you write from memory.
We were timing our approach to the EC bridge and I could not see how Meredith could make it. Next opening was more than an hour away, the sun was going down and cold was making its ugly presence felt.
The reader will remember that we were at the head of a line of four boats. This gave us leverage with the bridge. I radioed the bridgemaster and voice dripping with honey requested a delay in the opening by 5 minutes to accommodate four more boats. The bridgemaster was no dummy and in turn she radioed the vessels that were already waiting for an opening indicating the delay could be 20 minutes. Seems some people lie about their ETAs when they want to make a bridge.
As luck would have it the two vessels awaiting an opening were the two trawlers I had let pass at the South Creek Lock out of the Dismal Swamp. They both consented to the delay. What sweethearts.
The bridgemaster relayed the mutual agreements to us just as Meredith rounded the bend and came upon the bridge. Exactly on schedule for the 4:30 p.m. opening. I sure hope bridgemasters talk to each other 'cause I may need a favour someday soon.
Now, EC is famous for two things: They have 14 free docks for cruisers, and they put on a free drinks party any night there is more than four boats at the docks.
We made it in time for the drinks party. Steaming into the free docks, engines full ahead, we see standing on the dock, the most wondrous scene: Our very good friends Benoit and Andree from Douce Folie V were standing dockside waving a greeting and waiting to take our lines.
And Tony Sellick from One Day was there to help them.
Winning the lottery must feel like this. We have to be the luckiest people on the planet.