Leaving Morehead City, a winter storm blew in the following morning and I awoke to the metalic clicking of sleet on the tent. Outside a fog hung over the warmer waters swirling on the chilly wind. Temperature rose slightly above freezing and it turned to rain making for a wet and chilly paddle up the icw. Sailboats in a marina along the ICW on a cloudy winter day.

My friends Mark and Iris weren’t home in Oriental but offered me use of their home there. Climbing out onto the 4ft tall wooden wall would have been a sight but the low horizontal support acted like a step and I just pulled the boat up 4ft and onto their grass. Here is their sailboat! Daffodils in the neighborhood may have been a bit early as the following morning was 23F! I am so thankful for having had a house to sleep in that morning. The sunlight warmed the air quickly but I was the only kayak out that morning.

The larger bodies of water such as the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds can be treacherous. It is evenings with red winter sunsets like this that make me glad for a red sky at night, the following day’s delight.

There were some days where I only managed 2.5 miles due to high winds and other where I traveled over 30 miles. The wind and swell can be quite powerful in this corner of NC and I’d often begin paddling early hours before sunrise to make the most of lower winds. Shallow waters near shore populated with sharp cypress stumps often harbor breaking waves and chop. (Not choppy in pic)

Morning sunrises on the sound are fabulous. The undulating mercurial colors were mesmerizing and dynamic as the wind and tide bobbed me up and down the sound.

As a reminder that I’m back in black bear habitat, these larger prints made me stash the food and sleep with an ear open. Pardon my paddling glove tan.

After three days, I finally made it to the relative shelter of the Pasquotank River and to Elizabeth City, NC. Passing the TCOM blimp and the USCG Air Station was enjoyable with the many planes overhead.

The local college boat and canoe club has a clubhouse and small beach on the water where I took to shore. Hopefully they don’t mind.

Here I’ll resupply and should have a sheltered couple days winding northward up the canal back to VA. I’m looking forward to visiting my cousin Brian and family in Chesapeake before continuing north toward the Potomac.

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