The last exit for us would be Ocracoke if we wanted to go out to the Atlantic. But we decided to stay on the ICW because Dieter didn't like the overnight sailing. Ocracoke was a small town with an anchorage for approximately 10 boats.
We were close to our destination which was a marina in the state Maryland in the Chesapeake Bay where our Whitebird should be hauled out of the water. We didn't want to have any stress. We had enough time and went to Elizabeth City. This route was part of the "old" Intracoastal Waterway because there exist two ways to go to Norfolk. We were so glad that we took this way because we met a handful of so nice people and the waterway was very idyllic and we experienced how it was in former days to go on the ICW.
We were 10 minutes too late to pass a bridge in Elizabeth City. We decided to tighten our boat to a pontoon which was for free. We read a sign which told us that Elizabeth City was a town of Hospitality for sailors. That's what is really was! It was the first place on our whole journey where sailors were more than welcomed. It was unbelievable! We intended to stay only at the pontoon until the bridge opened again but we stayed there 3 nights more 😉