Mile Marker 0 to Great Bridge, Bridge VA
30 October 2008 | Great Bridge Bridge, VA
Low in mid thirties, high mid 60s, sunny
After ham, eggs and biscuits, the boat let us know it was time to go. We were dragging past the marina entrance and toward the deeper channel water so had to scurry to flick on the instruments, windlass, etc., start the engine and haul up the anchor. It was strange how it held us nicely all night then let go during the morning hours - nice of it to let us stay safe during the night though.
Passed by some more of the naval shipyards and waved at a zodiac gunboat as we passed each other (he waved back - making me feel like one of the kids trying to get truckers to blow their big air horns LOL). Nice to see that they're patrolling and making sure our ships are safe J and still can wave hello in response. We vacillated as to whether to take the Dismal Swamp Route all the way up to the cutoff then decided that after talking to Joan, listening to Claiborne on the Salty Net, chatting with others, that we probably shouldn't take it (this trip?) and continued on the Virginia Cut. The bridge tenders seem a little "less laid-back" than the ones on the Erie Canal. One female tender was telling us sailboats to snug it up faster and tighter or we wouldn't make the bridge opening and we were all sitting grouped waiting for it to open, which it didn't for another 10 minutes. The current was strong so I was in reverse still going forward and she was telling us to snug up??? Hmmm...
Going through the bridge toward the canal we spotted a few boats that had been at the same anchorage we were at last night (in front of Tide Water Yachts). It surprised us because they left more than an hour before us in the morning. 3 of them stopped at Great Bridge where we stopped too, and a single handler looking for the Dismal Turnoff also stopped (he wanted to know why we were all tying up to the wall - I told him we were stopping for the night). I chatted with him a bit, and then we all moved our boats up along the wall in case anyone wanted to snug in behind us for the night.
We walked into Great Bridge looking for diesel cans and Chinese food (one of the boaters mentioned there was a Chinese Buffet here). Found neither diesel cans or the buffet but did find a Chinese restaurant. It had egg rolls on the menu so we got two to try out. I'd decided that if they were like the egg rolls I was used to, we'd return for dinner. If they were spring rolls (stuffed with cabbage basically) we weren't out anything and wouldn't return for dinner. They weren't egg rolls, but spring rolls - so it looked like dinner in tonight. Found an ABC store that sells liquor, went in there, a dollar store (mmm candy), a card store, etc... Great bridge has a nice town and a nice park setting that we're tied up to. Dinner was delayed by a knock on the hull and an invite over to Marianna (a Moody 42) so we headed over there and chatted with Fred & Pat (Marianna) and Dave and Cathy (Orion). They were two of the sailboats over at the Tidewater anchorage. It was past dark when we returned to the boat, but it was wonderful to chat with them. They've taken this trip 4 times now. Yes I had my trusty notepad to take notes and yes, I whipped it out and jotted down a few notes LOL - hope they didn't mind! It looks like we're all heading out for the 9:00 am opening of the bridge tomorrow and heading for Coinjock, NC. Tonight will be our last night in VA, tomorrow we enter North Carolina (land of sporadic cell phone coverage and probably internet access too). Hope it's warmer...