June 11... Hospital Point, Norfolk, VA to Mobjack Bay, VA
We got away around 6:30 and motor sailed through the ship lanes of Norfolk before traffic got bad. I tied in a double reef in the main while still in the harbor and as we left we were sailing for the first time in quite a while.
Once in Chesapeake however, we found that the forecast of 10 to 15 was off by half and when we made our turn north had seas of 6 to 8 feet hard on the nose. It wasnt the wave height that was the problem but the frequency. For most of the day we found ourselves going over one wave and nose diving into the next with literally tons of water pouring over the boat. Luckily our friends on "Solitaire" shot some video of us rocking and rolling and made a DVD, so we can relive this nasty trip again and again.
Anyway, we plodded into them at making 3mph over ground for most of the day. Jim radioed to say that since our ETA in Deltaville was projected to be around midnight, we might consider an alternate anchorage. We followed "Solitaire" into Mobjack Bay and anchored off the East River.
After putting everything away and replacing the sail covers, I spent a few minutes repairing our davits. One of them had worked itself out of it's base and needed some attention. The torque on them is amazing when we are pounding into heavy seas . At some point this summer I need to add another cross member to strengthen the system.
Mike 06/13/2008, Norfolk, VA
June 10th... Deep Creek to Norfolk
Happy Birthday Kristie!
Jim and I topped off our water tanks and were listening to the radio when we heard that Bridge #7 in Norfolk was not repaired. Our plan was to stay in Deep Creek until we were sure that it was fixed because there is no place to stop once you hit the Elizabeth River in Norfolk .... and there are big ships everywhere.
The first locking was scheduled for 8:30 and we met George when he arrived to tell him that we didn't want to leave if we were going to be stuck at Bridge#7 with no place to tie up or anchor. He got on the phone and after a brief conversation told us to get our boats untied while he readied the lock. By 8:30 we were out of the lock and on our way...½ hour before the scheduled opening. George had found out that Bridge #7 was going to opened at 9 for traffic and then closed for an unknown length of time for repairs. He thought that we could make it if he got us through his lock a little early. We love the Dismal Swamp lock guys!
We were at Bridge #7 at 9:00 am but nothing happened until after 10:00 when it opened. Traffic was stacked up on both sides of the bridge and the bridge tender said that north bound boats should proceed. We got in line with about 10 pleasure craft of varying sizes and started forward. As we approached the bridge with three boats behind us, we found an oncoming barge that was taking up all the available space. Since playing chicken was out of the question, we veered off and waited for a string of 4 very large barges to pass through southbound before continuing.
In a few miles and one more bridge, we were safely anchored at Hospital Point in Norfolk. It was above 110 again and about the only thing we could do was drink water and stay in the shade. I wanted to go ashore but it was out of the question in this heat.
Okay, the picture is from the Great Dismal Swamp, but Norfolk is not that pretty from the water.
Watch out for snakes
Mike 06/13/2008, Deep Creek, VA
June 9th.... Goat Island to Deep Creek Lock (The Dismal Swamp)
Our trip to the Dismal Swamp took us to the upper end of the Pasquotank river and then into Turner's Cut to the Lock at South Mills where the old canal really began. We ran the "Swamp" last fall and were reassured by the Deep Creek lockmaster Robert that it was in better condition now than is was at that time. We did ride over a couple of submerged logs in the upper Pasquotank but didn't touch bottom in the Dismal Swamp at all.
As we were leaving the South Mills lock in the morning a nice sized water moccasin floated in on a hunk of wood but we were too slow to get a photo. We yelled at "Solitaire" behind us and Nancy was able to get quick shot as they cruised out of the lock.
It was another 100+ degree day with no wind. Since the Dismal Swamp Canal is mostly tree covered we did have some shade....and we certainly didn't do anything that resembled work. When we arrived at the Deep Creek Lock on the north end of the canal we were disappointed that Robert was had the day off but George, his stand-in, did a fine job of making us feel welcome.
After tying up our boats at the dock, I got out the hose and connected it to the water supply to soak ourselves down. Throughout the afternoon whenever I was too hot I just walked down to the hose and soaked myself.
Later we walked about ½ mile...keeping to the shade, back to town to a Mexican Restaurant that we had seen from the boat. It was air conditioned and the food was passable. After stalling as long as possible it was across the street to the Food Lion for more air. We picked up some salad stuff, butter and snacks before the journey back to the boats.
George told us that one of the bridges on the way in to Norfolk was having problems and that he was going to recommend that we stay in Deep Creek ... if we had planned on continuing north.