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Great Bridge MM 12
10/28/2011, Great Bridge Va.

So, I finally made it to to the ICW. I left Hampton on Thursday morning and motored to the Layafette River where I met up with my friend Bill (another 424 owner) who is also heading South.
My first night with my new anchor did not go well. At 10:25 the expected front came though and the wind switched around to the north and picked up to over 30 knots. I dragged about 200 feet until the anchor reset. It held the rest of the night with the wind between 22-25 kts. gusting to 30 but I was worried and had a sleepless night. I think I didn't back down hard enough. We'll see. Maybe it just needs to be broken in.
Leaving the Lafayette River and proceeded down the Elizabeth River past Norfolk and Portsmith, passing all the shipping and Navy docks. A lot of big boats and a few aircraft carriers.
The run down to Great bridge was cold (had my Buffalo Bills hand warmers in my pocket). There was about a dozen boats in line. A lot of waiting for bridges. Some open on the hour and some on the half hour. It took 4 hours to make about 15 miles. A lot of jockeying around trying to wait in a river with current and wind. Some waits were 15 minutes one was 50. We tied up just after the Great Bridge Lock and just before the Great Bridge bridge. We figure to stay here tomorrow as the weather is supposed to suck and at the other end of the next leg is Currituck Sound which is sensitive to winds. So we'll hang out on Saturday and start south again on Sunday. Looks like everyone else her is of the same mind.
The plan is to be in Oriental NC on Wednesday.
Time to go find the propane heater to warm up my sleeping bag. Seems I got a few more miles to go before I have to starting worrying about the butter melting.

and a cup of Joe
10/27/2011, Hampton Virginia

Not too many repairs aboard UNABATED rate higher than this one.
I love perked coffee and when your at anchor, there are not many options. Well, the little thingy on the tube that holds the spring under the basket wore away and failed to keep the basket up tight against the cover. This failure would cause the coffee grounds to find their way into my cup.
I know this isn't high tech but it works. I hope that clamp is real SS. The only thing worse than grounds in your coffee is rust.
I guess you have to be prepared to fix anything.
Nice clean cup of coffee this morning!

Hampton Va.
10/27/2011, Hampton Public Piers

I left Deltaville finally at 7:45 on Tuesday the 27th as planned. Fueled up on the way out. Quite breezy and choppy out on the bay. Dodging crab pots as usual. Took me a while to get back into my routine. As I was checking on things around the boat, I noticed that the charging system was up to over 17 volts. I shut the engine down and disconnected the Voltage Regulator. I would have to wait until I arrived in Hampton to look it. Had a nice motor sail down the bay. The closer you get to Hampton where the bay narrows to the Elizabeth River it gets to be an exercise in traffic control. Navy Ships, tugs, fishermen, sailboats, you got it all, are converging on this one place. Only slightly nerve racking.
I docked at the Hampton Public Pier because I had a certificate for a free night that I got at the boat show, plus one night, so it a kinda cheap. Very nice place, great people. It's also the host marina for the Carrib 1500, so there are lots of fancy boats here getting ready.
I found the problem with the over voltage condition being a loose fitting fuse holder on the VR sense wire which allowed the sensing voltage to be erratic at times.
The problem caused the combiner for my start battery to die a premature death.
As I always say, if you want to see what a city is really like, take public transportation. West Marine was a walk and a bus ride away and a walk away. Got the parts I needed with a stop to the Food Lion for some groceries and then back to boat, which was a walk and a bus ride and walk away. Problem solved (much simplified statement to be sure).
Today I am on my way to meet a friend (another 424 owner also heading south) about 5 miles from here on the Lafeyette River. Probably start down the ICW on Friday.
All for now

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