23 May 2009 | Great Bridge VA (N36*43.285 W76*14.508) to Fishing Bay VA (N37*32.418 W76*20.203)
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Not sure why I thought that the bridge and lock didn't start until 7am but at 6am I saw a mast go by so I flicked on the VHF in time to hear the boat ask what time the lock would operate. He was told to "come on in I'm timed with the bridge" which surprised me. Coffee on, Wayne up, and we were in place to go through the lock at his next opening. We were the first in the lock and had to move all the way up. One side was concrete; the other was rubber so we chose the port side of rubber, so we didn't need fenders. This lock raises and lowers vessels about a foot, to moderate the water level in the Dismal Swamp and keep the area "non-tidal". Kwakatu, Mia Bella, and 2 other boats were in the lock with us. Mia Bella is heading towards New York so is traveling with us to Deltaville/Fishing Bay for the day. Then they'll move onward.
When we got to Steel Bridge, there was a freighter there that was being pushed next to a coal loading area by two tugs. The wash they set up in the channel was amazing. A little sailboat in front of us went swirling out of the channel. After observing another boat shift, we were ready and Wayne managed to keep on track pretty well.
Two more bridges to open - Gilmerton and Jordan and we are then done with having to open bridges on this trip.
Going past the Naval Shipyard at Norfolk we saw numerous Naval vessels. Two types that stood out from my point of view were the aircraft carriers (2) and a submarine. The aircraft carriers each had one plane on deck. Wayne said that before they come in to port they fly all the planes off to a land base. The submarine looked like it was fenced in, including below the water so they all appeared well protected. The patrol boats were busy zipping back and forth making sure that none of us or the tourist boats, that were out fishing, came close to the Naval yard.
We were originally going to Deltaville, but decided to anchor in Fishing Bay for the night and then head to Deltaville tomorrow. It made no sense to pay for a berth this late in the day (6pm) when we knew that there's a nice anchorage the next bay over. So we anchored in the same spot were we had picked up the Neptune's anchor the last time in 16-17 ft of water - deep considering what we'd been anchoring in LOL. When we got there Kwakatu was already there, and Mia Bella pulled into the Bay right next to us.
Today was our last day traveling on big water. It would have been a beautiful day to just sail, but we had to keep our motor running in order to keep up our speed to get here at a decent time. This is also our last day (theoretically) at anchor since tomorrow we'll be heading in to the marina to begin the process of moving our life ashore once more.
By the time we got settled, it had been a long day (63 miles traveled today) so instead of visiting Mia Bella, we had chicken salad and shared a bottle of wine then decided after sundown to get some sleep.