We've Made It to Norfolk, VA!
10 June 2007
We arrived in Norfolk, VA today and were surprised to find a couple of old friends. There at the City Docks sat our friend from Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, the Bluenose II. We last saw this beautiful schooner in September in Gloucester, Mass where we watched the Gloucester Schooner Festival and Races. What a thrill to see it again as it has been almost a year since first seeing it in Lunenburg.
Our second surprise of the day is to arrive at our anchorage and see Janet and Geoff Warren on Pegusus - whom we also met in Lunenburg! Last we saw of them was in April in the Bahamas. It is certainly a small ocean!
This is our 10th day of travel since we left the Charleston area on June 1st. We have been on the go each day with different challenges and different rewards each day. We have waited and waited bridges, been "waked" by more speeding boats than I can count, seen 3 alligators in one day (one of them swimming right across our path!), seen many, many beautiful Osprey guarding their nests, and anchored in just the most beautiful little places with everything so green and fresh.
We spent one night at a marina - Alligator River Marina. We were able to get long hot showers, do the laundry, wash the boat and fuel up. The folks there were very friendly and helpful with very reasonable rates. We even had the paper delivered to us in the morning. I would certainly recommend them.
We arrived at Elizabeth City, NC with the intension of scurrying on past in order to make the scheduled lock opening in the Dismal Swamp. As you will recall, Elizabeth City was one of our favorite stops on the way south. Not this time! We arrived only to find out that the ICW was closed and we could not proceed - because there was a jet boat race going on blocking the channel. We really couldn't believe it! After an hour and a half of waiting around (there were 3 of us waiting), they finally stopped long enough for us to get through. Then we had to run our engine much faster than we ever had before just to make the lock opening. The lock tender held the opening for us and we just made it by 3:45! It was really nice of him to hold it for us.
So we made it to the N.C. Welcome Center for the evening. The Welcome Center has a 150' dock that is free to boating visitors. We tied up with our new best friends - Barry and Joyce on "Serena", enjoyed cocktails on the beautiful grounds and then were up and off the dock at 5:30 this morning.
And now we are in Norfolk and - weather permitting - we will be in the Chesapeake tomorrow!