November 15, 2013

November 15, 2013 Day 1    South for the Winter
Great Bridge Lock Wall
Chesapeake, VA
Total miles to date: 46

After spending three and a half weeks docked at Whitehouse Cove Marina in Poquoson, VA, filled with boat projects and maintenance, provisioning, taking care of doctor appointments, celebrating Joyce’s birthday, and visiting family and friends, we are heading south!  

Cold weather has settled in (as it should in November in Virginia) and we left the dock at 0900 warmly dressed in turtlenecks, sweatshirts and jeans.  Our travels today took us out of the Poquoson River and into the Chesapeake Bay. From there we entered the Hampton Roads area and the Elizabeth River.  This is a very busy area with the Norfolk Naval Base filled with many types of warships.  They were just guiding a submarine out after we passed but we could hear stern warnings on the radio to all boats to maintain a distance of 500 yards.  There were many tugboats on the river today as well. 

Our big “unknown” was the status of the Great Bridge Lock. It has a broken valve that controls the water level and the lock can only be open at certain times.  We were able to transit the lock (we were in the last group of the day), but we made it at 4:15pm!

There is a free lock wall just south of the lock and we made a last minute decision to tie up to it for the night. It was starting to get dark and we were tired, so it was a good decision.  We are less than a quarter mile from the Atlantic Yacht Basin Marina and we will stop there first thing tomorrow for fuel. We are also having trouble with the port engine starter, so we will check it out while we are there. 

We have a long day tomorrow to cross the Albemarle Sound and enter the Alligator River in North Carolina. For this we need a calm day! 

It is good to be back on the water again. Our plans are to spend much of the winter in Florida with Marathon as our destination for February. If we like it there we may extend our stay into March.  We have not ruled out the Bahamas or the west coast of Florida either for March and April.  Stay tuned…

As Dr. Seuss says in his book,
“Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”