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Northbound ’19 – Travel Day 19: Coinjock, NC to Hampton, VA

Conditions: Overcast and cool to start, sunny & hot to finish.  Winds SW 10 – 15 mph, ICW calm.  Light chop through Norfolk Harbor

Distance traveled: 62 statute miles

Time underway: 7 hours 25 minutes

Average Speed: 7.3 kts

Max Speed: 23.6 kts

Fuel used: 58 gallons

Staying in Coinjock for two full days made a lot of sense.  After a stormy first day, the wind continued to howl on our second day and even if we had gotten going we would have had to sit out another day somewhere else as the Chesapeake, our next body of water once we finish the ICW, was forecast to be nasty.  It was a bit odd staying two full days at a place that most boaters simply pass through – most stay for fewer than eighteen hours – but we really love it there.  It’s peaceful and easy.  And for most of each day, we had the docks to ourselves as everyone else kept moving only to inevitably get stuck elsewhere.

Ready to get underway!

We closed a chapter and opened another one on this day.  It was the first day we had Captain Scott from Cabo Waboat cruising with us and it was our last day on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  We were also crossing another state line.  The final fifty miles from Coinjock to Norfolk require some careful planning if you don’t want to potentially wind up waiting for a bridge for almost an hour.  There are two bridges we have to open before reaching the Great Bridge bridge and lock (Great bridge is a town in Virginia).  All but one of the bridges opens on a schedule and the Great Bridge bridge only opens on the hour.  So we shoved off at 8:15 am, allowing for a little buffer in case we got stuck behind slow boats or had to slow a lot for other traffic, and we hit all of our marks all along the way.  We love it when a plan comes together.

Captain Scott at the helm on the North Landing River, first morning on the job.
North Landing Bridge which connects land travelers between Chesapeake, Virginia and Virginia Beach.
The trawler Acadia catches some great light as we pass.
Yes, the fella on the jetski is towing a fella on a wakefoil hoverboard! You see a lot of people fishing out here…this was a first.

This old dinosaur looks pretty rickety.
Centerville Turnpike Bridge.
Approaching the Great Bridge Lock.  Cruisers Note:  When transiting the Great Bridge Lock, you ideally want to tie up on the well-protected south side of the lock (port if northbound, starboard if southbound).  There are rubber fenders and there are bollards around which you should wrap a bow and stern line while locking through.  Don’t hesitate to hail the lockmaster for instructions if needed.  They are very helpful and can potentially help you secure your lines if needed.
Captain Scott loves his job!
The Admiral works the stern line as we lock through.

Jasper checks out the sticker from the first boat he ever did this trip on which was coincidentally at the very spot where we locked-through.
OLOH is now proud to be “stuck” at the Great Bridge Lock.
We’d say they are doing pretty good!

After clearing the lock we had just over eleven miles to go to complete the ICW.  The lock is also a major demarcation on the trip heading north as you cross a very stark line between nature and industry.  Our perfect timing was foiled slightly by the #7 Railroad Bridge in Norfolk which, while normally open, closed for twenty minutes just as we were approaching.  Two of those twenty minutes featured an actual train passing over but it’s automated and there’s nothing you can do but wait.  Of course, the wind picked up quite a bit in this spot making it a challenge to hold station as we waited.

Can’t limbo our way through there.  Is it possible to be mad at a railroad bridge?
Passing beneath these bridges and leaving behind the ICW was a momentous occasion.

The entire waterway through Norfolk Harbor was eerily quiet and calm with very few boats of any kind on the move, perhaps because it was Sunday and a bit windy, but that made it easier to stand off from the bridge and it was a real pleasure transiting this stretch which can be quite chaotic.

Captain Scott is a Navy man (as is our cousin Mike) and he really enjoyed seeing all these ships. Mike would have gotten a kick out of it, too! It’s quite impressive.
Jasper checks out the big gray ladies as we work our way through Norfolk Harbor.
View from the writer’s desk. It’s tough to get perspective on how big these ships are, but they are really big!

After passing mile marker zero we all congratulated ourselves and pressed on for an additional eleven miles to Bluewater Yachting Center in Hampton, Virginia.  It’s another big but quiet marina with very nice docks and the staff we encountered was super-friendly.  It’s just a quick stop before we start heading up the Chesapeake since the ocean looks like it doesn’t want our business this week.

The weather was warm enough to enjoy a little time up top sharing stories about our day.

See you out there!


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And that concludes your OLOH instructions. M/Y OLOH back to 1-6.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Happened on your blog from a posting you made on FB and when I dove into your site I was surprised to see our trawler in one of your photos! We remember you passing us on Acadia as we made our way up the North Landing River. It was refreshing to have a larger yacht go by that actually knew how a pass was supposed to be done! Nice photo of our Krogen...thanks for including us. Safe travels and will look forward to future passings and maybe even to share an adult beverage in a quiet anchorage.

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