After four full days of settling back into life aboard after a nine-month absence, we…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See you out there!
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