Saturday, June 23, 2007

May 31

May 31. We were up and underway by 0730. The day would turn out to be a long tedious affair with 9 bridges to open and 1 lock to go through. It ended up taking all day to go 35 miles.

The first few bridges only opened on the hour or the half hour so you had to calculate what speed you needed to maintain in order to make it to the next bridge in time for its scheduled opening. Things were going pretty well for us as we hit the first few bridges just right but we caught up to some boats in front of us at the only lock we had to transit.

There was a tug pushing a barge with us and he was asked by the lock keeper to pull into the empty lock before anyone else. After he was secured to the starboard bulkhead in the lock there was only a 14 foot opening down the port side of the entire lock. That only meant about 6 of the 8 remaining boats would be able to fit in this lock opportunity. Some dipshit in a 60 foot Sea Ray barged into the line of boats to make sure he got in but butchered his approach so badly that that the lock master sent him back out and locked the barge through alone. This meant that we all had to wait for the next lock cycle, so our half hour lock experience lasted for an hour and a half.

The rest of the trip north was pretty uneventful although at one bridge we did end up with 16 boats waiting for the opening. The drivers on the bridge were stuck there for quite a while as we all had to get through.

For the night we anchored in a place called Mill Creek. It’s on the north side of Hampton Roads and was an excellent anchorage. Almost complete protection in every direction from wind and waves; it also had 10 feet of water under you at low tide.

On the way into was part of the Navy’s collection of experimental vessels. There were at least a dozen exotic looking different craft.

After anchoring Christy made dinner for the Bedazzles and ourselves as tonight we are saying goodbye. They are heading north to the Annapolis area and we are heading up the James River to visit Jamestown.

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