October 25, 2013.
Because of all the new equipment and systems on the boat I agreed with Christy to do the Chesapeake in a series of jumps rather than our usual overnighter. It's always easier to deal with issues in the daylight.
We left Annapolis at 0900 on Tuesday and headed out into a calm bay with very light winds.
Wednesday morning we woke to heavy rain and debated heading out. Then we did. We had cold, we had rain, we had wind. It was dreary and miserable but we also had ample wind from a good direction and we blasted south. We had wind with the tidal flow at the mouth of the Potomac so it was flat and fast.
On Thursday we had a nice day of sailing down to Mill Creek in Hampton Roads. With 3 days underway under our belts we decided to apply ourselves.
Transiting Norfolk can be a pain in the ass. And the pimple on that ass is the Gilmerton Bridge. The Gilmerton is closed from 0630 until 0930 every day for rush hour. We timed our leaving from Hampton Roads to allow us to make the 0930 opening.
We got to the lock at the Dismal Swamp after it should have been closed and made it in by the skin of our teeth. It turned out that the reason the locking wasn't done yet was that the temporary lock keeper was slow a shit. We didn't get out of the 1100 lock until 1230.
You don't want to be doing this section of the ICW in the dark. Crab pots, cypress stumps and Boogeymen are around every corner. We were in the last few turns when sunset came, we had a corner to go when Nautical Twilight ended and we arrived at the bridge in the pitch damn dark. We were happy though, once through the bridge we were going to anchor in a familiar spot so we called and requested a bridge opening.
The bridge keeper answered immediately, stopped traffic, hit the big “UP” button and nothing. He called down and said he was having a problem with the bridge. What is it with bridges today? Damn. He opened the gates and traffic started across the bridge again. He let traffic clear and tried the whole process again. Success!
We drove a couple hundred yards and dropped the hook after a 12 and a half hour day happy to be in North Carolina