Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Southward Bound

After leaving Yorktown we made our way once again to Hampton Public Pier Marina in Hampton. You know how you when you are moving on the water or road and you are in the vicinity of someone that maybe "we'll pass you somewhere?" Well we did. Rick and Betsy of Rick and Roll were leaving that same marina as we were approaching it. We literally passed them somewhere, that being there. The main purpose of stopping at Hampton was to do laundry and to jig the head to make it flush more readily. Mission accomplished on both counts.

In heading south out of Norfolk we had this bold plan to high-tail it all the way down to Coinjock Marina, about sixty miles south. We left technically before sunrise and as we entered the Elizabeth River, aka Norfolk Harbor, we could see most of the familiar landmarks of this area: Norfolk's skyline, the distant shore, and the seemingly endless line of US Navy warships at the Navy base. And it is hard to not miss them, too. There were four aircraft carriers sitting there as well as frigates, hospital ships, destroyers and various other battle monsters. But the distant horizon was hazy. The landmarks started to dissappear. Norfolk's skyline just vanished as a thick blanket of fog started to roll in from the west and south. Soon the monsterous aircraft carriers that were big as day and not too far from us vanished too. The western end of the harbor became non-existent to our eyes. We could see the wall of the fog approaching us. We decided the safe thing to do would be to head back to Hampton marina and wait an hour or two for the fog to burn off. So much for our bold plan to get to Coinjock. On top of that the trip down through Norfolk was dreadfully slow. For the first time that we've transited the harbor we had to wait for two of the lift railroad bridges. Time was getting eaten up. Then as if a punctuation mark on everything one of the last drawbridges that had to be transited, The Dominion or "Steel" Bridge, was slow on opening because of heavy traffic on the roadway backed up by the construction of it's replacement fixed bridge. We limped into Atlantic Yacht Basin in Great Bridge around 2:00 in the afternoon. So, including going back to the marina because of the fog it took us eight hours to cover twenty miles. That just plain sucked.

After Great Bridge we went to a few of the usual stops along the way, Coinjock (Yes, I had the prime rib.) and Alligator River Marina. Crossing Albemarle Sound was a bit roll-y but very manageable. After leaving Alligator River Marina, cruising down the Alligator River and a very long canal that connects it with the Pungo River our anchorage for the night was at a very accommodating anchorage on Pungo Creek, near Belhaven. Lots of room, plenty of depth and decent protection from the sort-of stiff southeastern winds that came up in the late afternoon and early evening. Very nice place to stop.

Next stop...Washington, North Carolina.



1 comment:

Linda said...

Hi Darrell,
Enjoying your trip vicariously. We love Hampton Roads, and have great memories of the Alligator-Pungo and Belhaven.

YOUNG AMERICA never got back to the east coast. We wintered in St. Pete, and now have transited back up north in the middle of the country---Minneapolis via Knoxville...Next stop, New Orleans!

Congrats on being published! We have multiple swatters aboard and use them liberally!

Be well, Linda and Fred (from Carabelle, way back when)