"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

October 6, 2012

Oct. 5 - Great Bridge, VA


Atlantic Yacht Basin

Today was going to be an easy, short day. It's only 27 miles between Hampton and Great Bridge, but there are several bridges and a lock in between. Each only opens once an hour, we missed the Gilmerton Bridge by a few minutes. We radioed a head and told them we were almost there, but they wouldn't wait...it opened and closed for just one boat. It was just beginning to close as we came up, so we threw out the anchor and waited an hour. We could hear chatter on the radio about the Great Bridge lock and bridge being closed. As we waited for the Gilmerton Bridge we heard it close and open twice, and were told by the bridge tender it was open as we passed through the bridge. We thought it was going to be a quick run from there. We made the Steel Bridge with only a short wait and we’re on our way to Great Bridge. We radioed the lock and all seemed well...then we were told it was shut down…AGAIN. No one would tell us anything...then more chatter on the radio and a police boat was allowed to lock through. They had divers in the water between the lock and bridge looking for a body. The body of a 60 year old man was spotted in the water earlier and now they were looking for his grandson. About two hours later the police found the body and cleared the lock for operation. What a horrible reason for our delay, our hearts go out to their families. The Great Bridge lock was our first and last of the season. Making a total of 106 locks for the year.

We are back at the Atlantic Yacht Basin. We left here on April 24. It felt a little like coming home, lots of familiar faces and a warm welcome. We tired up on the fuel dock first and took on 240 gallons of diesel. It takes a while to pump that much fuel into our boat and it was after 4:00 before we were finally docked for the evening. That wasn't the end of our day...just the beginning of our land execution. Our car had been parked here for six months and it looked wonderful, but the battery was dead. Sebastian, the dock master, helped us get it started. We knew it wouldn't hold a charge after being dead for so long, so off we went to have it replaced at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately the first Wal-Mart we choose didn't have an auto motor department. Back in the car, through traffic and across town to another one. Just a little info for anyone who hasn't been in the Norfolk Virginia Beach area...traffic is insane here and there are way too many people in this small area surrounded by water. It's crazy! The good new is they replaced the battery free of charge and we have a new two year warranty. Our next adventure was trying to find an oil filter for the boat and getting dinner...I won't even go into all that, except to say it was after eight when returned to the boat with a sack of burgers from Wendy's. Not exactly the day we had planned. Life on land is a lot more stressful than being on a boat. I miss the cruising season already.

Traffic around Norfolk
Leaving the Gilmerton Bridge
This is a view between the Great Bridge lock and bridge - police are busy
Finally in our last lock
Great Bridge bridge going up...almost back to our car

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