Deltaville VA to Great Bridge VA, Day 3

We woke up in Deltaville feeling pretty good, my back has been bugging me, I think because of constantly ducking to avoid getting a freezing blast of water to the face.  Sleeping in the coffin they call an aft cabin on this boat probably didn’t help at all.  The marina at Deltaville was very pleasant, I think that if we did this trip in the summer it would be packed and very fun.  It was quite however this time of year.  Our goal when we left was to go to a place called Coinjock.  We had some of the biggest waters of our trip on this day to get from Deltaville to Norfolk.  After Norfolk however it was all skinny channels so we figured we would be home free if we could just make it there.  We hugged the western shore as much as possible, but it was difficult because there were a ton of flats and sandbars so really we were pretty far out and it was rough, but nothing like the day before.

At around noon we arrived at Norfolk.  It just so happened that as we were heading down the channel 3 Navy destroyers were headed out to sea.  We looked them up on our phones and found that these ships were something to be reckoned with.  I would not like to be on the receiving end of these ships firepower.  They have surface to air missiles for blowing up buildings, surface to air missiles for blowing up airplanes, and torpedoes for blowing up ships and subs.  And its all hidden from view, it could be a scientific ship for all you can tell from the outside.

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This stretch of Norfolk was mostly military or commercial shipping docks.  We cruised slowly through here and had a few beers to celebrate the calm water and protection from the wind.  It was extremely relaxing, in fact, it was the first relaxing time underway of the entire trip.

I have never hung out in Norfolk, but it looks like a very nice area.  This picture is downtown.

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Once we left the more industrial area things became more natural and unpopulated, but there are, we realized quite a few low bridges and we weren’t entirely sure if we could make it under them.  Who would have thought we would have to wait for drawbridges in a boat this small.  This bridge was really close.  We had about a foot to spare.

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As we cruised the channel we eventually came upon a lock.  Who would have though there would be locks in the intracoastal since boat sides are connected to the same ocean, but I assume its to keep the currents down.  There was less than a foot between the two sides.  We timed the locks pretty well, there was one other boat, a very large one in there with us.  Immediately after the locks is a drawbridge that has a 4 foot vertical clearance.  No way we were making it under that.  But apparently they time the opening with the locks. 

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Here you can see the difference between the two sides of the lock.  Almost none.  I am used to the Seattle locks where there is around a 20’ difference.  Right beyond the locks you can see the super low drawbridge.

Once the locks opened the larger boat went first and we followed.  The larger boat tied up to a public dock that we assumed is for people waiting for the drawbridge, so we followed and tied up there too.  Once we get through this bridge, there are two more drawbridges that open on the 1/2 hour, and they are about 1/2 hour apart at slow speeds, so it would be perfect.  Then we would be on our way to our destination at Coinjock, which is about 35 miles from the locks.  We got though the locks at 3, and figured an hour for the drawbridges, and then half hour-45 minutes to get to Coinjock, plenty of time before sunset.

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Dad went and talked to the people on the larger boat, a very nice couple and found that they weren’t waiting for the bridge, they were staying the night.  So basically we screwed up, the bridge didn’t open because we didn’t pull up to it.  Damnit.  This bridge opens only every hour with the locks, so we had to wait until 4pm.  The Centerville bridge, the next one, is closed from 4-6 for commuters.  So basically we missed our chance… if we waited until 6pm we wouldn’t make it to Coinjock until after dark, and we definitely don’t want to cruise these unknown waters in the dark.  So we ended up staying in Great Bridge.  So we tied up and got down to emptying our cooler of some beer weight.  We heard there was a fun bar/restaurant right across the canal from the bridge, so we decided to wander up there.  By the time we got there we were both a little saucy, but we managed to order some more beers and get some chicken wings in our bellies.  After we ate, I talked dad into playing some Golden Tee.  He isn’t nearly as good at golden tee as he is at real golf.

I crawled into my coffin at about 11:30 and fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

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