"2004 - Stopover in Great Bridge" Great Bridge Travelogue by grandmaR

Great Bridge Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 33 photos

April 29, 2004 (continued)

GREENBRIAR GIRL (a Carver) and SEA WITCH pass us. I hear on the radio about a sailboat named IRON WOLF taking on water in Fleets Bay. A power boat NORTH WIND from RI passes - not a good pass.

Dark blue hulled sailboat LUNA AZUL from Road Harbour (BVI) who is flying a USA courtesy flag, but no country flag (and the boat and dinghy has Maryland numbers) asks us to slow down so he can go by quicker. Bob mutters under his breath but does as he asks. We slow down for power boats in the hope that they will also slow down and won't wake us. But sail boats can fend for themselves. Technically we are the stand on boat (have right of way) and should maintain course and speed, and the boat passing us is the give way boat until they are all the way past. I think LUNA AZUL was anchored in the North River last night, as he wasn't at any of the marinas.

0826 - I can see a lighthouse (presumably the Currituck Beach light in Corolla) with binoculars. I see more sailboats behind us.

0853 - GUSTIE (monohull sailboat with dark hull), throwing a large wake passes (doesn't have to ask us to slow down).

GUSTIE asks the CG on the radio what the Pungo Ferry bridge clearance is, and the Elizabeth City CG says 75 feet. The chart says 60 feet, and the tide boards are gone on the south side of the bridge. According to the tide boards on the north side the clearance is actually 65 feet. We see him later at the Pungo Ferry Marina tied up, and he leaves the dock just before we get there. The restaurant looks abandoned.

PHOENIX a registered boat with no home port passes. We get to the North Landing bridge in time for the 1130 opening. The bridge tells me (I'm the only one of the 4 of us that seems to be able to talk on the radio to the bridges) that he is only going to open one half of the swing bridge because they are having trouble with the bridge and the opening will be only 40 feet wide. That's plenty of room for us.

The other 3 boats (GUSTIE particularly) hang back and don't get right up there to the bridge to go through in a timely manner. But we all get through, and the other three boats rush ahead.

Bob and I have a discussion about whether the next bridge (Centerville Turnpike) is close enough to make it in a half hour. I think not. Bob thinks it is. Since we are in a canal which is straight (Albemarle Chesapeake) we can see the bridge. I see a barge come through on the noon opening of the Centerville Turnpike bridge. The sailboats do not go through. The barge came past us.

Eventually we get up to the Centerville Turnpike bridge and the other three boats are there. Bob is muttering about them getting up close to the bridge (there's little current or wind) and I go out on deck to take pictures of the bridge. LUNA AZUL who is last in line doesn't like our being so close to him - he's backing up from the boat in front and makes a remark about our having more faith in his ability to stop than he does. I don't say anything in response to that, but I think he'd probably do what was required to keep his nice shiny blue topsides away from our anchor.

I hear ANTARES going through the bridges a half an hour behind us. We get to Great Bridge and tie up at the Atlantic Yacht Basin at 1300 after 36.2 sm. The other sailboats go on through the bridge and lock. I see WILDFLOWER, CAPELLA and another Canadian sailboat at the free docks across the way. ANTARES and JAVA (trawler) and the other boats with them have to wait for the 1400 Great Bridge Bridge opening.

I look at my email on their computer and then we walk up to the Great Bridge Bridge. This has changed from a swing bridge to a bascule bridge. They are still constructing it, and the walkways are blocked. So we can't walk over to the shopping center for dinner. We go the other way (west) and there is an Italian restaurant, a Chinese restaurant, a Dairy Queen, and a Taco Bell/KFC there. We ate at the Toro Loco which was Mexican. On the way back to the boat we watched the 1800 bridge opening - all that machinery put in motion for a little boat about the size of a Grady-White.

I wrote up the previous 2 days and then went to the bathroom. Saw CAPELLA on the way back. They have head gasket problems and will be here for 5 days.

April 30, 2004 - Leaving Great Bridge

We cast off in a flurry. I pulled the bow in so Bob could get on and he thought he'd have to back out. That got the dinghy into the pilings, but eventually we made it. A power boat also came out from the marina.

Three power boats came up from Centerville Turnpike plus one dark hulled sailboat from NJ. We went through the Great Bridge Bridge at 0900 (we were the last in line.

Then the three power boats went onto the starboard side of the lock, and the other power boat, and the sailboat and us were on the port side. The sailboat had a line trailing on his port quarter, but he said he knew it was there, and that it was OK because he had a skeg rudder. I had some problems with the cleat.

Next: Norfolk

  • Page Updated Oct 2, 2010
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