Sunday, May 16, 2010

Alligator River to Coinjock to Hospital Point, Norfolk

We left the G39 anchorage at 0640 and arrived at Coinjock Marina at 1415. We have made a ritual out of stopping here to fill the water and fuel tanks and wash down First Edition. It is an easy side-tie, and there is a restaurant at the marina serving copious portions of typically fried seafood, or cowboy sized portions of inedible prime rib. This is clearly just our opinion, because cruisers rave about the chunk of meat.

Next day we took off at 0730 for the most excruiatingly painful ICW segment, 5 bridges requiring opening (two on the hour only, even on the weekend) and one lock. Bridge tenders did not disappoint us and continued to display their ill-humor, seeming to take delight in holding everybody up and shouting their mantra over the airways "heh, you last sailboat there, better pull it up close or I'm not opening the bridge". The Great Bridge bridge tender shut the bridge on us with less than 5 minutes on our approach, so we tied up along the free dock which fortunately was open to wait for the next hour.

While here we had a visit from Paul and Claire from Our Turn, docked at Atlantic Yacht Basin nearby, and they got to witness the failure of the Great Bridge Lock to shut after we were all tied up alongside. Four sailboats and eight power vessels sat for an hour and a half while the lock folk tried clearing debris that apparently was jamming up the works. Finally upon exiting, we learned that the next bridge, right around the corner, would not open for 45 minutes so we did the bumper car thing once again.

We had hoped to catch up with Troubadour at the Old Point Comfort anchorage, but at 1730, pulled into Hospital Point with room to spare, too exhausted to try for another 10 miles. If you read the guidebooks you will be discouraged from using this anchorage, but we have found good holding and by the time you arrive, and if you leave the next morning, you won't be experiencing the wakes they talk about. But you are right smack dab in the middle of the Norfolk waterway.

Tomorrow, onward to our property on Mill Creek...

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