Posted by: tflana | November 1, 2015

Second Year Down the ICW

Early sunrise over Norfolk, VA to begin part 2 of of ICW southern journey

Early sunrise over Norfolk, VA to begin part 2 of of ICW southern journey

The Captain and crew of S/V Scout has started the second year traveling south along the ICW.  We made it to the start in Norfolk on Thursday, October 29th.  This day was important because of all of the concerns about the restrictions being placed on the first railroad bridge we would be going under, over the past week of so, friends have sent messages regarding the back up of boats trying to get under this bridge.  One report stated there were 71 boats awaiting the 9am opening, this was not something we wanted any part of.  On our start out date, the restrictions were not starting until 11am, and anyone who has traveled with me over the past year knows I like to plan all of our trips to the minute and this usually means Brian will get to see the sunrise as we pull up anchor.

One of many bridges in the Norfolk area that caused a tedious trip for us coming north in the spring, this trip without any issues

One of many bridges in the Norfolk area that caused a tedious trip for us coming north in the spring, this trip without any issues

The other boats in the Great Bridge Lock with us

The other boats in the Great Bridge Lock with us

Leaf peeping while we hang in the lock

Leaf peeping while we hang in the lock

Brian holding the stern line in the lock, only a 2 foot rise this time of year, in and out in minutes

Brian holding the stern line in the lock, only a 2 foot rise this time of year, in and out in minutes

The lockmaster at the Great Bridge Lock, such a sweetie, she even had trick or treat candy for all of the boats

The lockmaster at the Great Bridge Lock, such a sweetie, she even had trick or treat candy for all of the boats

The line up at the Great Bridge Bridge

The line up at the Great Bridge Bridge

We made it through another bridge without mishap!

We made it through another bridge without mishap!

This year we decided to go the VIrginia Cut instead of the Dismal Swamp based on the chance we could sail as much as possible.  There is a whole lot of motoring involved over the next 1000 miles and we sail when we can. The goal for Thursday was to get to Coinjock, NC to enjoy the famous Prime Rib dinner while at the marina, a reasonable 49 mile, 1 lock and the potential for many bridges if our timing was not right.  The trip was a little cold, a little more motoring than Brian wanted, but all and all a good start.  All bridges and lock timings were great, the wind helped us across the Currituck Sound, and we could already taste the dinner that awaited us.  That is until we met a tug and barge at the a very narrow area with winds against it.  The tug captain had entertained us with radio chatter for the past 30 minutes, and then it was our turn to get past him.  Thank goodness for the AIS system Brian installed on the boat, we could see him/he could see us.  The request from the tug captain was for us to turn back until he got around the bend.  Well okay then, the last barge we met with last spring sent us aground, I was willing to turn around and loose a few miles to keep us off of the mud.

G63 in the Currituck Sound is the Virginia / NC border, we are going south!

G63 in the Currituck Sound is the Virginia / NC border, we are going south!

The new cold weather attire for me on the boat! Makes for a much happier Admiral

The new cold weather attire for me on the boat! Makes for a much happier Admiral

On Friday, we left Coinjock Marina fully stuffed with Prime Rib, full water tanks, and all of the laundry clean.  Always a good feeling.  Scout had another 10 hour day ahead of her, with the hope of mostly sailing into the cellular dead zone along the Alligator River.  It could not have been a better day, we sailed all but 2 hours of the trip.  Favorable conditions across the Albemarle Sound, and the northeast wind kept us sailing all the way down the river to our anchorage.   This area to anchor is the most serene beautiful area of the whole trip.  There were 10 other boats anchored within 2 miles of us, but not a human voice could be heard. It was a chance for us to relax, talk, and plan the next few days of our trip.  The relaxation part was key because the next day was going to be 6 hours of monotonous motoring down the Alligator River – Pungo River Canal, all straight, all motor.

Sailing across the Albemarle Sound with a northeast wind

Sailing across the Albemarle Sound with a northeast wind

Sunset along the Alligator River, the cellular dead zone

Sunset along the Alligator River, the cellular dead zone

Even Pickles is bored with motoring along the canal

Even Pickles is bored with motoring along the canal

Motoring along the straight away cuts is the most painful part of our journey for Brian.

Motoring along the straight away cuts is the most painful part of our journey for Brian.

While we were in Norfolk, Brian realized our water pump was leaking around the seal on the engine and of course, we couldn’t find the new spare anywhere on the boat.  Captain’s Cove Marina was kind enough to ship us a new one to the next marina we were going to stop at.  We have paid for a lot of docks this week, but we need this part.  The plan was to stop at The  River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC to work on the boat, reprovision, and await the much needed water pump.  The best part of this marina is I get to use the golf carts anywhere in the Belhaven City Limits, so yes, I am going cruising today for groceries!  The anchorage here is huge, so if the part doesn’t arrive by Monday, we will probably go out on the hook.

Sunset off the dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC.  Happy Halloween

Sunset off the dock at The River Forest Marina in Belhaven, NC. Happy Halloween

Nothing glamorous or amazing this past week other than we are continuing to live our dream!

Favorable winds and smooth sailing to all of our friends!


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