Voyage 2008: Chapter 2

Passage to Wilmington NC

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7 Oct 2008, Leaving the Bay for Norfolk, 36 50.69 N/ 076 17.99 W

We awoke at 0530 ET as we needed a full day to arrive at Hospital Point before dark. Engine was on at 0640 ET and we discovered that the wash down pump was not working. It had lost prime with all of the pounding on our trip to Reedville. Bob quickly re-primed the pump and we were off at 0700 ET. Wind on the Bay was NE@5-8 kts. Needless to say we motorsailed a lot with only the genoa. As we approached Norfolk, we called BoatUS to extend our insurance policy, called friends of the family to arrange a meeting, and then motorsailed up the Norfolk Channel to the Elizabeth River. At 1800 ET, we anchored at Hospital Point in the midst of many crabpots.
The next day, we did some more toy debugging and found that our AIS receiver had gone 'bonkers' and was sending garbage to the chartplotter. Fortunately, we had a spare AIS to verify the condition. Then we hopped in the dinghy, went to the dinghy dock at Waterside Marina, dumped our trash, and took a much needed shower. Not bad. Bob is fascinated with the Battleship Wisconsin located in downtown Norfolk. Wonder why USBS Wisconsin is not in Wisconsin? Later, we went to Hooter's to meet some family friends where we met the nicest family of Christine, her husband Ronnie, and their kids. It was nice to see her again. BTW, the stock market began its rapid drop of 1,300 points today. Quite sad.

8 Oct 2008, Entering the Dismal Swamp Canal, 36 44.75 N/ 076 20.48 W

Today, we saw a destroyer being towed to the drydock area. My, he moved slowly. There were boats with big guns protecting the armada. Glad we are still anchored. Later, we jumped into the dinghy and headed for town again. Ann wanted to get som non glass glasses. Go figure. Well, we found them. Ann is happy. At 1320 ET, we left Hospital Point for the Deep Creek locks of the Dismal Swamp Canal (DSC). Our plan was to anchor north of the locks until tomorrow. We had to deal with the Jordon and Gilmerton bridges which are not problems outside of 'rush hour'. However, the Norfolk-Southern #5 railroad bridge was quite troublesome today. It closed for 30 minutes at a time and did this 3 times in three hours. This is usually not the case but today it delayed many a cruiser. Fortunately, we budgeted enough time so that the delay did not impact us.
As we hand not planned to enter the canal today, we arrived at the Deep Creek lock 20 minutes late for the last lock. However, Robert, the lockmaster opened the gates for us. So into Deep Creek lock we went. When we entered the lock, he suggested that we tie up on the 250' face dock just south of the lock as the Visitor's Center was too far to reach in daylight. Also, Robert invited us to the lock house for coffee tomorrow.

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