To Top Rack marina
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Mon 20 Jun 2011 22:46
Buck Island to Top Rack Marina, Norfolk, Virginia
The alarm was set for 4:45 but wasn't needed as we were woken by a terrific thunder and lightening show. Still dark we stayed put until a long distance rumble had come close enough to feel it. Looking out we saw an enormous load between a couple of tugs.
We had kept biting horseflies and flies at bay, but the cockpit was covered in hundreds of dead and dying mosquito's; they had found their way in where the ropes come through the canopy, attracted by the solar lights. All day I kept finding their hidey holes and got the Baygon into action. They had plans to come with us and torture us at the end of the day; well non of that. They had hidden by the score in the end of the main sail, all the ropes, the hydrovane, fishing reel, anywhere where they could hitch a lift. The sunrise this morning was a gentle affair as we set off at ten past six.
We had a noble onlooker checking out his patch
Around nine we caught up with the boys in the tugs and were excited to pass the 50 mile marker to Norfolk at five past seven. On a straight deeper bit the boys tucked over for us to overtake, as we passed we could see the enormous weight they were shifting was rusty pipes; causing quite a wake. I had to put on a lot of speed to get past. Another boat passed them and asked what it took to skipper a vessel like theirs "Be careful what you wish for Skip". We left them behind, in front the sky looked a bit dodgy but six raindrops and all became brighter.
Loved this trip even if just for the name - Pungo Ferry
We passed more markers and entered Virginia at nine thirty, Yepee. The houses suddenly went from having gardens to being small ranches with picket fencing to keep animals in.
Pleased to see some things don’t change as we approached our first bridge in the new state. An interesting place for sale - not sure what it could be used for. The Pungo Ferry Marina Store was not in good shape, but the pilings came in useful for nest building. The first time we have seen a 'submerged wreck Danger' sign. Not that it will deter these babies from stretching their wings, nearly ready to leave the nest.
This was a novel bridge, very low slung and we watched as the road swung back into place
A water skier and a boat registered in Gibraltar with a skipper from Scotland
We passed one of the loveliest houses ever
Finally the Great Bridge and Lock. As we waited for the bridge to open a crab swam past, another first. Through the bridge and into the lock, due to the knee saga I had to do rope duty which felt like wearing socks in the bath. I told the lockmaster all about it and he felt the need to take a photo of the great event. Traumatised, it was nice see the sign with the miles on it as we went on our way once again. Bear worked out we could not make it through the final two bridges; the lockmaster told us if we ate at the marina restaurant we could get free overnight at Top Side, off we went just a few miles. I had requested an easy slip and it proved to be the easiest yet; straight off the ICW and a simple turn on to the jetty. Cheapest fuel in Norfolk and free water. Sadly the restaurant was not open on a Monday, I dropped my lip and only got charged $1 a foot, bargain. Miles today 41. We heard the same rumble that started our day and low and behold the tugs and pipes passed by at a quarter to eight.
ALL IN ALL A GREAT FEELING TO BE SO CLOSE TO NORFOLK AND MILE 0