A week in Norfolk - a bridge too far

Position           36:51.14N 076:17.89W

Date                2359 Sunday 25 September 2011

 

Following our arrival in Norfolk, Sid’s wife, Rebecca drove down from their home near Washington and joined us for the evening.  Together with Gary and Greta we formed an OCC party for a meal out.  Rebecca stayed overnight and I was treated to an American breakfast of French Toast (translators note – think eggy bread with cinnamon and maple syrup).

 

 

Sid and Rebecca left on Monday morning and the boat seemed empty as I started to turn it into a floating laundry and to clean the boat ready for our 12nm journey on Wednesday down the Inter Coastal Waterway (ICW) to the Atlantic Yacht Basin (AYB) where I was to store the boat afloat whilst I returned to the UK.  It was then that complications set in.

 

Caduceus has an air draft of approximately 79ft.  The AYB lies just before a 65ft fixed bridge which marks our limit of navigation on the ICW.  The AYB lies beyond the Great Bridge Lock which protects it from tidal surges, it is well sheltered and the water is brackish which limits marine growth.  It is therefore an ideal place to store the boat afloat for the remainder of the hurricane season and into winter and until the Mate is fit enough to return to a life afloat. 

 

That is the good news, the bad news is that to get to the AYB it is necessary to pass through a number of opening bridges one of which, the High Rise Bridge, carries Interstate 64 and has a closed clearance of 65ft and was broken.  Because Interstate 64 is busy with commercial traffic, UK – think M25, the repair work was scheduled for the next Sunday, 25 September, the day after my booked flight back to the UK.  We looked at other possibilities but none compared to the potential safety offered by the AYB.  There was therefore no option but to sit it out and make the best of it.

 

So I sat at the bottom of Gary and Greta’s garden for a week.

 

 

Their hospitality and patience with a stream of queries and requests for assistance and advice were of great value.  Gary helped find suppliers for various bits and pieces so that I could use the time catching up on jobs from the ‘never ever’ list and generally providing some much appreciated company.

 

A new flight was booked for Wednesday 28 September and the week passed quickly.