Leave the aircraft carrier to port and then down the ICW

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Mon 26 Sep 2011 12:00

Position           36:43.15N 076:14.22W

Date                1300 Monday 26 September 2011


Joy, it is Monday, they have fixed the bridge and we have a booking for an opening at 1100.


At 0900 we slipped, all systems working and with Gary and Greta as joint pilot.  It was then off up the Elizabeth River and down the ICW, leaving the aircraft carrier to port and passing the 0 mile point on the ICW



and under the first bridge.



The Atlantic Yacht Basin lies at mile 12 of the ICW and we were looking to take about 3 hours allowing time waiting for bridges.  This was just as well as the bridge keeper of the Gilmerton Railroad Bridge appears to have to keep the bridge closed if there is a train within a couple of hundred miles of the bridge.



The Railroad Bridge and the Gilmerton Highway Bascule Bridge, immediately before it have to open as a pair and after a deal of backing and filling, marking time, we were through and on to the much awaited High Rise Bridge.


A quick VHF call to announce our presence and down went the road barriers and the M25 ‘look a like’ ground to a halt and quickly backed up as far as the eye can see; it almost made our delayed passage worthwhile.  Work must have been ongoing as there was a whole troop of chaps in yellow reflectives and hard hats there to watch our stately progress.



The keeper of the next bridge, Dominion Highway, redeemed our impression of the office of Bridge Keeper by not only being charming but delaying the hourly opening by 5 minutes to allow us to get there and pass through.  It was hard luck to the motor boats that we had followed through Gilmerton and had been able to pass the High Rise without waiting for it to open.


The final challenge was the Great Bridge Bascule Bridge immediately followed by the Great Bridge Lock where we would drop 3 ft down into the Virginia Cut and immediately find our destination.

Our pilots seemed relaxed about the whole affair whilst we waited for the lock to empty.



The AYB were ready to receive us and guide us ‘round the back’



 and into our winter berth where were all secure by 1300.