North on the ICW to Norfolk - Down the creek with a paddle

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Wed 1 Feb 2012 22:00

Position           36:51.15N 076:17.89W

Date                2200 Wednesday 1 February 2012


With a booked opening of the Rise Bridge for 12:15, having given the required 24hrs notice, fuel taken on board and Gary having arrived to help crew set off from the Atlantic Yacht Basin ready to take the 11:00 opening of the Great Bridge Lock and Bridge.



Greta Bridge was the site of a decisive battle of the Revolutionary war, Great Britain 0 United States 1, and since being here in September work on the revamped commemorative monument and area has been almost completed.



‘The best-laid schemes o’ mice an ‘men gang aft agley’ and all that.  Getting through Greta Bridge Lock at 11:00 was fairly critical in order to make the 5nm to Steel Bridge for the 12:00 opening and then the 1.5 nm to the High Bridge.  This did not allow for a tug towing a large pipe going the other way and having a great deal of difficulty manoeuvring into the lock.


We eventually cleared at 11:20 and made best speed to Iron Bridge whose keeper kindly delayed the opening and arrived at the High Level Bridge on Interstate 84 at 12:20 in time to watch an agonisingly slow opening of one half followed by the other.  Oh the satisfaction of knowing that thousands of vehicles stationary on I84 really hated us!



Other than a wait of 20 minutes for a train at the Gilmerton Bridge the remainder of the trip was uneventful even if Gary thought that I was likely to end up in Guantanamo if I took photographs of the navy ships undergoing repair – if the CIA are eavesdropping on this – I did not.  We even managed half a pizza (hot) before arriving at Pilot House at which time the benign wind changed into 20 knots blowing us off the dock which gave friend Frank some unexpected exercise getting us alongside.  Frank’s dog Matthew, a black labrador, thought this great fun and has an interesting habit of sticking his tongue in any ear that comes within range, very distracting when you are reaching to put on springs.



A trip to West Marine for charts to cover the journey, an amazing deli sandwich, pastrami on swirly patterned bread, and my first visit to Costco with G&G for provisioning finished off the day.  Stowing the goodies without the mate’s expertise was a challenge.