The Great Bridge Bridge to Norfolk
Thursday 22nd June – Norfolk
We were up at 05.00 to get ready to go through the Great Bridge bridge and then into the Great Bridge lock. The lock is a tidal lock between the non tidal ICW and the Elizabeth River.
The bridge opened at 06.00 and we went through with 8 other boats, a mixture of sail and motor yachts. Then straight into the lock and directed to tie up on the starboard side. There is a man who took our lines and looped around the bollards. The water level in the lock only changes by a maximum of 2.7 feet so there is no turbulence as the water comes in/out.
We were the first sailing boat out of the lock but the motor boats soon overtook us, and we let a mini flotilla of four sailing boats.
When we were about a mile from the last opening bridge, the Gilmerton bridge a tug pushing a barge pulled out in front of us. Gilmerton bridge is closed to cruising boats between 06.00 and 08.30, and as it was now only 07.30 we thought we may have to wait. So we kept close behind the barge as the bridges open for commercial traffic. The bridge operator was quite happy to let all the sailing boats through which we were all very pleased about!
After the bridge we phoned Gary to tell him we were through and he then followed our progress on AIS. When we were in visual range he talked us into the slip in front of the condominiums where he lives with Greta.
The slips are free, we just have to buy the owner a small gift of wine or chocolates, and electricity costs $10 a day. All much cheaper than a marina, and we are in down town Norfolk.
We will probably be here for about a week as vey windy weather is forecast for the next couple of days, then the wind turns north and then back to south-south west towards the end of next week. As we are going straight up the coast to Sandy Hook and then into New York we need the southerly winds.