18th & 19th Nov 2011- Leaving Virginia and back down the ICW

Sat 19 Nov 2011 11:41
We had a lovely time in Norfolk and a big thank you to Gary and Greta (OCC representatives) for looking after us again.
With the nights drawing in and no sunrise until 0600hrs, we had approximately 10-11 hours of daylight to get safely anchored at our next destination.  Although the trip from Norfolk to Great Bridge was only 12nm, we had to time the opening of 4 bridges, which took nearly 4 hours.  After a leisurely motor on a bright sunny day, we arrived alongside the wharf at Great Bridge followed by Chris & Steve on Scott Free. 
DSC_2892 DSC_2896
Leaving industrial Norfolk, passing Naval ships (above) and submarines (above right)
DSC_2897 DSC_2900
A couple of bridges en route (usually opened every 1/2 or hourly)
The entrance to the Dismal Swamp, which is just too shallow for Nimue’s draft!
We woke up before sunlight to an extreme frost and I had to be very careful not to slip on Nimue’s teak decks.....!  It was pitch black as we slipped our lines and waited for Great Bridge to open at 0600hrs.  Scott Free led the way, but no sooner had we passed through, when we could see some very bright lights looming out of the fairly thick morning mist.  It turned out to be a wide beam tug, pulling along a very large barge (just what we didn’t want to see at that time of morning)!  Both Scott Free and ourselves, placed ourselves as close to the banks as safely possible and the barge, after spotting us passed within a few feet of both of us!
After that we were blessed with some terrific sights as the sun rose and the mist eventually burnt off!
Very early morning waiting in the early morning mist for bridges to open on the ICW down to Great Bridge
and......gliding by the fast becoming wintery banks of the ICW
View from Nimue and Scott Free waiting for one of the bridges to open


A real flavour of the ICW on a late autumnal morning (Scott Free)