Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Stop and Go....

Ah, Alligator River to Coinjock, a great day, and, except for the weird bugs that attack this time of year, uneventful. They are called "fuzzy bills" and they are apparently what we know as blind mosquitoes. They look a lot like mosquitoes, they are aquatic, but they don't bite. They do, however swarm by the thousands and attach themselves to any surface out of the wind and direct sun. All the enclosure and both sail covers were covered with them and they went halfway up the mast. We had to shut ourselves in the cockpit as much as possible to keep them away. They would fly behind our sun glasses and up our noses. PESKY!

We made good use of the water and electricity at Coinjock...hosed down the boat, drowning the majority of the fuzzy bills, and wallowed in the cool air conditioning that night! It was a pricey stop with fuel, dockage, electricity, and a dinner out, but we enjoyed it.

Here's the thing...50 miles from Coinjock, NC to Norfolk, VA. Not a bad day, but we travel between 5 and 6kts every hour, let's just use 5.5kts for ease. At Coinjock (Mile 50) boats are docked end to end with about a foot between them, so our plan to leave by 6:30am had to be pushed to whatever time either the trawler in front of us or the one behind decided to leave. The trawlers have bow thrusters so they can move sideways like a crab. So, we were able to get out about 7:00am when the Grand Banks behind us left. Now comes the puzzle. If you can figure it out so that we don't kill half our day waiting or traveling at ridiculously slow speeds, you WIN!

Mile 20.2 bridge opens on the hour and half hour

Mile 15.3 bridge opens on the hour and half hour

Mile 12.0 bridge opens on the hour only

Mile 11.3 lock locks on the hour and unlocks approximately on the half hour

Mile 8.8 bridge opens on the hour only

Mile 5.8 bridge opens on the half hour only and not at all between 3:30 and 6:30, and one last glitch...there is a railroad bridge immediately before this last bridge that may or may not close for trains and having no predetermined schedule.

So, math whizzes, what 'ya got? What we got was a lot of stop and go!

Well, it did take awhile, but we made it, amd even managed to hit the Gilmerton (Mile 5.8) before it shut down for 3 hours. Tom loves Norfolk...so much to look at and watch. Barb, not so much...the tugs with barges and ships everywhere make her a bit edgy. But you'll have to wait for the next post for our Norfolk experience...we seem to be trying to end our travels with a big finish!

Thanks for traveling along.

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