3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Wednesday and Thursday, May 4 & 5, 2011

Dozier's Retagga Point Marina:  Not much to write about.  We are spending our 4th night here.  NOAA is still giving out small craft warnings for the area and we would rather be safe than sorry.  We will try again tomorrow.  Keith said the wind has to be 15 knots or less before we will leave.  It is no fun out on Chesapeake Bay with 20 knot winds. 
For all you Looper's behind us; if you stay here, don't get pizza from Dano's.  Keith got terrible heartburn during the night and I am sick this morning.  Evidently we should have asked ahead of time because the dock hand this morning said that is a common occurrence.

Dozier's Regatta Point Marina
Rough water on Rappahannock River taken from the marina
Sunset at Dozier's Regatta Point Marina on 5-4-2011
CO's Comments:  It is a shame to see an old "Woody" neglected like this old Chris Craft below.  I have seen many on this trip in the same or worse condition.  It is too bad because people would pay good money for something like this.  I have been warned about the seas on the Chesapeake.  I have been told by some that they would rather be on the ocean than this bay. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Monday and Tuesday, May 2 & 3, 2011

Norfolk, VA to Deltaville, VA-Doziers Regatta Point Marina:  We got going early again and had about 50 miles to go for the day.  It was slow going out of Norfolk; it took us an hour to get to Hampton Roads and then another hour to get to our first way point in Chesapeake Bay.  After that we were traveling about 2500 rpm's.  On our way out we saw a Warship preparing for departure from Norfolk and we also saw another one coming into port.  It wasn't too bad of a day to begin with.  We had seas at our stern.  By about 11:30 or so the winds picked up some and seas were about 3' but still on our stern.  We got to our marina in Deltaville just before the winds really picked up.  It looks like we might be here for a while.

Day 2 at Deltaville:  We got up at 05:30 to get an early start to the day but it was very windy and NOAA had small craft warnings so we stayed here for another day.  Doziers Regatta Point Marina has a real good rate for Looper's; $1.25 per foot.

CO's comments:  We passed Warship 1 as she was getting ready to depart.  About 1/2 hour after we passed her, she was on the radio warning all mariners to stay clear.  If they didn't, they would be met with armed response and possible prison time.  She must have been loaded for bear.  I went to the Post Office for Bobbie today and there was a hand written sign stating they were our to lunch.  This is the first time I have seen a US Post Office out to lunch.

N37 33.580
W76 18.762

Leaving Norfolk, VA

Warship coming into port

Saturday and Sunday, April 30 and May 1, 2011

Dismal Swamp Visitor Center, NC to Waterside Marina, Norfolk, VA:  Got going about 07:30 to get ahead of the Kayak and Canoe races starting by 08:00 at the Visitor Center.  We also had to make the 11:00 opening of the Deep Creek Lock.  We crossed over into Virginia at 08:07 at mile marker 24.9.  The lock was terrible; we called several times, both on Channel 13 and by phone, but did not get an answer so we tied up to the bridge and waited.  The same person operates the bridge and the lock.  We later found out he was mowing the lawn.  By the time we got into the lock the wind had picked up some and we had a hard time keeping our bow close to the lock wall so the Lock Master tied my rope to the wall.  Keith was also having trouble with the 2nd rope; we were higher than the lock wall and nothing on the fixed bollard to keep his rope tight and the wind kept blowing if off.  I thought that the Lock Master forgot he tied my rope to the lock wall and Rich, from Chris Lea, got off his boat and untied it before the lock started to lower.  Boy, what a mess, I'll be glad to get back on the river system again.  We were just a short distance from Norfolk after locking through.  We got there early and had to wait on the automated bridge #7 which opens on the half hour.  Then, on the half hour, a train decided to come down the tracks so we waited for another half hour.  Going through Norfolk to our marina we saw a Troop Transport, an Aircraft Carrier, and a nuclear submarine in for maintenance.  We got gas and into our slip.  After 4 days without electricity other than our generator it was good to take a long, hot, shower at the marina rather than the short 10 minute ones on the boat.  Did a bunch of washing and by then it was 19:30.  We went to dinner at Joe's Crab Shack and then it was time for bed.

Day 2 at Waterside Marina, Norfolk, VA:  We took the day off and toured the Naval Museum, Nauticus and the battleship USS Wisconsin-pretty impressive.  The Wisconsin was the biggest battleship ever made.

CO's comments:  How many of you knew that the USS Wisconsin was also the fastest battleship; it can go 50 mph and can carry over 2.3 millions gallons of fuel.  At times it refueled other ships.  The cost was just over 110 million dollars to build in 1944.  I think the marines should have 2 battleships; one for the Pacific and one for the Atlantic, to support our marines in future battles. 

N36 50.626
W76 17.522

From our slip at Waterside Marina
in Norfolk, VA
A very busy port, Norfolk, VA

Now that's an anchor!

USS Wisconsin

Big Guns

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday, Elizabeth City, NC, to the Dismal Swamp Visitors Center, NC:  Three boats left to make the 07:30 bridge opening-Tony M, Chris Lea, and Kim Jo III.  It was a little chilly early this morning but when the sun came out it turned into a beautiful day; a big change from yesterday's winds and storm.  We went up the Pasquotank River to the Turner Cut and then went through South Mills Lock and the official beginning of the Dismal Swamp.  I can remember reading about the Dismal Swamp Canal over a year ago and thinking why would anyone want to go there.  It turns out to be a beautiful route.  I also remember reading about the depth of the swamp and they were not kidding when the said it is a constant 6 feet deep.  We were OK but Rich on Chris Lea has a 5 1/2 ' draft and he hit a few time but thinks he is fine.  There is enough room for 3 boats our size to tie up at the visitor center and it is free.  We have 4 boats so far so Chris Lea is rafting to Tony M.  We visited the center and museum and took a short walk in the swamp.  It was a very nice afternoon.  The Dismal Swamp opened officially in 1803.  In the late 1600s, the Dismal Swamp was much larger than today's swamp.  Early explorers, such as William Byrd II, thought the swamp should be used for agricultural use but the task proved unprofitable.  Also, during the time of slavery, the Great Dismal Swamp offered a refuge to runaway slaves.

N36 30.402

CO's comments:  I did bump the bottom once going through the Dismal Swamp.  Ever since we have been on the East Coast it has been very hard to keep the boat clean.  It seems like dirt just falls out of the sky.  In the past we have seen boats with a gold coloring on the bow which looks like a mustache.  Now we are starting to get one; it comes from the acid in the waters we are traveling.

Rafting at Dismal Swamp
Visitor Center on 4-29-2011
  Good-Bye Elizabeth City Dock-
Chris Lea was the last to leave

Driving up the Dismal Swamp
Canal on 4-29-2011
Going under the Dismal Swamp
Canal Bridge with Tony M behind us