Day's log for Wednesday, July 11th, 2001 - Portsmouth to Pungo Ferry, VA

0945 - raised anchor in Willoughby Bay. Noted that number 1 battery did not start the engine. It had a very low charge. I made sure to have it switched in during motoring to see if it charged.

Went past several aircraft carriers, then some destroyers. A merchant vessel started to catch up with me coming in. I was concerned that I was in their way but they were permitted to do only 6 kts in the channel. Then some tugboats came out and started pushing the ship to its berth. I then saw this neat little charter vessel.

1150 - pulled into Scotts Marina, Portsmouth, VA to get diesel, ice, cokes, put on sail covers, and to check the engine. This was an interesting setup where I rang the buzzer and a guy came out in a golfcart to take me to the store. I made my phone call finally.

1330 - left dock w/ 9 gal of diesel

1400 - entered ICW at SM 0

Passed through Norfolk Naval Shipyard. I saw a lot of vessels in various states of repair or mothballs. Also there was one vessel in a drydock.

1500 - passed under N&PBL lift bridge. This was already raised.

1505 - passed under Jordon lift bridge. Workers were doing maintenance on the bridge and lifted it just high enough for me to pass under. I was expecting my VHF antenna to go plinking on the girders. It did not.

1515 - passed under N&W RY lift bridge. They raised this all the way

1523 - passed under Gilmerton bridge - about half a dozen sailboats and power boats were coming north but I was the only one going south. There was a lot of vehicle traffic across this bridge.

1525 - passed under I-64 bridge.

At this point I had to decide whether to take the Great Dismal Swamp Route or the Chesapeake and Albemarle Route of the ICW. I wanted to take GDS because there was Elizabethtown, NC on the route. But it came down to me taking C&A since I would be too late for the last (1530) opening of the lock two miles down GDS and would have to wait until morning.

1545 - passed under Rt 104 bridge. This one opened up on my request.

1559 - passed SM 10 on the ICW

1630 - entered Great Bridge Lock. All of C&A is essentially at sea level. However tides would result in a significant amount of current going back and forth through this route. Hence the lock. It is unique because each end of the lock chamber has two sets of doors, those that open into the chamber, and those that open pointed out of the chamber. I entered the lock. The lock master directed me to starboard side to in the lock chamber. She then closed the north doors. This lock lowered me a grand total of about six inches. Then the lock master opened the south doors and I was on my way.

1645 - exited the lock. When I started the motor I noted that No. 1 battery still had a weak charge.

1700 - passed throug Great Bridge swing bridge. I actually got there about 1654 and requested an opening. The bridge tender said he would open at 5pm. So I waited. As I passed through I saw the sign that said that the bridge is opened on the hour.

1730 - passed Centerville Tpk Bridge. This bridge opened on every half hour. I got there just in time

1740 - passed a pushboat w/ two barges. This is sort of like what it will be when I get to the Tenn-tom canal.

1830 - passed Northlanding bridge. This bridge tender had me wait until the scheduled opening.

Most of this section of ICW is swamp land and forests.

1930 - passing through rural areas

2005 - docked at Pungo Ferry Marina for the night

2100 - set up battery charger on No. 1 battery and noted that it showed green - done charging. Since this is not the case I left it in. Also had to locate a 15 amp connector as the ones dockside were 30 amp and had an incompatible plug.

I have a rather full schedule if I am to get to Charleston, SC on schedule. Andrea Lynn passes around 6 SM per hour. I need to get past about 430 more to get to Charleston.

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