We are home. Back in Annapolis. We arrived yesterday, but decided we’d like to spend one last night at anchor – at the mouth of our creek just off the Severn River. And this morning we pulled into our slip and were home.
We left Great Bridge, VA, on Sunday, with the 7:00 a.m. bridge/lock. This lock doesn’t lift you over anything, it just equalizes the water level between Currituck Sound and the Chesapeake – about a foot and a half rise in our case. You loop fore and aft lines over the big yellow cleats along the side and then wait for the lock to fill. After the doors at the north end open, a green light will appear and you can exit the lock.
You can see the bridge behind us. It’s a huge bascule bridge, with two opening spans.
A bit of fog made it hard to find the marks. At the next bridge we advised the bridge tender that we were going to wait until the fog cleared a little, but a southbound boat on the other side said the fog wasn’t bad there, so we continued through. And then, finally, the LAST bridge – Gilmerton. [You can see a slanted, open bridge just before Gilmerton – it’s an (almost always) open railroad bridge.]
Gilmerton is a lift bridge that rises like an elevator between the two erector-set towers. We watched it go up and then it stopped. Uh, oh – I thought it had malfunctioned. But then the bridge tender called out on the radio: “You have 70 feet.” Wow! And it was not even halfway up.
Norfolk is full of boats. Military boats.
Tugs with barges.
Here is the Norfolk skyline: tall buildings, cargo unloaders, a cruise ship and a freighter. Our last view of the ICW.
Then another 50 miles to Deltaville – a very long day.
And 60 miles to Solomons Island the next day. We dodged thunderstorms all the way, but had little wind. At one point, the US Coast Guard came on channel 16 to tell us to switch to two-two-alpha for a severe storm alert with hail and strong winds – just to the south of us. Whew!
Here is a little guy we picked up along the way, climbing our port shroud.
Mostly we killed ankle-biter flies while Auto steered.
Finally, we were at Drum Point and Solomons Island.
We anchored just as a dark cloud passed over.
It had a big hole in it – no rain.
Early the next morning we were on the Bay again, rounding Cove Point and turning north.
It was hazy, with light rain, but no wind. We made our way up the Bay, dodging these:
Finally we were at the Thomas Point Light.
And could see the Bay Bridge.
We gave King Neptune his due –
And decided to spend one more night at anchor. The next morning, this crabber came into our creek and rocked us gently awake.
We motored up the creek to our dock. Our daughter Amelia and son-in-law Grant (who moved to CA while we were on our trip), left us this happy note on the home computer, along with dinner in the freezer and an amazingly clean house.
A huge thanks to them. And to all of you who followed our blog and sent us your support, and to everyone who helped make our trip safe and happy.