ICW North: Great Bridge Lock, MM0, and Chesapeake Bay

Sep 5&6, 2017
Continuing our mission to haul out before hurricane Irma, we left our free dock at Great Bridge Bridge and began the final, busy stretch of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). 

First, we got diesel at Atlantic Yacht Basin and then pulled up to the Great Bridge Bridge for the 10AM opening. Immediately after the bridge, we entered the Great Bridge Lock and prepared to lock through. Supposedly, we dropped an entire 6 inches, but it seemed like absolutely nothing. 

Our VHF radio is constantly alive with military and commercial vessels negotiating passes and warning other boaters. 
Railroad Bridge and Gilmerton Bridge
Railroad Bridge, Norfolk area
So many bridges!
Aircraft Carrier at the Naval Shipyard
We made it to Mile Marker 0 - the official beginning (or end) of the Intracoastal Waterway. A cold front was threatening so we anchored for the night. We have heard tales of cruisers being caught on abandoned refrigerators here so we set a trip line on the anchor. 

Soon enough, the winds shifted and increased......and our anchor groaned and was pulling at a right angle. Great, we are anchored on a fridge! What a nightmare. All my fears are coming true! We just sat there in the rain listening to the anchor grind against the Un-identified Sunken Object (USO).  Suddenly we were moving! Our GPS registered 1 knot, which felt really fast! Luckily, we weren't dragging but had freed ourselves from the USO and were properly aligned again. Yay!
Stormy weather
 The next morning, we arose with the sun to head 52 miles across Chesapeake Bay. The cold front meant it was actually really cold and everyone had to find sweaters. 
Dawn in Hampton Roads area
Cold snap!
Military Hovercraft
Sailing Chesapeake Bay
 It was a perfect day to sail the bay. Sadly, nothing lasts forever! We removed the jib completely, arrived at the boat yard dock, and hauled out the next day. 
Hauled Out - Time to get to work!
Have you ever encountered a UFO or a USO? 

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  1. I don't think I want to anchor anyplace where I have to worry about sunken fridges. Scary and strange. How do the fridges end up there? Do they still have beer inside?

    1. We didn't check for beer - the water isn't very inviting here! I guess people just drive to the empty grass lot next to the anchorage and drop their junk off?

  2. Sadly, yes. USOs, that is. In the past, logging companies along the Inside Passage would just leave their equipment in an area after they were finished clearing it, so it's not uncommon to snag a cable or something in those anchorages. I love this morning's Hastings picture, by the way -- it gave me a good laugh.

    1. It's a real problem that could be solved by people cleaning up after themselves! Hastings is our goldilocks - he doesn't like the heat, but he doesn't like the cold either!


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