Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hampton, VA - at Downtown Hampton Public Piers

Exiting the canal, you start high and drop down - this time the lock door worked!
The trip through the Dismal Swamp Canal north of the visitor center was much better than the southern section. We didn't hit anything substantial, just a branch or two and we made the 11:30 lock opening. The northern section is generally deeper than south of the visitor center, usually 7 to 8 ft vs 5.5 to 6.0 for the southern section. So if a log does find its way to the bottom of the canal, you're more likely to pass over it without bumping in the northern part.

One of the several railroad bridges - it lowered right after we passed through
Exiting the locks, it was a race to reach the Gilmerton Bridge opening at 12:30. The bridge only opens on the half hour, once per hour. If you miss the 12:30 opening, then the next one is at 1:30! I rev'ed the engine to 2500 rpm and we were making 8.0 kts and made the bridge with no minutes to spare. We passed by the naval yards which had patrol boats out to ensure that no one got too close to the ships in dry dock. At one time I got too close to shore on the other side and I heard a loud speaker saying to stand off - I did a right angle turn to the middle of the channel, no one chased me so I guess it was okay. Everyone seems on a high alert around here.

Coming into our dock at the Hampton Public Piers, no one answered our calls to the marina, not on VHF and not on the cellphone. So after a few minutes, we decided to come into an empty dock. Some help arrived from fellow boaters already docked and we made it in okay. It's a little chancy since the docks are only 1/2 boat length long, limiting where to tie up. At first we ran the A/C to cool off but now we may run the heater at night, it's very cool now.

Our plans are to rent a car Thursday for provisioning and renewal of a subscription for Ann's blood pressure medicine and maybe see some sights too. The marina has a two for three deal where you pay for two nights and the third night is free so we'll stay three nights and leave on Saturday for Chesapeake Bay.