|The Alligator River Canal
After leaving Bellhaven we cruised the Alligator River, encountered our first swing bridge, and pushed on across a stormy Albemarle to tie up safe and exhausted at the Coinjock Marina. We decided to stay there for a couple of days to recover, enjoy their famous prime rib, and then motored on through the beautiful marshlands to the free docks at the Great Bridge.
|The public park at the Great Bridge, perfect for long dog walks
At Great Bridge we were treated to a quiet and peaceful park perfect for long dog walks along the river, and giggled at the honking geese expending great effort to keep all their young together as they clumsily learned to negotiate the river banks and swim.
We were going to just stay the one night, but dark clouds rolled in so we decided to stay an extra day, and used our rainy downtime day to visit the Great Bridge Museum.
|The Great Bridge is a drawbridge which opens on a schedule tied to the raising and lowering of the lock right behind it. On one day we counted 16 boats stacked up waiting for it to open.
|Our first lock had a difference of only 14", and was easy to negotiate.
|We met this fuel tanker in our lane. We decided to let him have the whole thing.
We scurried to get out of the way of a fuel tanker that surprised us around one bend, its two tugs pushing and pulling it into place for fuel off-loading. We waited for quite a long time at a railroad bridge so long trains of cargo and fuel could go by, Minerva dancing in circles to keep her place in line despite the current and the wind.
|Lord Nelson's house, Yorktown, built around 1730
|Escaping this skinny water marina meant a 5:30 am departure. Tides wait for no one.
|The anchorage in Galesville is also the starting point for the Wednesday night beercan races. We became an obstacle for the racers as they jockeyed for the best starting position.
|Chloe stopping to smell the flowers at Solomon Island
|Coast Guard and Navy ships abound in this region, and there is always something interesting going on. On our way into Solomon Island we saw three fireboats practicing.
And then we rounded the corner, and we were there.
|Bert Jabin Yacht Yard, home for a month
We settled into a slip on G Dock at Bert Jabin Yacht Yard. This place is crazy busy. They store boats on the hard, using travel lifts and huge forklifts and a mountain of jack stands. Everything you need to get work done on your boat is here; professionals ranging from gel coat repair to diesel mechanics roam freely throughout the property.
|Sling lifts and oversized forklifts at Bert Jabin Yacht Yard
|Boat rests on the hard, still wearing its winterized shrink wrap despite the May heat
|A forest of jack stands supports an assortment of boats on the hard
On Tuesday we were shaken to the topsides with loud noises, the Blue Angels were practicing for the Naval Academy commissioning ceremonies by doing repeated low flyovers right over our heads. It went on all day. It was so loud. And so awesome. On Thursday our friend Ceri came to visit and we went downtown to an outdoor restaurant downtown and were interrupted from our cozy conversation by a great cheer from everyone seated in the area. The Blue Angels were walking amongst us in blue coveralls with yellow stripes. We tried to follow them into the bar but the crowd swallowed them up.
|Painkillers at Pussers
|All quiet between storms on the G dock
Minerva needs a new fuel lift pump, we'll settle here for a month or so and swap it out. This seems like the right place to get it solved.