Well, the prime rib was all that it was cracked up to be at the Coinjock Marina Restaurant - who would have ever guessed?? After cocktails on Gypsies, we headed up into the restaurant to do battle with the famed 32 ounce prime rib - upon further reflection we each thought that might possibly be more than we could handle so we "settled" for the 16 ounce version!!
The next morning we rolled out of the marina bright and early for our 12 mile trip up to Great Bridge where there are free docks and a great Mexican restaurant according to our friend Di on Aurora! As if we really needed more food - after the night before I don't think I need a meal again for at least a week, but OK I don't want to be the party pooper - if I must!! Usually a 12 mile trip is very short but we are in the land of the low clearance bridges - not even a gnat can pass under many of these bridges - so we had to time our travels to coincide with bridge openings. Unlike many of the other bridges on the ICW which open on demand (just call the bridge tender as you approach and they will open the bridge so you can pass under), the bridges along this stretch are mostly on a fixed schedule and some of them only open once an hour so if you happen to miss the opening you are screwed!! And let's be real, it's not like we can just put the boat in park and go off and mess around until the bridge opens - we have to try and hold a 66,000 pound boat steady in wind and current while not running aground, running into the bridge or running into the inevitable other boats that are doing the same bridge waiting dance along with you. To compound matters, the bridge tender often won't open the bridge until all the boats are close up and nearly ramming into each other - have any of them ever driven a boat before??? So I sound like I'm not a fan of this stretch of the ICW - bingo!!! If you could even count on all the bridges opening on time at least that would be something, but NOOOOO - inevitably one of the old railroad bridges is stuck (of course it's always stuck in the down position, never open) but I guess I digress....
The stretch from Coinjock to Great Bridge is at least pretty scenic with lots of osprey nests and cypress and pine trees lining the winding river - where we would see really young osprey babies several months ago, they are now getting older (and more vocal) as they seem almost ready to leave the nest for a life of their own!! Very cool!!
At green marker 63 we passed into Virginia from NC and bid Doug a welcome home (he was born in VA) - what a weird feeling for us to be back in VA where most of Doug's family lives after being gone for almost a year!!! After dealing with swing bridges and bascule bridges of various varieties, we finally reached Great Bridge where we went through one of the funkier bridges on the ICW and then immediately tied up to the free dock on the side of the waterway along with a catamaran that we first saw in Ocracoke!!
That evening we headed over the swing bridge to the 3 Amigos restaurant (no you can't make this up!)
The next morning after our early morning goose wake-up call, we headed out into the Great Bridge lock - the only lock on the Atlantic ICW. The sign in the lock was pretty cool since we've actually been to most of the places listed!!
But finally we maneuvered through all the bridges, passed all the navy ships and commercial barges and headed into our home for the next week, the marina at the Nauticus Center in Norfolk.
We headed out to scope out the waterside area where this weekend they are holding a Cajun Festival with lots of bayou music and you guessed it food!! Can you say yippee!!! Our tiny marina is right next to the Nauticus Center which has an aquarium, the naval museum, various exhibits and right next to it is the Wisconsin battleship that you can tour - we plan to hit all of that later today. The park around the waterfront is really beautiful with its pavilions, colorful mermaids (they are all over the city and done by different local artists!!),
As soon as we got back from the movie, our nephew Luke and his girlfriend Laura (yes I'm sure they take a lot of crap over that) showed up at the boat bearing presents courtesy of Doug's sister - the keys to a car that we can use during our stay!! How wonderful is that - thank you guys! It was great to see them even though we didn't have much time to catch up before one of our other nephews Larkin came to pick them up. We're hoping they will come back into town one day this weekend for the Cajun Festival but know we'll see them again soon one way or the other during our stay!!
A quiet evening on Gypsies where we polished off the remainder of our prime rib from Coinjock and drank a glass of rum out on the bow under the stars was the perfect end to a great day. Today we are heading off to explore Norfolk - the Cannonball Trail (I keep wanting to call it the Thunderball Trail - guess I really want to go back to Thunderball Grotto in the Bahamas!!!) which represents over 400 years of Norfolk history and is a walking trail through the city topped off by an afternoon at Nauticus and the Wisconsin. I better go get ready or we'll be late! Tonight is shrimp scampi on Gypsies (with the fresh shrimp that our friend Dave from Manteo caught and gave us!!!) and that's as far as we've planned....but as soon as we know, you'll know too!
Click here to see our location at Nauticus Marina
Happy Birthday, Dee Dee!!!
1 day ago