Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Virginia to the North Carolina state line cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date.
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Below, you will discover our COMPLETE listing of Virginia to the North Carolina state line cruising news/postings from fellow cruisers, arranged in chronological order, based on publication date.
Yellow Background Denotes Navigation Alert Postings
Cruisers should not be affected by the work boat and barge congestion at the bridge, but slow speed and careful watch will be required. With a vertical clearance of 145ft, the Jordan Highway Bridge crosses the AICW at Statute Mile 2.8, near the community of Chesapeake, VA.
****VA – NORFOLK HARBOR AND ELIABETH RIVER–SOUTHERN BRANCH – SOUTH NORFOLK JORDAN BRIDGE****
An engineering firm, on behalf of FIGG Bridge Managers LLC, will be performing maintenance at SR 337 (South Norfolk Jordan Bridge) bridge over Elizabeth River (Southern Branch), mile 2.8, in Chesapeake, VA and Portsmouth, VA. The maintenance will be conducted on August 29, 2016 through September 23, 2016; M-F; from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Repairs to the fendering system of the bridge will occur. A side loadable warping tug (90 ft. x 21ft. x 5 ft.) and a 21 ft. work boat will be in and around the vicinity of the bridge. During the maintenance period, the horizontal clearance will be reduced to 240 ft. Vessels who can safely transit through the reduced horizontal clearance, may do so at any time. Maintenance personnel, equipment and vessels will relocate from the navigable channel, upon request. Work vessels may be reached on VHF-FM channel 13. The project foreman can be reached at (252) 655-1243 and VHF-FM channel 13. Mariners should notify the work foreman no less than thirty minutes prior to navigating through the area and should use caution when transiting the area. Chart 12253 LNM 34/16
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Atlantic Yacht Basin is located just south of the Great Bridge lock and bridge at Mile Marker 12.
Our Community is a Better Place Because of You
The Chesapeake Port Authority awarded Atlantic Yacht Basin its 2016 Waterfront Business of the Year.
In bestowing the award to AYB, Steven Wright, Director, City of Chesapeake, Department of Economic Development, recognized Atlantic Yacht Basin “for its role in driving the local economy forward with sustained employment levels, new investment and job creation.”
All of us at Atlantic Yacht Basin are proud to receive this award.
We also recognize that there are awards and there are rewards. They are different, but share some of the same space.
The Waterfront Business of the Year award totally caught us by surprise! We are so honored to be recognized as contributing to the economic health of our community.
The rewards for us at AYB come from taking care of you: boat owners and your guests who stop at our facility as you make your way up and down the waterway.
We take great pride in making sure that we exceed your expectations. Whether you are visiting us to top off your fuel, spending the night with us at our face docks, provisioning for your journey ahead, seeking a repair, looking for parts, planning a refit or storing your prized possession in our covered sheds — the largest under cover, fresh water storage facility on the East Coast – our reward is that each and every one of you put your trust in us.
Our mission is to exceed your expectations.
It’s our reward.
The shared space between awards and rewards comes from serving you. The part we play in local economic development is the result of meeting your needs. We contribute to local employment by hiring dedicated and professional staff. We retain only the most experienced and reliable outside contractors.
Our professional and knowledgeable Marine Store personnel stock and order only the best paints, varnishes, parts and equipment to keep your vessel as good as new. We take pride in fulfilling your needs, and at the same time, we are cognizant that this mission is also a resource for other local businesses that serve the boating sector.
All of what we do is interdependent.
In fact, the 2016 Waterfront Business of the Year award belongs to you, as much as it does to us.
We are honored that you put your trust in us. And as a result, we have a thriving business in a community with a strong economy. Bringing your boat to AYB results in our success, which contributes to our community’s vitality.
We wouldn’t be here unless you were here, and our community is a better place because of it.
Awards and rewards…they share some of the same space.
We are proud we can share our passion for boats with your passion for travelling America’s waterways—and that includes the Intracoastal Waterway, as it passes through Chesapeake, Virginia and in front of Atlantic Yacht Basin.
All of us at AYB, our management team, office staff, mechanics, dockmasters, carpenters, painters, fiberglass specialists, marine store personnel, detailers and haulout crew, are honored to be recipients of this year’s Waterfront Business of the Year
And we thank you for trusting your vessel with us.
We hope to see you soon!
As always, please give us a call toll free at (800) 992-2489 or local at (757) 482-2141 or drop us a line at email@example.com for a free quote or to find out more about all of our comprehensive marine services.
Your Friends at AYB
Despite the continuing restrictions, the Week 28/16 LNM below brings some relief by increasing the weekday openings to 4 from the previous 2. With a closed vertical clearance of 35ft, the Gilmerton Bridge crossed the Waterway at Mile 5.8.
The Gilmerton Bridge (US13/460) across the South Branch of the Elizabeth River, mile 5.8, on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, at Chesapeake, VA has sustained damage and will not be capable of normal operation until September 19, 2016. The bridge will be maintained in the closed-to navigation position until midnight September 18/19, 2016; except for scheduled openings at 9 a.m., noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The bridge will open on signal for emergency vessels if at least 1 hour notice is given. The vertical clearance of the bridge in the closed position is 36 feet above mean high water and vessels able to safely pass through the bridge in the closed position may do so. Mariners should use extreme caution when transiting the area. Chart 12253 LNM 28/16
Our thanks to Alan Cecil for sending us this notice of the upcoming 40th Annual Norfolk Harborfest. The Parade of Sail will begin at noon on June 10th.
I just received this announcement. Perhaps you would help “spread the word” to the sail and cruising community?
The Parade of Sail and Boat Parade is a magnificent event.
Several years ago I participated in it aboard the USCG’s (signature tall ship) EAGLE!
Alan V. Cecil
Sailboat Racing Returns to Norfolk Harborfest for 40th Anniversary
The largest, longest- running, free maritime festival in the nation.
NORFOLK, VA (January 14, 2016) – Norfolk Festevents released details today for the 2016 Norfolk Harborfest ® Challenge Regatta. Planned for Thursday, June 9, 2016, this US Sailing Association sanctioned race will be reminiscent of the former Harborfest® sail boat races conducted in the 70s and 80s.
The race will be part of the 40th Annual Norfolk Harborfest®, June 9 – 12, 2016, on the downtown Norfolk, VA waterfront.
The race will be run as an around the buoys day race held in the Hampton Roads starting off Craney Island and finishing off Town Point Park and Waterside in downtown Norfolk. The race is open to sailboats over 20 feet LOA, all PHRF handicap classes, regular spinnaker and non-spinnaker classes as well as cruising classes. The race package includes docking options and a series of dockside social events.
CLICK HERE for the full notice.
With a closed vertical clearance of 6ft, North Landing Swing Bridge crosses the Virginia – North Carolina Cut (a. k. a. the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal) portion of the AICW. Work to repair an earlier collision had already extended the work time to October. Our thanks to Matt the Bridge Tender for these updates.
SECTOR HAMPTON ROADS MARINE SAFETY INFORMATION BULLETIN
BULLETIN NO: 16/034 TEL: (757) 638-6637, FAX (757) 483-8641
*****UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE*****
North Landing Bridge Route 165
Opening schedule update effective immediately
at Mile 20.2 on the AICW
This Bulletin serves to update and supersede MSIB 16-030, released on Mariners on May 13, 2016. All operations listed below are subject to change due to weather, unforeseen factors or operational contingencies.
Mariners are advised that the North Landing Bridge at mile 20.2 on the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway was struck again by a towing vessel on the afternoon of the 4th of June 2016.
Due to this collision only the North span of the double swing span system will operate per 33 CFR 117.1021 with 38 feet of available horizontal clearance. The horizontal clearance of the bridge with the south span partially open-to-navigation is 70 feet. The north span of the bridge is fully operational and the south span of the bridge is limited in operational capability. The north span of the bridge will open-to-navigation on the hour and half hour, upon request, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on demand from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The north span of the bridge will open-to-navigation and the south span of the bridge will partially open-to-navigation, upon request, for scheduled openings at 9:30 a.m. for two-way vessel traffic through the bridge; seven days a week, Monday through Sunday.
This schedule will be maintained until permanent repairs can be completed on or about 1 October 2016. We request that mariners exercise extreme caution while in the vicinity of the bridge.
United States Coast Guard
Sector Hampton Roads
4000 Coast Guard Blvd
Portsmouth, VA 23703
Phone: (757) 668-5555
Should you have any questions or concerns regarding this matter, contact USCG Sector Hampton Roads, Waterways Management Division at (757) 668-5580 or HamptonRoadsWaterway@uscg.mil
This new light is northeast of the main channel approximately a mile north of Mile Zero.
VA – NORFOLK HARBOR AND ELIZABETH RIVER – NORFOLK INNER HARBOR – New Light
On or about March 4, 2016, SKW will be establishing a light marking the channel ward pile of a series of piles which were installed to protect the permanent bulkhead at the east entrance of the Midtown Tunnel. Midtown Tunnel East Light B36 51 31.44N, 76 18 37.43W, Fl W 4s. Chart 12254 LNM 9/16
A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Atlantic Yacht Basin is located just south of the Great Bridge lock and bridge at Mile Marker 12. A noted Hurricane Hole, Atlantic Yacht Basin is a great summer layup facility for Bahamas and Keys winter cruisers wanting to bring their vessels north for the summer hurricane season.
Spencer Hull | Treasurer/Office Manager
O-757 482-2141, M-757 373-7118
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This latest and, hopefully, final update on the Gilmerton Bridge is sent to us by our good friend, Matt the Bridge Tender, who has faithfully kept us updated on the long and frustrating construction of the new Gilmerton bridge. Thank you Matt!!
Ahoy from the Gilmerton Bridge (Mile Marker 5.8 ICW – Southern Branch Elizabeth River, Chesapeake VA),
Just wanted to share with all of you that have been coming through the Gilmerton draw since construction started on the new bridge (Nov 2009) that the contractor told me yesterday he just completed working on the new fender system that day. I really do appreciate everyone’s patience (especially the tug Captains) in dealing with all the extra restrictions over the past few years.
As a reminder (until the Nav charts catch up) the new vertical clearance for the Gilmerton Bridge is 35 feet at MHW in the closed position. Our new clearance gauges were installed last Friday.
Also very important – all the bridges, locks and commercial traffic in this area are on Marine Channel 13.
Below are the only restrictions that now apply to the Gilmerton Bridge:
The draw of the Gilmerton (US13/460) bridge, mile 5.8, in Chesapeake:
(1) Shall open on signal at any time for commercial vessels carrying liquefied flammable gas or other hazardous materials.
(2) From 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays:
(i) Need not open for the passage of recreational or commercial vessels that do not qualify under paragraph (d)(2)(ii) of this section.
(ii) Need not open for commercial cargo vessels, including tugs, and tugs with tows, unless 2 hours advance notice has been given to the Gilmerton Bridge at (757) 485-5488.
(3) Shall open on signal at all other times.
That’s it for now from beautiful downtown Gilmerton. If we meet – hope to see you on 2 whistles so I can shake your hand,
Matt the Bridge Tender
Good News: A phone call to Cheaspeake City clears up the situation raised by Skipper McLeran regarding overnight stays in the Virginia Waterway locks and canal. The “no overnight mooring policy” has been rescinded and you may, as before, stay tied up for 24 hours – longer if foul weather demands. Deep Creek Lock interrupts the Alternate AICW Great Dismal Swamp Canal Route at Statute Mile 10.6.
We entered the Dismal Swamp Canal Wednesday afternoon at the 1530 locking in order to hide from forecast high winds (and now hurricane Joaquin). When we inquired of Robert about the availability of Elizabeth’s Dock he told us that the dock was available, but that recently (didn’t say when) the Army Corps had a problem with a boater who was living on his boat in the canal and working in the area, tried to persuade him to leave, and when that didn’t work contacted Chesapeake City officials who somehow convinced him (and his boat) to depart the canal. Then the _city_ instituted a “no overnight mooring” policy and posted signs to that affect at the locks and docks; interestingly, there are no pertinent signs anywhere at Elizabeth’s Dock.
We moored to Elizabeth’s Dock anyway, concluding that with the approaching iminent storms this was the best place to hide and that we would deal with the city if asked to leave.
In our dozen or so passages through the canal we have never encountered this policy, and on several occasions have moored for several nights at Elizabeth’s Dock with other boats while waiting for nor’easters to pass. More commonly, we transit the canal in one day and stop at the “shopping dock” to resupply while waiting for the next lock through.
This new policy is going to have a big impact on the southerly migration which will start soon, if boats are truly prohibited from mooring at the docks and locks in the canal.
Perhaps you have some contacts at the Army Corps and the Chesapeake City who would clarify the situation and listen to some reason about the value of allowing boats to moor overnight in the canal.
I’m sending this to both Waterway Guide and to Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.
For more on this story, go Waterway Guide’s report:
Our thanks to Skipper Bell for this report and follow up. Top Rack Marina is just north of the Steel Bridge in the Virginia Cut at Mile 8.8
Diesel $1.92.9 Includes tax. Free pump out with fuel. These guys bend over backwards for you. Nice deli restaurant, brand new restrooms and great floating docks. Low and high speed diesel fuel pumps. We stopped because the Great Lock was shut down for three hours due to high tides. So glad we did. Very nice folks.
More from Skipper Bell:
Top Rack has Diesel for $1.93 per gallon. Free Pump Out. Plus. If you eat dinner in the Amber Lantern restaurant that is at the marina, you can stay the night at no charge including power. Food is good too. Very nice folks. They will do anything to make your day on the water more enjoyable. New floating docks as well. We will return.
Located in downtown Norfolk on the east side of the Elizabeth River just opposite Portsmouth, this marina is a slight bit south of ICW mile marker zero. It is next to the Waterside Festival Marketplace, Town Point Park and the Battleship Wisconsin and Nauticus exhibits. As Skipper Bell points out, there are many excellent restaurants and stores nearby.
Enjoyed our stay at Waterside Marina. John, the dock master, helped us in and brought us up to speed on what was happening locally and with the weather moving in. This is one of our favorite stop overs. Newer floating docks, protected from wakes, both 30 & 50 amp electric, two story indoor mall just three blocks away and they will provide transportation to provision. Lots to see and do in Norfolk.
The Skippers Herl begin their Waterway run with a stop at Portsmouth and we look forward to their voyage reports as they motor south. Tidewater Yacht Agency in Portsmouth, VA, is located on the west side of Town Point Reach in the Norfolk harbor, hard by Mile Zero, and has served many Waterway cruisers as a jumping-off point for their voyage “down the ditch.”
9/15/15, Arrived at the Tidewater Marina in Portsmouth, Va. Had a long day over nine hours but a beautiful run, very pleasant.
This also marks the beginning of our trip south.
Were able to get an Rx filled and to walk in town and visit some of the shops.
Also were able to get a pumpout and top off the fuel at a good price.($2.20) though after we left Portsmouth we did see better prices, oh well whats $.10 a gal.
Sandy and Phil Herl
Well, Phil and Sandy Herl have navigated their vessel right out of our coverage, moving into the southern Chesapeake Bay. York River Yacht Haven is in Sarah Creek on the northern shore of the York River, west out of the Chesapeake. Phil and Sandy, we thank you for your many reports and we wish you safe travels has you continue north.
York River Yacht Haven
Just a short run from Waterside to Yacht Haven, a little over 4 hours @ 8-10 kn. Wanted to get settled in before the weather starts, supposed to be here this pm but also more tomorrow. Also wanted to be in somewhere and tied up to a dock for the 4th of July week end.
Well it is starting,by the evening of the 3rd the marina is all but full, maybe one or two spots left and the sprinkling (rain) has started.
Were able to rent a car on Monday and see Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg in the week we stayed at York River Yacht Heaven. For the weekend we just stayed on the dock.
York River Yacht Haven is a wonderful place to stop. Everyone is friendly and very helpful. And it is a good place to range out to the attractions in the area.
Phil and Sandy Herl
Located in downtown Norfolk on the east side of the Elizabeth River just opposite Portsmouth, this marina is a slight bit south of ICW mile marker zero. It is next to the Waterside Festival Marketplace, Town Point Park and the Battleship Wisconsin and Nauticus exhibits. There are many excellent restaurants and stores nearby, but no fuel or supplies at the marina itself. (from a report by Raymond Kurlak)
Waterside Marina, VA
Not a long run today, but we had to wait on the Great Bridge Bridge and the Great Bridge Lock, they are doing some repairs on the locks and were only letting boats through as they could. The noon opening did not happen, we were locked through at 1:00. It was only a one hour delay, all part of the adventure. Our travels have taken us 1365 NM since we left Palmetto area, we are almost where we want to continue our travels. I’m sure we can add a few more miles.
Stopped at Waterside Marina, a good stop for checking out Norfolk history. The Norfolk visitors center is just a block away. And the Cannon Ball Walk is also part of the area. The MacArthur Center mall is also within a short walk. Just a warning the mall does not have a Grangers, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Tractor Supply or any thing I was interested in. It did have a Mens Warehouse, but if it requires more than shorts and a tee shirt, I’m not going. I am becoming boatified. Have not worn anything but shorts and tee since March. Love it.
Phil and Sandy Herl
One of our many loyal sponsors, Atlantic Yacht Basin is located just south of the Great Bridge lock and bridge at Mile Marker 12. AYB’s continuing and longtime support of SSECN helps keep our site free to all users. This background material about their business and detailed information about their products and services is provided so that you our reader will be fully and better informed. Our thanks to Atlantic Yacht Basin for their participation with and sponsorship of “The Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net.”
ATLANTIC YACHT BASIN
HISTORY AND REPUTATION DEFINE THIS ICONIC FACILITY
You can’t buy it, you can only build it: history and reputation. Atlantic Yacht Basin has been serving boaters, at the same location, for nearly 80 years. And over nearly eight decades, AYB has earned the reputation as a premier boat repair and storage facility on the eastern seaboard.
In order to understand who we are today, it helps to understand AYB’s history.
We are a third generation family owned business. Our founder, D. Dunwoody Atkinson founded AYB in 1936. The familiar bascule bridge, Great Bridge Bridge, over Mile 12 of the ICW—within walking distance to AYB– wasn’t built yet.
While convenience for boaters was an immediate advantage, it is the professional approach to boaters’ needs and attention to detail that is the foundation of AYB’s reputation.
Today, we are known as a facility that has the experience and expertise to carry out all facets of boat maintenance and repairs, and strategically located on the fresh water side (non-tidal) of the Great Bridge Locks.
We realize that your boat is a major investment. We believe that protecting your investment is as important as maintaining it. That’s why we committed to creating the largest undercover, freshwater boat storage facility on the eastern seaboard.
Today we offer 158,000 square feet of undercover storage. The vessels undercover here range from classic wood boats to contemporary, ocean going yachts. We have the height, width and depth to protect virtually any boat. In addition we are staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. There is always a Dockmaster on duty and AYB is a secure yard.
Not only have we been in business at the same location for nearly 80 years, we have professionals who have been taking care of all facets of repairs and maintenance for decades. Some of our professionals have built that experience at AYB, others have come on board, bringing with them their own reputation of excellence.
The fact is, no matter what brings boat owners to AYB, our professional staff has seen it before and has the ability, skills and work ethic that exceeds expectations.
Our mechanics, carpenters, paint and varnish crew, fiberglass team, re-fit specialists, detailing experts and supervisory staff are all committed to perfection. It seems to be in our DNA.
And, as an extra level of commitment to excellence, the work is monitored by a project manager.
We understand that when you are traveling the ICW, convenience is one of the factors that determines your stopping points.
AYB isn’t just close to the Waterway. We are ON the waterway. When you get to Mile 12 and Great Bridge, you are at the docks of AYB. You immediately notice our organized, clean and busy yard. You can’t miss our 1,700 linear feet of outdoor dockage space and fueling dock. And even if you just stop for fuel, you can take a breather, and relax in one of our comfortable Adirondack chairs, strategically located right at our docks. It’s a great spot to watch the ICW traffic going by, see some of the work being done at AYB or talk to other cruisers.
And if your plans call for an extended stay here, you will benefit from our convenient location that extends beyond the ICW.
We are within walking distance to a full service grocery store, many restaurants, a hospital is nearby, rental car facilities, hardware stores, banks, propane fill facility, you can catch up on your laundry at AYB, there is a wonderful park and walking path directly on the opposite side of the ICW from AYB, and much more.
If you need to catch a flight, Norfolk International Airport is a 20-minute ride from us.
We have a fully stocked marine store. It is staffed by professionals who not only have years of experience…they are boaters too. If we need to order parts for you, we know what you are looking for, we know where to find it, and we can often expedite the order if necessary.
If your boat repair or refit needs extend beyond what we offer…remember…we are in the heart of the largest maritime community in the world with the U.S. Navy in our back yard and a very active and progressive port supporting a wide range of industries. AYB has the support of qualified subcontractors from the local region that know boats. No matter what your needs for repair, refit or manufacture of a specialty part, we know who to trust to meet the specs and exceed your expectations.
We are understandably proud of our work and our reputation. We are honored to have earned the trust of boat owners like you. Telling you about us is one thing—seeing who we are, what we do, and hearing from our clients is another.
We invite you to click on our Video Archive section of our website. We recently initiated this aspect of our proof of performance. You will find a growing number of videos that show you what we do, what we offer, and see and hear why we are a trusted boat repair, refit and storage facility on the ICW.
Atlantic Yacht Basin has earned the trust of literally thousands of boat owners over the years. We would be honored to earn your trust too.
Please give us a call toll-free at (800) 992-2489 or local at (757) 482-2141 or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a free quote or to find out more about our comprehensive range of marine services.
If you are outside of the area, we can also help arrange transport to our facility or recommend a licensed captain to bring the boat in for you via the Waterway.
Also, please check us out at www.atlanticyachtbasin.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for interesting updates, tips, and specials going on at the Yard.
Enjoy the rest of your Spring and looking forward to seeing you soon!
Your Friends at AYB
Lamberts Point is on the eastern shore of the main shipping channel into Norfolk Harbor above Mile Zero.
VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ELIZABETH RIVER – LAMBERTS POINT
On or about June 16, 2015 Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) will establish a warning daybeacon to mark their newly established reef. Elizabeth River: Lamberts Point Warning Daybeacon 36 53 08.7N—76 19 12.8W NW on pile.
Chart 12245 LNM: 23/15
Great Bridge Battlefield Park is on the west side of the Waterway as it passes through the friendly town of Great Bridge. As Skipper Holtbakk relates, the 24hr free docking is strictly enforced. If you need to stay longer than 24hrs, we heartily recommend SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, Atlantic Yacht Basin, just south of Great Bridge Bridge.
I like you to know that the 24 hour docking is enforced in Great Bridge VA. I docked between the bridge and the lock 5/16/15 1100 hrs. At 1858 hrs on 5/17/15 I was told to get off the dock or receive a summon to appear in court for overstaying the 24 hr limit. I asked if I could stay until morning, but no way. It was just two boats docked at the time, so it was not a question of space.
Stein A Holtbakk
Larry, We have been researching the incident reported on cruisersnet regarding the boat owner being forced to leave the seawall between the lock and the bridge. I received a reply from the City and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The following is their reply…
We apologize for any inconvenience or aggravation this situation may have caused you in your travels through Chesapeake. Our research continues to show us that 24-hour mooring is the norm, on unpaid slips, for this area of the Intracoastal Waterway. As you may be aware, 24-hour mooring is dictated by the City of Chesapeake City Code and Parks, Recreation and Tourism policy. Furthermore, the Army Corps of Engineers’ lease agreement with the City of Chesapeake requires staff to enforce this code as written. The justification and enforcement of this code is important because, at any point in time, we have multiple vessels waiting to utilize the pier on a first-come, first-served basis. Last year, for instance, we had a significantly increased number of unfortunate issues with some boaters tying up at that dock and leaving for days, sometimes weeks at a time, which left little to no room for other visiting patrons. Additionally, we received numerous complaints, especially at the specific location, from other boaters, neighbors, the bridge tender, Army Corps of Engineers and Chesapeake Police Department regarding vagrant boaters visiting this and other local areas within our City. In order to keep our docks consistently available, safe, clean, and welcoming, the Chesapeake Park Rangers have been given the directive to use their discretion to enforce this City Code. The Rangers do, however, have the discretion to make the determination as to what type of enforcement actions are appropriate for problems both they and community members identify. “Zero tolerance” policies can sometimes be viewed as “zero intelligence” policies which have the net effect of eliminating a Ranger’s discretion. We encourage and expect our Rangers to use their best judgment in abating certain offenses. They will always go out and talk to the vessel’s owner before making any determination, unless the owner becomes unavailable. There are many situations where a discussion, or possibly a warning, achieves the same if not a better result than strict enforcement does. To this end, we sincerely hope you understand our objectives and will continue to visit Chesapeake’s waterways again in the future. If you have any questions or need any assistance during your travels to Chesapeake, please do not hesitate to give me a call.
Michael D. Barber
Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism
1224 Progressive Drive, Suite 200
Chesapeake, VA 23320
As Captain Healy noted below on AGLCA’s Forum , northbound cruisers enter the Canal just north of Elizabeth City, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR. Traveling south, the Dismal Swamp Canal route exits the Waterway westward immediately south of the I-64 fixed bridge at statute mile 7.1. The Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, also A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located on the east shore of the Canal at Statute Mile 28.
The day you passed us, we went into the Elizabeth City free wharf [Mariner’s Wharf] just after you guys went into Pelican Marina. (What a perfectly nominal crossing of the Albemarle, eh!) We left EC Saturday morning and travelled up to Portsmouth’s High Street Basin after a fuel stop at Top Rack. We also had the Dismal all to ourselves; well, except for a couple of canoes. We draw 4-1/2 ft. We never touched, even once! We saw water depths of 6-1/2 ft or better the entire way. We spent our time this trip looking for the stone mile posts that were placed on the canal during a widening and renovation project in the 1820s. Many have been found/restored/replaced in their original positions by a group called the Virginia Navigation & Canal Society. The Deep Creek lockmaster that we all know and love – Robert Peek – is a canal historian and a key contributor to that effort. We did actually spot many of the markers. Funny that it’s the first trip out of 10 or more canal transits that we even knew they were there! Too often asleep, I guess.
That said, I definitely agree, people using the Dismal Swamp Canal should make way at slow bell. On previous trips through the canal, we have touched a time or two or three. We always travel at slow bell, and we recommend that if following another boat, you do that at a distance of 1/2 to 3/4 miles. That way, if that boat picks something up off the bottom, it has time to settle back down before you get to it. We have never had any damage; not ever. The canal is 22 miles from South Mills to Deep Creek. Boats that clear through either lock at 08h30 will make the other end for 13h30, so you have 5 hours to travel 22 StM. That’s less than 5 StM/hr, and should be easy even at dead idle. If you get to the other end early, you just have to keep station there until locking time. Keeping station in the canal can be a challenge – especially if there are a cluster of boats all doing the same dance – if there’s any wind to speak of. SLOW BELL!
Don’t be afraid of it. Just go slow and “smell the roses.”
Peg and Jim Healy aboard Sanctuary
Atlantic Yacht Basin, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located at Mile 12 just south of the Great Bridge lock and bridge. Skipper Schucker’s comments are from AGLCA’s Forum.
We stayed here two nights. $1 per foot $7 for 30 amp $15 for 50 amp electric. They have lots of mechanics on site, but book ahead (remember Memorial day is coming up).
1/2 mile to a shopping center with grocery, ABC, five different places to eat, Dollar store, fabric store, Radio Shack, etc.
It’s cool to watch all the mega boats go by waiting for the bridge (so no wakes).
Fuel was $2.449 for less than 200 gallons, $2.399 for over 200 gallons. A deal! (14 May 2015)
We got our rugs steam cleaned by Benchmark at 757-358-4700, entire boat for $60 and a $20 tip. And I know you are going “I can rent a machine for $35 and do it myself” And while you can, it is well worth having a pro do it.
They got both “mystery” stains out.
When she estimated she said $60 and I said “You are sure, $60 and a $20 tip will cover it”. She smiled and said yes and they did a great job. Far, far better than I could of / would have done.
AYB is at the south end of the Great Bridge draw bridge either up the VA canal or 7 miles south of the Dismal Canal
1993 Bayliner 4588