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Archive For: VA to NC Line Cruising News

  • Free Dockage South of of Jordan Bridge (Statute Mile2.8)

    The old Jordan Bridge (thank heavens) is being demolished quite quickly and will be replaced by a high span bridge maybe by end 2010. Going south, immediately after the bridge on the east side is a 100 ft free dock in 7ft water adjacent to a small public park with boat ramp. Porta Potty toilets but no water, power or fuel. A nice little place for a couple of days. Friendly locals catching crabs or you can just sit under cover for a picnic. Shops and an excellent hardware store are within walking distance in Beverly – you need a bike at least to get to a full size grocery store (both Farm Fresh and Food Lion). Opposite the dock is a 100ft steel island general cargo ship – built over the last 10 years by one man who lives aboard! Amazing what people can do given the motivation……..
    Arnold Parkinson

  • Great Mechanic in Reedville, VA

    Subject: Great Mechanic in Reedville, VA
    Cruising News: We recently had to stop in Reedville, VA to have some work done on our generator. We found a great mechanic (Elmer Pittman at Pittman Marine Diesel). He came to our boat the same day we called, removed the starter on our generator, sent it out to be rebuilt and had us ready to go two days later. We had expected to be laid up for at least a week waiting on parts. You just don\\\’t find service like this! And he is very reasonably priced
    Walter Smith

  • “Reasonably Priced” Marinas in Norfolk, VA Area

    The discussion below is copied from the T&T (Trawlers and Trawlering) List. For those looking to find reasonably priced marinas in or near Norfolk, VA, this is invaluable data.

    Looking for a reasonably priced marina in the Norfolk VA. area to leave our boat for a week with good access to rental car.
    Thanks
    Ray and Linda Corrette

    Ray & Linda
    You could try the city Marina in Hampton VA enterprise has an office on site we stayed there on our way north. Price was very good as I remember
    Larry & Margie Ross

    If you can leave boath there for a week the Hampton City Marina will be hard to beat in that area. If not we have found Ocean Marine in Portsmith to be one of the better priced especially with Boat US. May be some better simply for leaving a boat however.
    Howard H Cole
    aboard the C Horse

    We stayed at Salt Ponds Marina in Norfolk, excellent price, very sheltered, and a nice overall place.
    Joe

    Salt Ponds Marina is in Hampton rather than Norfolk. It is quite protected for leaving a boat, but no close car rental agencies. There are several Enterprise offices in Hampton and one of them might be able to pick you up there.
    Bev MacMahon

    i just got in Portsmouth Boating Center, dockage is $1.25 a ft per day which is pretty good…
    Friendly folks and usually cheapest fuel in the area too…
    Pascal

  • New Restaurant At Atlantic Yacht Basin

    Subject: New Restaurant
    Cruising News: While at Atlantic Yacht Basin you have a new restaurant available. Chili’s has very recently opened. Also, Farm Fresh Grocery and a
    restaurant called Court House Cafe will come and get you and brind you back.
    Capt Dave
    on board At Last, GB46

  • Great Bridge Park Under Reconstruction

    Subject: Grerat Bridge Park
    Cruising News: The recreation facility and park just south of the Great Bridge Bridge is now having the land cleared in preparation for construction. Docks still in place but no one is using them as of 8/29/09
    David Jenkins

  • Tidewater Marina

    We have stayed at Tidewater three times and enjoyed it. Very well run marina. And to visit Norfolk, the ferry stop is just a short walk away.
    James Lea

  • Free Dockage Near Great Bridge, VA Lock

    The lock at Great Bridge, VA is the only lock on the so-called, North Carolina – Virginia Route of the AICW. Of course, this is what I would term the “primarly” passage that most cruisers use to pass between Virginia and North Carolina waters, or the other way around. Of course, the other possible passage is by way of the Dismal Swamp Canal Route.
    I am no expert on the Great Bridge lock, but my memory is that it’s larger than the two Dismal Swamp Canal locks, and it only raises or lowers your craft a few feet. It also operates far more frequently than its Dismal Swamp counterpart.
    Below, once again, Captain Arnold give us all some great advice on where to find some seriously cheap dockage near Great Bridge!

    Since you cover the Dismal Swamp you presumably mention the Great Bridge Lock on the shorter route. There also is a great free docking in the approach between lock and bridge on the south side (going south) which they say is limited to 24hrs but nobody objects if you stay longer. Many shops / groceries are within easy walking distance and the Farm Fresh grocery store manager will run you back to the dock. The Veteran Club there will give you fresh veggies from their vegetable garden if you gratiously make a small donation for the kids they support.
    Arnold

    I agree with Arnold – the dock between the lock and the bridge is great (no pun intended). Just a few of notes: 1) Make sure you pull as far forward as possible when you dock. It can get busy here, 2) If you plan on only stopping for a few hours, remember that the Great Bridge Bascule Bridge stops opening at 7pm, 3) Expect wake from barges and tugs passing very close, and 4) There is no power to hook up to. Outside of that, there is plenty of shopping, including a grocery, within walking distance. If you continue past the bridge (when going southbound/eastbound), there is another free dock on the north side of the ICW. It’s not in as good shape, but you won’t get stuck with the opening. Also, it adds about another 1/4 mile to your shopping walk since you have to cross the bridge on foot to get to the shopping areas. If you’ve done an overnight run down the Chesapeake from Annapolis, like we did in the freezing cold of December, these free docks are a wonderful spot to stop at for the night.
    Chris
    S/V Pelican

  • Overnighting Near Deep Creek Lock (Alternate AICW Dismal Swamp Route)

    As most regular visitors to the Cruisers’ Net know, my “expertise” [grin!], stops at the NC-VA state line, so I’m particularly grateful to Captain Arnold for providing the very useful tid-bit below about a possible overnight stop near the Deep Creek, VA lock. This lock and the adjacent waters are part of the AICW Alternate Dismal Swamp Canal Route. Anyone following this fascinating and historical, but sometimes challenging passage, may very well want to take advantage of this tip!

    At the top end of the Dismal Swamp route is of course Deep Creek lock with a half mile approach channel AFTER the bridge. They allow that to be used for a great hurricane hole if needs be. And about a mile after the lock is a great little circular cove to starboard which the locals call the “hole in the wall”. It has a 6ft bar at the approach but inside around 14 ft deep throughout and a good sandy holding bottom – again a good hurricane hole I would imagine – except at such a time maybe a ton of boats hiding in there…….. Strictly speaking you’re not supposed to go ashore – private property – but nobody seems to take much notice – there are no waterside homes there but they tell me a housing develpoment may be pending. The water is crystal clean – though a brown colour due to tannin not pollution. It’s a tad busy at weekends but absolutely pristine and peaceful on weekdays – you share it only with herons. Incidentally you’ll often see Bill there – the nice fellow, ex Navy, who built the dock in memory of his wife Elizabeth – canoeing – which he does fairly often for the exercise.
    Arnold

  • New “Emergency” Phone Number for Hampton Roads, VA USCG

    Claiborne:
    The Hampton Roads USCG has set up a phone number for emergency calls that cannot use (or get through on) marine VHF channel 16: 1-877-SCCJSAR (722-5727).  They cover waters from the MD/DE borders through VA to the NC border.  This is especially important to Chesapeake cruisers, including the Potomac and other adjoining navigable rivers. 
    Regards, Jim

  • A New Place to Stop on the Dismal Swamp Route

    Well, this is a new one on me.  I have never before heard of spending the night on “the small wall by the Deep Creek Bridge.” Of course, this spot is in Virginia, and a little bit out of my area of expertise, but, hey, that doesn’t mean a thing since it appears this is a good place for cruising craft and their crews to berth!

    We now skip the delightful Visitors Center because we love stopping at the small wall by the Deep Creek bridge (just south of the lock on the east side). La Familia Restaurant is must stop for us, just a great family owned local Mexican restaurant.  We have stopped there 4 times now, we like it that much.  Plus across the street is a nice grocery where we can bring the shopping cart right back to the boat (and always return the cart so the next
    boaters can enjoy the same privileges).  Robert, one of the lock keepers at Deep Creek is a hoot, if you tie-up at the long docks between the bridge & lock (Elizabeth’s Dock), he has been known to bring pastries by in the
    morning!
    Bob & Lynn Williamson
    On Legrace in the Erie Canal at Spencerport NY (enjoying this weekend’s
    canal festival)

    We have spent the night at the free dock just south of the Deep Creek Lock. An excellent stop if you catch the last lock of the day heading south. If full, rafting is expected. Quiet and small park for a stroll.
    James Lea

    We have also enjoyed several overnights at the Deep Creek Bridge. There’s even an auto parts store across the street where we were able to find a radiator hose that was a perfect fit for our Westerbeke 27. La Familia Restaurant is not to be missed; however, when we stopped there last month, we noted a homeless couple living in their car behind the restaurant. We were also approached by a couple of guys who appeared to be checking us out. Be sure to lock up when you leave your boat.
    We first encountered Robert at Deep Creek lock 4 or 5 years ago. He not only offered us coffee and pastries, but has also entertained us with his amazing skills on the conch horn. Be sure to check out his conch garden and, if you have one to spare, Robert would be most appreciative. By the way, if you are running late, give Robert a call (757-487-0831) – he very well may hold the lock opening for you if there is no one else waiting. And, as always, “tips are always appreciated”!
    Allan DeWall
    S/V Cat Rageous, Nonsuch 30U

  • Jordan Lift Bridge Span Removed

    Claiborne,
    I motored through the Jordan Bridge span last week and am happy to report that the span has been removed.
    Allan DeWall
    S/V Cat Rageous

  • Gilmerton Highway Bridge Construction 7/17/09 to 7/20/09 (Statute Mile 5.8)

    P 181258Z JUN 09 ZUI ASN-AS1169000006
    FM COMCOGARD SECTOR HAMPTON ROADS VA
    TO VIRGINIA PILOTS ASSN NORFOLK VA//90-1100 VAPILOTS UD//
    BALTIMORE PILOTS ASSN BALTIMORE MD//87-574 MARPILOTS//
    CCGDFIVE PORTSMOUTH VA//DPW/DRMC//
    CDRUSAED NORFOLK VA
    AIG 8916
    INFO NGA NAVSAFETY BETHESDA MD
    BT
    UNCLAS //N16670//
    SUBJ: SAFETY BROADCAST NOTICE TO MARINERS
    HRD BNM 290-09
    VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ELIZABETH RIVER SOUTHERN BRANCH
    MARINERS ARE ADVISED THAT MISENER MARINE CONSTRUCTION INC WILL BE
    CONDUCTING BRIDGE FENDER REPAIR ON THE GILMERTON BRIDGE FROM 7 P.M.
    FRIDAY JULY 17 UNTIL 6 A.M. MONDAY JULY 20, 2009. ONE BARGE WILL BE
    ONSCENE TENDED BY THE TUG BAYOU BEAST. REPRESENTATIVES FROM MISENER
    MARINE CONSTRUCTION INC WILL BE MONITORING VHF-FM CHANNEL 13 AND 16.
    WHILE THE ENTIRE CHANNEL WILL NOT BE BLOCKED BY THIS OPERATION, IT
    IS REQUESTED THAT MARINERS TRANSITING THIS PORTION OF THE ELIZABETH
    RIVER CONTACT MISENER MARINE CONSTRUCTION INC VIA VHF-FM CHANNEL 13,
    THIRTY MINUTES PRIOR TO ARRIVING AT THE GILMERTON BRIDGE TO ENSURE A
    DELAY FREE PASSAGE. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT JOHN C. ESKINS
    AT 813-233-6338 OR HAROLD FOSKEY AT 813-363-0187. MARINERS ARE
    ADVISED TO USE EXTREME CAUTION WHEN TRANSITING THE AREA.
    CANCEL AT//201100Z JUL 09//
    BT
    NNNN

  • Atlantic Yacht Basin

    Atlantic Yacht Basin
    800-992-2489
    Reporting Date: 8/4/09
    Gasoline Price (including all taxes): $2.55
    Diesel Fuel Price (including all taxes): $1.97
    Any Quantity Discount Y/N: No If so: How much for how many gallons:
    Any Boat/US Discount Y/N If so: How much:
    Any SeaTow Discount Y/N If so: How much:

  • Waterside Marina (Norfolk, VA)

    Subject: Waterside Marina and Fuel Prices
    Cruising News: Claiborne,
    When a serious back problem forced us to pull in in Norfolk, we were pleased to find exceptional winter rates beginning Dec 1, and good attention at Waterside City Marina. You can even use the gym just up the street. There is bus service at Waterside (see HRT.com for schedules and stops) so you don\'t have to have a car or pay taxi rates. There\'s a downtown bus 310 that\'s free that mainly travels Granby Street. And we can\'t say enough good about the medical services we acessed and the care we received at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. If we had to have a medical problem, this was the right spot.
    I also checked fuel prices 1/15/09 at Portsmouth Ocean Marine – Diesel 1.85 (-.10) for BoatUS. members.
    We're about to head south from Norfolk. Hoping for warmer weather somewhere.
    Happy New Year
    Jeanie and Wes Quigley
    MV Miss Ruby

  • Marinas Near AICW’s Northern Genesis

    Tidewater and Waterside look to be chock-a-block full, as is AYB and the walls at Great Bridge.  Everyone is on the move.  We arrived here at 13:30 and called ahead to AYB to find out it was full.  So we stopped early and got a slip at Waterside.  For those of you who have memories of this being an adventurous place to stay, meaning dangerous, I can tell you it seems now to be wonderful.  We met a couple of Segway riding policemen who advised the area has improved dramatically in the last few years.  So, if Tidewater is full, this is a good alternative.
    Scott

  • Jordan Bridge (Staute Mile 2.8) To Remain Permanently Open

    Received a note late on 10/15/08 from one of our most faithful correspondents, Captain Allan DeWall, that copied a newspaper article reporting the permanent “closing” of the “Jordan Bridge” at Statute Mile 2.8. Unfortunately, as the article is copyrighted, I can not reproduce it here.
    Anyway, I e-mailed Captain Allan, and asked whether all this meant the span in question would remain in the open position. After some research, he replied:

    Claiborne,
    I found a bit more about the plans for closing the bridge.  The following is from an online brochure entitled “Decommisioning of the Jordan Bridge; Your Questions Answered”:
    What will happen to the bridge?
    The lift span will be placed in the “up” position and gates will be down and locked. Within six months of the
    decommission date, Public Works will work with a contractor to begin complete disassembly of the bridge to remove it from the waterway. The City plans to salvage the steel in an effort to offset removal expenses.
    You can download the 2-page brochure at:
    http://www.chesapeake.va.us/services/depart/pub-wrks/pdffiles/jordan-bridge-assessment/Jordan-Bridge-Decommissioning-Brochure-opt.pdf
    Cheers,
    Allan

    Subject: ICW bridge closing in Norfolk, VA
    Message: Claiborne,
    The first two bridges encountered by southbound ICW cruisers leaving Norfolk are the normally- raised Norfolk & Portsmouth Railroad Bridge at ICW M/M 2.6 and the Jordan Highway Bridge at ICW M/M 2.8. The Jordan Bridge has been declared unsafe for highway traffic and will close permanently on November 8. The bridge will be raised to it\’s full 145 foot height after closure and will no longer impede ICW traffic flow.
    The Jordan Bridge is the first on-request bridge south of Norfolk and sits 15\’ above low water. It is built of girders and rises horizontally between two towers.
    Norman R. Blinn

  • Hospital Point Anchorage

    Subject: Hospital Point, VA anchorage changes.
    Message: The popular Hospital Point anchorage in Norfolk, has changed: the area used to carry anywhere from 4-10′ depths; however, it seems to have been dredged recently. So, get used to 8-20′ at the anchorage. There is also a yellow weather buoy in the center of the anchoring area. The rumor that \\\”all crabpot floaters are gone from this anchorage\\\” is not true; there are a few, but thankfully, not the abundance one used to see.
    Raf Belliard

  • Great Norfolk Marine Air Conditioning Dealer

    Marine Air Conditioning Repair
    Cruising News: Claiborne,
    While on a trip to the Chesapeake a few weeks ago, my marine AC broke down while in the York River north of Norfolk, VA.  I called Ocean Options , Annapolis, MD , and they gave me their service reps name in the Norfolk area.  I contacted him on a Tues. evening and he was on my boat the next morning at 9am.  He drove an hour each way and put in some more refirgerate in the system.  He only charges $45.00/ hr. labor cost.  What a find.  His name is John of John's Marine Services at 757/373-9897.  I would recommend him to anyone needing marine air conditioning services.
    Phil
    S/V Katash

    Marine Air Conditioning Repair
    Cruising News: Claiborne,
    While on a trip to the Chesapeake a few weeks ago, my marine AC broke down while in the York River north of Norfolk, VA.  I called Ocean Options , Annapolis, MD , and they gave me their service reps name in the Norfolk area.  I contacted him on a Tues. evening and he was on my boat the next morning at 9am.  He drove an hour each way and put in some more refirgerate in the system.  He only charges $45.00/ hr. labor cost.  What a find.  His name is John of John's Marine Services at 757/373-9897.  I would recommend him to anyone needing marine air conditioning services.
    Phil
    S/V Katash

  • Hospital Point – Lack of Crab Pots (Hooray!)

    Subject: Norfolk ICW
    Cruising News: Just a quick note on Hospital Point.  There were virtually no crab pots in the HP anchorage.  First time in many years.  Makes for a fine point of departure, especially northbound cruisers.  We had a great time.  Visited the dinghy dock at Waterside (upstream from the battleship)  for USD 3 and explored Norfolk.  The old battleship dinghy dock has disappeared.
    Bob Todd

    Subject: Norfolk ICW
    Cruising News: Just a quick note on Hospital Point.  There were virtually no crab pots in the HP anchorage.  First time in many years.  Makes for a fine point of departure, especially northbound cruisers.  We had a great time.  Visited the dinghy dock at Waterside (upstream from the battleship)  for USD 3 and explored Norfolk.  The old battleship dinghy dock has disappeared.
    Bob Todd

  • Norfolk and Western RR Bridge (Statute Mile 3.6) On Very Restricted Opening Schedule

    Subject: Bridge closure at MM 3.6
    Cruising News: The Norfolk & Western RR bridge on the ICW at MM 3.6 has been closed for two days, only opening for about a half hour each day.   It was open today from 9:00AM to 9:30AM and closed for the rest of the day. The Coast Guard says it will post the bridge status on channel 22a.  North bound trawlers will need to make the 8:30AM opening of the bridge at MM 8.8 which is closed from 6:30AM till 8:30AM.  This allows an hour to make it to the bridge at MM 3.6 before it closes.  No estimate as to when repairs will be complete.
    Sue & Bob Mimlitch

    VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (AIWW) – ELIZABETH RIVER (SOUTHERN BRANCH) TO THE ALBERMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL FENDER SYSTEM REPAIRS WILL BE PERFORMED AT THE NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH BELTLINE RAILROAD BRIDGE AT AIWW MILE 2.6 ACROSS THE SOUTHERN BRANCH OF THE ELIZABETH RIVER IN CHESAPEAKE VA EACH DAY FROM 7AM TO 5PM BEGINNING ON 17 JUN 08 UNTIL 11 SEP 08. TO FACILLITATE REPAIRS, A CRANE BARGE WILL OCCUPY THE CHANNEL REDUCING THE AVAILABLE HORIZONTAL CLEARANCE TO 230 FEET. MARINERS REQUIRING THE FULL WIDTH OF THE CHANNEL ARE REQUESTED TO PROVIDE AT LEAST A TWO-HOUR ADVANCE NOTICE BY CALLING THE SUPERINTENDENT AT (757) 237-0519. MARINERS SHOULD USE EXTREME CAUTION WHILE TRANSITING THE AREA.
    BT

    Subject: Bridge closure at MM 3.6
    Cruising News: The Norfolk & Western RR bridge on the ICW at MM 3.6 has been closed for two days, only opening for about a half hour each day.  It was open today from 9:00AM to 9:30AM and closed for the rest of the day.  The Coast Guard says it will post the bridge status on channel 22a.  North bound trawlers will need to make the 8:30AM opening of the bridge at MM 8.8 which is closed from 6:30AM till 8:30AM.  This allows an hour to make it to the bridge at MM 3.6 before it closes.  No estimate as to when repairs will be complete.
    Sue & Bob Mimlitch

    VA – CHESAPEAKE BAY – ATLANTIC INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (AIWW) – ELIZABETH RIVER (SOUTHERN BRANCH) TO THE ALBERMARLE AND CHESAPEAKE CANAL FENDER SYSTEM REPAIRS WILL BE PERFORMED AT THE NORFOLK AND PORTSMOUTH BELTLINE RAILROAD BRIDGE AT AIWW MILE 2.6 ACROSS THE SOUTHERN BRANCH OF THE ELIZABETH RIVER IN CHESAPEAKE VA EACH DAY FROM 7AM TO 5PM BEGINNING ON 17 JUN 08 UNTIL 11 SEP 08. TO FACILLITATE REPAIRS, A CRANE BARGE WILL OCCUPY THE CHANNEL REDUCING THE AVAILABLE HORIZONTAL CLEARANCE TO 230 FEET. MARINERS REQUIRING THE FULL WIDTH OF THE CHANNEL ARE REQUESTED TO PROVIDE AT LEAST A TWO-HOUR ADVANCE NOTICE BY CALLING THE SUPERINTENDENT AT (757) 237-0519. MARINERS SHOULD USE EXTREME CAUTION WHILE TRANSITING THE AREA.
    BT

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