Oh, no! A crisis…Scott’s beloved salt water pump that he uses to clean the chain and anchor stopped working just as he finished cleaning off the mud! He checked everything: cleaned the strainer, electrical connections, and potential blockages. Once everything checked out okay he read the manual for the first time and learned that the pump automatically shuts off after 10 minutes of use. What a relief!!!!
We left Belhaven and traveled to an anchorage about 8 nm. (nautical miles) south of Coinjock via the Alligator River-Pungo River Canal. In the Waterway Guide it mentioned that we might see bears swimming or deer on the shore…darn, I only saw dolphins! This was a lovely passage that was quite marshy but with some very tall, slender pine trees. The entire boat was inundated with beautiful dragon flies followed by large mosquitoes once we docked at Coinjock Marina where we settled after foregoing the unprotected anchorage.
We traveled 77 mi. to Coinjock which is quite famous in the Kadey-Krogen world for their 32 oz. prime rib. We chose to eat in and pig out on roasted garlic carrots which were so good I could eat every day! I was able to slip in a quick 2+ mi. walk (Scott walked 1 mi.) the next morning before departing at 8:00 a.m.
The next day we completed the last 50 mi. from Coinjock to Norfolk just in time for their Harbor Fest. These miles were the most difficult Scott had ever boated, consisting of constant curves, shallow waters and boat traffic. He was exhausted from continuous and intense piloting of the boat because there was no opportunity to use autopilot. Upon arrival, the harbor was crowded but we snuggled into the anchorage right across from the festival. Norfolk is home to the largest naval air base in the world explaining why we saw many air craft carriers and battleships lining the shores.
We were greeted with a welcoming committee of Scott and Teri Miller on their Ribalo center console fishing boat. We were joined by Neal and Margretta and enjoyed some laughs, usually at ourselves and our boating experiences. We turned in early as we had had an intense day, actually an intense 10 days.
Monday was overcast, foggy and chilly so we chilled out onboard. Scott spent the day installing and downloading Rosepoint/Coastal Explorer, a navigation charting program which operates completely without cellular connection. To that he hooked up GPS and overlaid Active Captain. I spent the day completing the project I started on Wednesday, cleaning the 73 cherry louvered doors! It was so nice to relax in one place.
Tuesday was another drizzly, foggy and cool day so we worked on flights and travel plans. It has been interesting watching a wide array of vessels float past us. One would think the boat would be rocking from their waves but it was quite calm. Since we didn’t get to explore the town this time we will definitely make time to do it on our way south in the fall.