Along the ICW - A Change in Plans?

Day 14 – 8 nm to go It rained during the night and we woke to a grey morning. We slept with our aft hatch open and knew it was raining when our feet got wet. We were up by 0530, but it was a lazy, dreary morning. I wrote and edited photos while David made a run to the local Taylor Do-It Center to find a new hose nozzle and connector.

I watched Canada geese with their goslings only a few feet away from the dock. A mallard duck couple mingled with the geese, but were given the snub by the geese and cautionary honks when they waddled too close to the goslings. Squirrels raced around and we saw several brown bunnies enjoying the rich green grass a la morning dew.

icw14_Canada geese

We had every intention of making the 0900 Great Bridge opening, but the VHF wailed a violent weather alert for our area about 0830 and we decided to stick around till the weather passed. At first the thunder was distant and half-hearted, but the squall approached quickly and in no time, the lightning bolted through the sky, thunder cracked and the heavens opened up and gave us a good dousing. With only 8nm to Norfolk, the end of the ICW (and 8 bridges and a set of locks), there was no rush.

heavy rain on the intracoastal waterway

Around 10:00, there was a lull in the rain. We sprung off the dock, made a U-turn in the channel and tied up at the Atlantic Yacht Basin (AYB) fuel dock on the opposite shore for a diesel top-up. The rain began in earnest again and since we were alone at the fuel dock, the dockmaster had no problems delaying the fuel fill till the rain stopped. We decided we'd take a look around. AYB is a working boatyard, not a marina. There were still basic amenities like hot showers, laundry, free wifi, water and electric on the docks, but there was also a 60-ton Travelift, an on-site chandlery, several boats on the hard and lots of workers busy at their trade. This place had potential.

canada geese on the intracoastal waterway

So time for consultation and consideration … we had lots of questions.

  1. Did they have room for Nine of Cups if we decided to leave her here till our return in early September? Were the rates reasonable?
  2. Did they have a marine mechanic on staff for the transmission repair? And what would the repair costs be?
  3. Would Cups be safe here during hurricane season?
  4. Could we rent a one-way car here in Chesapeake, VA to drive up to Boston and how would we get to the rental car place?
  5. We intend to drive back from Las Vegas in September, leave the car and sail for a month or so. Could we leave our car here safely and without cost?

For the answers to these questions and many more and the results of our decision, check back tomorrow.