Day 5, Year 10: Intracoastal Waterway—Chesapeake, VA to Coinjock, NC
Date: Wednesday, October 15, 2014
Weather: Overcast, Periods of Torrential Rain, Winds S 15-20, Sometimes 25-35
Latitude: 36 20.906 N
Longitude: 075 56.944 W
Total Miles Traveled: 419 Nautical Miles
Miles Traveled Today: 29.5 Nautical Miles
Location: Coinjock, NC, Mile 49.5 on the Intracoastal Waterway

This afternoon we arrived at the dock in Coinjock with a big CRUNCH—literally. The marina staff asked us to dock in a 60 foot space between two huge sport fishing boats. I gave the wheel to Mark because I knew I couldn’t do it. He tried, but neither of us understood just how strong the current was here. Mark gave it his best shot, but the current pushed us against the first sport fishing boat and there was nothing I could do to fend us off. The current was pushing onto the boat. The stanchion by our exit gate was rubbing against the other boat’s rub rail so hard it was bending our stanchion backwards. The guys onboard came out and helped push us off and we pulled up to the dock at a different spot where we didn’t have to ‘parallel’ park. I really didn’t think we had damaged the sport fishing boat at all as I was standing there watching the whole thing happen while trying to push us off. Their rub rail was metal and it didn’t look damaged by our encounter. But there was a scrape in their gel coat just under the same place where our stanchion got into a battle with their rub rail. They were insistent that our rub rail scraped their hull. They said they would rather settle for cash rather than go through the insurance process and they wanted $200. Our rub rail had no white paint on it and because their rub rail was almost like a wing sticking out from their boat, I honestly don’t think we caused the scrape in their gel coat. But what to do? We paid the $200 and then went out to dinner in the marina restaurant. It has been an expensive day!

In addition to being expensive, there were also some challenging moments. At 8:30 am Mark was sitting in the cockpit and I was downstairs getting breakfast together. We knew the bridge didn’t open until 9 am, so we had time to relax. Wrong. All of a sudden Mark yelled down to tell me the bridge was opening. He started the engine and jumped off the boat and onto the dock to untie the lines. I got behind the wheel and took off. He jumped onboard and we made it through the bridge before they closed it. Phew! A couple of workmen in hardhats were in a small rowboat going from the marina over to the bridge. I think the opening was for them to do some work, but it gave us a chance to get away before the crowd of boats that we knew would be there at 9 am. It was a challenging moment, but we made it. Things then went along smoothly all morning. We had periods of rain, but each time the rain passed quickly. Then in the afternoon we had torrential downpours with 25 to 35 knot winds. You could see absolutely nothing. This was another challenge. Thank goodness for electronic navigation. We had to navigate just by looking at the screen and hoping it was right on. I don’t mind being out in the ocean in blinding rain, but in the small quarters of the Intracoastal Waterway, it is a bit scary. Once, just as one of the torrential storms ended, I looked beside us to see a beautiful motor cruiser passing us. As I was admiring its beauty, I saw it was from Woods Hole. I had never seen this boat before, so Mark called to inquire. The captain explained that indeed the boat is from Woods Hole, but that they keep it at ‘the big house’ on Penzance Point, not in the harbor. Ahhh. Penzance Point is a small gated community in Woods Hole where the very wealthy, mostly from New York, have summer homes. People often laugh about the fact that the small peninsula might sink from all the money out there. Next summer we’ll look for the Eagle in Woods Hole.

The weather has settled some this evening and it is supposed to be sunny tomorrow with very little wind. We are jammed in like sardines on this dock tonight, so we will have to wait for either the boat in front or in back of us to leave in the morning before we attempt a get away. But at some point, we will continue on and hope to have a calmer day tomorrow.

141015 Day 5 Passage to SC, USA–Intracoastal, Chesapeake, VA to Coinjock, NC
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Day 6, Year 10: ICW-Coinjock, NC to Alligator River, NC
Day 4, Year 10: Made It to Norfolk and Beyond