SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Thursday, 1 May 2014
FL to CT Day 24, 25, and 26
Layover in Smithfield, VA
Arrived in Smithfield , VA three days ago on the April 28th and have not been able to leave due to weather. Looks like we will be able to depart in the morning Friday, May 2nd.

The weather has been horrible the last few days... rain and high winds... even protected on the Pagan River the wind was kicking up some pretty good size waves... 1-2 foot waves banging on the port side of SAILS... then when the tide was going out against the wind we saw 2-3 foot waves. The waves were real short period so they made more noise banging against the hull than rocking us. We did bounce a little bit as you could here the wood blinds clicking on the windows as they moved.

Besides the weather it has been a great layover getting to visit with a lot friends we had not seen in a few years. Wayne and Judy, McPhail, Brian and Melissa Nehrbass, Lee and Cynthia Wheelehan, and William and Connie Wells.

Below a few photos from Smithfield.


SAILS docked beside William and Connie's 72' Burger



Black Swan that was hanging around the boat



Susan walking Beecha behind Willaim and Connie's house.



Looking down the dock at SAILS and SUMMER GIRL II

Posted at 12:34 PM
Monday, 28 April 2014
FL to CT Day 23
Portsmouth, VA to Smithfield, VA
Later departure this morning at 0800 as we were only traveling to Smithfield, VA. We have some great friends Judy and Wayne McPhail that live there on the Pagan River and we have not seen them for a few years. We had planned to stop and see them this trip north.

Looking at the weather forecast for the next few days it appears like we may be visiting for 2-3 days... Chesapeake Bay forecast for 5-7 seas... not a very nice ride at all... so we'll wait out the weather here with awesome friends! There neighbor has been very gracious to allow us to dock at his dock... :)

We arrived to Smithfield at approximately 1130 and docked at N36°59.610', W076°37.431'. We traveled today for 3.5 hours covering 22.5 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 10:47 AM
Sunday, 27 April 2014
FL to CT Day 22
Coinjock, NC to Portsmouth, VA
Departed this morning at later than normal.. had a little computer work come in that needed to be done before we left so departure time was 0820.

Today is a terrible day for bridges... the opening schedules just won't allow us to make them... pass through one bridge and there is no way we can make the next bridges opening time at our 7 knot pace.

First Bridge was the North Landing Bridge... takes about 3-4 hours to get there from Coinjock. It opens on the hour and half hour... but the bridge after it the Centerville Turnpike Bridge only opens on the hour... they are just over 5 miles apart... we have to run at over 8 knots to make it within the half hour... so we have to go through the North Landing on the hour opening and then take an hour to the 5 miles to the Centerville Bridge... that's at about 4 knots.

Anyway, had it all planned out and then as we get closer I start hearing the Centerville Bridge opening at times other than top of the hour... come to find out that their restricted opening schedule is only during the week days... weekends are on demand... YEAH! So, once we made the North Landing we continued on at normal speed and the Centerville bridge opened on demand as we approached... very nice!

After this we still had the Great Bridge Bridge that does only open on the hour and we were totally out of whack timing wise for this so we continued on and pulled into the dock just before the bridge and tied up for 40 minutes to wait on the 1400 opening. Susan Took Beecha for a walk and it was a nice break in the middle of the day.

After the bridge we immediately go into the Great Bridge Lock... there was only us and one small 28 foot boat locking through... drop 1.5 feet and we were out heading to the next bridge that we also only opens on the hour... Steel Bridge... it's less than 3 miles away... so we creep at a snails pace taking 45 minutes to travel 2.4 miles... just above idle... and still have to wait at the steel bridge for 10 minutes. There is a new high rise bridge under construction so this soon will be a thing of the past.

From here it free sailing... the Gilmerton Bridge is new and now has a 35 foot clearance and we do not need to open it... next stop Portsmouth. Well, almost... last 2 miles from our destination for the night is the Belt Line R&R Bridge... rarely closed... but today we watched it close in front of us as we approached... waited only 5-10 minutes...watched the train cross the bridge and we back underway.

We arrived the free dock a the end of High St, Portsmouth, VA... a popular place for cruisers to stop before heading up the Chesapeake Bay. There were three other trawlers and two sailboats already moored here. We pulled into our normal spot along the high wall... most boats do not like it due to it's height above the water... but it is perfect for our side gate... same level... :)

We were secure at 1600 at approximate locations N36°50.130', W076°17.777'. We traveled today for 7.7 hours covering 41.8 nautical miles averaging 5.4 knots.
Posted at 3:48 PM
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