Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Navigational aid with eagle's nest on top - parent off in search of breakfast.
Boat belonging to folks from Nova Scotia with whom I had dinner yesterday.
Boats in Coinjock
From Coinjock to Chesapeake today, just south of Norfolk and Portsmouth VA. The navigation aids used through most of the waterways are a red triangle or a green square. The color indicates on which side of the marker you should pass depending on whether you are going north or south or into a port. These are placed on a single wood piling in the water with the aid rising 5 feet or more off the water. As most of the waters are under 20 feet in depth the piling can be set and insure visibility from longer distances - sometimes I have to use my GPS and fix on a navigation aid I can’t see but must pass. So I put the cursor on that and then use the function "GO TO" until I can see the marker. The aids are important as they show the general channel. The aids are not frequent enough that you can go flying down a waterway without paying attention - sooner or later you will go aground and that can be very expensive. I've done this several times and was able to push the boat off the shoal and continue on - nicked up my prop but not game ending. I do carry a spare prop and, after my mishaps, try to pay more attention to where the channels go. Some of the biggest bodies of water may have depths of less than 5 feet, even miles from shore.
The thing about the nav aids is that most of them have resident birds resting on them. Today there were permanent eagles’ nests atop almost each pole and you could see the heads of the young eaglets in the nests. Some poles are lighted and are indicated as such on the navigational charts. It is not recommended for recreational boaters to travel at night, but commercial traffic does use the waterways 24 hours.
Got a taxi to my room and the driver showed me where I could find the Verizon store - needed some advice and a new charger. My Verizon Incredible phone sure is nice and I'm still learning features. A direct competitor to the iPhone, it has many features that have come in handy on this trip.
Tomorrow I will attempt to go 100 miles up the Chesapeake to Solomons, MD. Will have to check the weather at 5 when I get up to make sure it is ok to give up my room and take a taxi back to the boat. Sometimes the logistics of this trip can be a little overwhelming but like today, there was a minimum of hassle getting the boat situated and it took only 20 minutes to get to a decent hotel with stores and restaurants nearby. The taxi driver waited at several hotels until I could find one that had a vacancy. Now that school is out and graduation ceremonies occurring "no vacancy" signs are not so rare.