Saturday – August 17th: Great Bridge, VA

The High School Crew Team at Great Bridge

The High School Crew Team at Great Bridge

Thursday, we had a rough 36-mile sail from Gwynn Island down to an anchorage on Bennett Creek, which is just off the Poquoson River. Even-though I am sure you all know just where that is located, I give a quick description. Essentially, it is getting closer back to Hampton, where we’ll start heading South on the ICW. It’s a nice little anchorage with a couple older marinas, but surrounded by new homes. A number of newer subdivisions have built up because of the close proximity to Hampton and Newport News. There was a shabby little place called Owen’s Marina Restaurant that is reported to have very good local Flounder Fish & Chips. I do have to admit, it is probably the best fried fish I’ve ever had, even if the ambiance left a little to be desired. Hey, a crew from a Coast Guard boat came in and ate there too, so we should be OK.

Friday, we crossed on down through Hampton Roads. We were in luck that none of those “War Ships”, from which you MUST stay 500-yards, were entering or exiting. It is simply amazing how much commercial ship traffic goes on in this area. We kept on going down the Elizabeth River. Instead of taking the turn down the Dismal Swamp Canal, we opted for different scenery by taking what they call the “Virginia Cut Route”. Our stop for the night – in fact for two nights – was Atlantic Yacht Basin, just past “Great Bridge”. Things get a little confusing because there is a bridge called “Great Bridge” in a town called “Great Bridge”. This ws a major re-provisioning stop because not only have we not seen a grocery store for several weeks, there is a fantastic Farm Fresh supermarket about one-half mile from our slip.

Now, you may not realize that a decisive battle of the the Revolutionary War took place at Great Bridge in 1775. The complete defeat of the British at Great Bridge allowed the Americans to capture Norfolk, giving the Americans a naval base, and ending British rule of Virginia.

Saturday was a busy day. In the morning Paula made good use of the marina’s washers and dryers, while I scrubbed down Freestyle from stem to stern. That afternoon we had lunch at Moe’s, and then it was off to Farm Fresh, where we loaded up two very full shopping carts. By the time all was loaded back on Freestyle, she was floating a couple inches below her normal waterline.

It appears that rowing is popular here. Friday, Saturday, and early Sunday we saw high school kids and adults out rowing in the canal right by our boat. The local high school has rowing as a sport, and there is a club team as well. It brought back memories of when our daughter Jessica was on the Macalister College crew team.

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