We pondered the 2 route options to get from Albermarle Sound to Norfolk and settled on the ‘most scenic’ Great Dismal Swamp route. It was an excellent choice but a little spooky due to the shallow drafts and very skinny channel width. It also included 2 locks along the way.
Good news was that we were the only boat headed north that Sunday and we met only one sailboat headed south which was easily passed about midway through.
We did have a few ‘bumps’ along the way from floating stick debris and experienced a ‘high temp alarm’ on our port side engine shortly after entering the canal (so we pretty much ran the entire trip on only the starboard engine).
After the Dismal Swamp, we passed under the Great Bridge on our way to the Atlantic Yacht Basin for the night. On our way to dinner we learned that the Great Bridge is a national historic site where a battle took place in 1775.
We found Vino Italian Bistro Sunday night — a great little Italian Restaurant and had a 3 course meal — Salmon and Veal Parmesian, WOW!! Too much food — we had leftovers for Monday.
On Monday (8/24) we had Atlantic Yacht Basin take a look at the port engine to see what the issue was with overheating. We ended up pulling the boat out of the water to find and fix the problem, and while it was out also to fix the bow-thruster, touch-up some bottom paint and check zincs.
We learned quite a bit during this:
1) They fixed the bow-thruster, but this could have been done while in the water we were told — good to know for next time…
2) They said there was an oyster shell in the port engine water intake, and this was causing reduced water flow causing the heating problem. When we left AYB the next day however, the engine heating problem resurfaced. They said we could come back and they would take another look at it, however we were already underway to Norfolk area — Fort Monroe, VA. Still need to figure out what is happening with the motor overheating.
3) When back in the water, the air conditioner stopped working and the pump overheated. They said the pump may have needed to be re-primed after the haul-out. We learned this after the pump was not working anymore, so ordered a replacement pump, and went to Walmart to get 3 more fans to make the next few 90 degree days more bearable.