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  #1  
Old 10-26-2013
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Just finished trip to Norfolk

Sailed from Mystic CT, Sun, 10-20-13, left at 1Pm and arrived in Hampton VA (near Norfolk) Weds AM at 3 AM.

Sixty two hour trip, 36 hours motoring. Close hauled or higher the whole trip.

Boat was a Cardinal 47.

We did three hour shifts, just the two of us.

He had active AIS that was very beneficial. Coming into the Norfolk harbor in the dark it picked up a very large ship that was showing only basic lights that was very hard to see otherwise.
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

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Originally Posted by davidpm View Post
Sailed from Mystic CT, Sun, 10-20-13, left at 1Pm and arrived in Hampton VA (near Norfolk) Weds AM at 3 AM.

Sixty two hour trip, 36 hours motoring. Close hauled or higher the whole trip.

Boat was a Cardinal 47.

We did three hour shifts, just the two of us...
If you where motoring about half the time... and you were sleeping every 3 hours.... Does that mean you motored for 3 hours, then sailed for 3, then motored for 3...?

How was the other guy with his sail trim?

--

Nice job on the trip.

Did you consider slowing down to come into harbor at dawn? I'd be curious to know if there were any conversations around that or if you'd gone in there before.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 10-26-2013
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

The Chesapeake Bay entrance and heading into Little Creek, Norfolk/Hospital Point, or Hampton is one of the easiest there is. Hampton is the only one of the three that is even mildly interesting - there are a couple of dog legs in the channel that suggest one or more of really good night vision, a chart plotter, and radar.

Personally my choice is Little Creek in the dark or fog but I wouldn't hesitate to make any of them if circumstances dictated.
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

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The Chesapeake Bay entrance and heading into Little Creek, Norfolk/Hospital Point, or Hampton is one of the easiest there is. Hampton is the only one of the three that is even mildly interesting - there are a couple of dog legs in the channel that suggest one or more of really good night vision, a chart plotter, and radar.

Personally my choice is Little Creek in the dark or fog but I wouldn't hesitate to make any of them if circumstances dictated.
You're right, anyone who can't find their way up to Hampton Roads at night has no business sailing after dark, to begin with :-)

One thing I'd take exception to, however, is making the run down the Elizabeth River to Hospital Point/Mile 0... I'd caution anyone who had never been in there before about the difficulty that stretch can pose at night, the backlighting from shore lights seems to get worse every year... It seems I'm always going in there late at night, and unless the visibility is perfect (not to mention, no issues with dodgers/enclosures, etc) it can still be a real challenge to pick up the nav aids, or discern the lights of tugs/barges from the background on shore...

For those going into Norfolk for the first time at night - especially at the end of such a passage where a bit of fatigue might come into play - I'd suggest considering laying up in a spot like Willoughby Bay, and waiting for daylight to make the ride down to Mile 0...
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

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Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
If you where motoring about half the time... and you were sleeping every 3 hours.... Does that mean you motored for 3 hours, then sailed for 3, then motored for 3...?

How was the other guy with his sail trim?

--

Nice job on the trip.

Did you consider slowing down to come into harbor at dawn? I'd be curious to know if there were any conversations around that or if you'd gone in there before.

Regards,
Brad
No sadly I had to take shifts motoring. I didn't know him well enough to be my normal prissy self.

Sail trim was pretty easy. We just cranked it as tight as we could and sailed as close to the wind as possible.

Yes I was very surprised when he decided to make for the dock at night. There was so much traffic in a holding pattern off the inlet and the weather was predicted to turn worse he figured the risk favored going for it.
We had a pretty good visibility night.

The other issue is that from the place where you could possibly heave to would be another two hours to get up river to the dock.

It required some concentration but with ais and the chart plotter it wasn't too bad.
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

Most of that awaiting traffic are coal ships waiting to get into the terminal...usually 4-5 ships anchored there waiting....all destined for China..
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Re: Just finished trip to Norfolk

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Originally Posted by JonEisberg View Post
One thing I'd take exception to, however, is making the run down the Elizabeth River to Hospital Point/Mile 0... I'd caution anyone who had never been in there before about the difficulty that stretch can pose at night, the backlighting from shore lights seems to get worse every year... It seems I'm always going in there late at night, and unless the visibility is perfect (not to mention, no issues with dodgers/enclosures, etc) it can still be a real challenge to pick up the nav aids, or discern the lights of tugs/barges from the background on shore...

For those going into Norfolk for the first time at night - especially at the end of such a passage where a bit of fatigue might come into play - I'd suggest considering laying up in a spot like Willoughby Bay, and waiting for daylight to make the ride down to Mile 0...
It's always about choices isn't it? Sometimes it is hard to remember what I was thinking in my early days sailing. Hard as I try to put myself in the position of someone making one of their first night entries it just isn't real anymore.

We're definitely on the same page on dodgers, enclosures, stacks of electronics, and other obstructions to vision.

There are often shoaling issues in the channel to Willoughby Bay. Given any kind of choice I avoid the potential to run aground, especially at the end of a passage. It's embarrassing to move a boat hundreds of miles and get stuck just a couple of miles from your destination. *grin* I'm a pretty calm guy but running aground and having to work off or call Towboat/US at 3am when I was expecting to be asleep in a few minutes makes me ... testy.

My own choice, buried in the list of options in my earlier post, is Vinings Landing Marina in Little Creek. It's right inside the bridge/tunnel, it's a forgiving entry, the lights from the amphib base make the creek a snap, and tying up at the fuel dock is trivial. I'm not the only delivery guy that lands there so the staff are used to waking us up when they show up in the morning. Fuel up, water up, wash the salt off, and move along. Jon - if you don't have the names and numbers there I'll send them to you.
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