We left Beaufort NC around 7 with 200 miles left to go on the ICW to Norfolk. Along the way we stopped at Belhaven Waterway Marina, Alligator Marina and Coinjock Marina, all in North Carolina.
We always enjoy the town of Belhaven, although Spoon River, our favorite restaurant was closed on the Tuesday we were there, so we just ate on the boat. Our Wednesday stop was Alligator Marina. It and the long drawbridge by it are the only things in the area other than a large game reserve. They do have the lowest fuel prices for a long way in either direction, so while we weren’t close to empty we filled back up anyway.
Coinjock Marina was our Thursday stop and our last in North Carolina. It’s pretty remote, with the tiny town of Coinjock is on the other side of the canal. People drive for miles to eat at their steak house restaurant, and we don’t miss that when we’re here either.
Friday out of Coinjock we had some rain early on, which cleared up and we then had three scheduled drawbridges. The first two were every half hour and 5 miles apart, so we could go through the first and be just in time for the second a half hour later. The last one, the Great Bridge, is every hour. A lot of people ended up waiting for that, so 8 boats went through it and into the lock just beyond. We were fourth in, but had our big ball locking fenders kicked out, so we went starboard and tied up along the concrete side and let the others bounce on the rubber bumper side.
We arrived at Waterside Marina Friday at 1:30. This is our first time docking in Norfolk. When we first came this way with Paul and Sharon we were across the river in Portsmouth and more recently we were 12 miles north of here in Hampton. Norfolk is the most downtown of all of these and a chance to see a lot more of the city.