Thursday, November 5, 2015

One Bridge Too Many

This afternoon provided quite the adventure for us. We made the opening for the railroad bridge that had limited openings because it is currently under repair. However, we did get stuck for 20 minutes between two bridges. 

We made it to the lock on the Great Dismal Swamp Canal for the 11 AM opening. And then things didn't work so well. Here we are waiting to go into the lock.

Here we are in the lock.

We first had to wait for a trawler that didn't respond to the radio calls from the lock master. That caused a little confusion and a little delay. Next, we had the last minute arrival. The lock master reopened the gates to let that boat in. Then, the lock had problems filling. It took an extra 15 minutes more than usual.

Finally, we make it out of the lock and head for the bridge. For those of you unfamiliar with the canal, the northern lock is immediately followed by a bridge for local traffic. The lock master first empties the lock, then jumps in his vehicle to drive down to the bridge, and finally he opens the bridge. We made it through the lock. The lock master drives off. The bridge DOES NOT go up. We get a radio call from the lock master. The bridge is having power problems. He has called for an electrician. We have lunch. Some of us wait. Some of us take a nap. We hear (on the radio) the lock master set up for another lock opening. He warns the new boats that there is a delay. Finally, at 2:45, the bridge raises. The lock master wishes us a safe trip. Most of us get through before we hear the lock master announce on the radio that an emergency vehicle was on its way. The bridge was going down NOW. The sailboat two boats behind us radios that he has the throttle in full reverse. The bridge went down - much faster than it had gone up!

We're on our way again. We hope to be at the Visitors Center by 5:30. It seems our plans of making it all the way through the canal will not come true on this trip.

It has been rainy and dreary all afternoon. However, we did make good time. We docked at the Visitors Center at 5:03 PM.

No comments: