The trip from Coinjock to Chesapeake was about 32 nm approx 25% of which was across the open waters of the Currituck Sound – another area liberally sprinkled with crab pots. The rest of the day was spent in narrower river (North River) and canal waters.
The past 3 nights we had been joined in marina with a 42’ Grand Banks trawler and so had made acquaintances. Trawler generally travel. More slowly than the Last Resort. I heard them leave Coinjock about 1.5 hours earlier than did the Last Resort. A few miles before Chesapeake VA we caught up with them and he hailed me on the radio. He said his batteries were depleted. I wondered what was going on since his boat and boat name didn’t show up on my chart plotter. Commercial boats are required to have AIS (Automatic identification System) receive and transmit technology. It is like radio/GPS radar without the radar. The transmitter is registered with the US Coast Guard and the FCC with all the pertinent vessel info. It continuously transmits its location, vessel name etc and any boat with AIS receiving capability can “see” the transmitting vessel. This “sight” allows you to even see a vessel out of sight, around a curve etc. without radar. Seeing the AIS vessel on your chart plotter as a 🔼 means the vessel is going the same direction as yourself and as a 🔽 indicates it is coming towards you etc. When the transmitting vessel is at distance, its triangle icon will be green but when closer, say 1/2 mile, the computer changes the triangle color to red and calculates by minutes and seconds, updated each second, the time to intersection, if any. If the two courses will actually intersect/collide, that forecasted point of collision is displayed on the chart with a red shipwreck symbol together with how much time will elapse at current speeds before said disaster. It’s really fascinating technology and I’m glad I installed it.
Many pleasure boats now have the receive capacity built into newer systems but few have both the transmit and receive capacity. Both the Last Resort and his Grand Banks are equipped with both transmit and receive AIS and when I identified his boat with the binoculars but didn’t see him on the chart, I was puzzled until I realized he had all his power consuming electronics shut off. The marina in Chesapeake was full service so I radio’d back that I’d lead him in and radio for him. (The diesel engines themselves, once started, don’t consume battery power).
So I did a slow pass and took the lead. Prior to the marina in Chesapeake, we came to the Centreville Turnpike Bridge which neither of us could clear. The bridge, a draw bridge, only opened on the hour and there was no way we’d get there on time. It didn’t appear as though there were any boats waiting for an opening so I hailed the bridge tender on the radio, explained we were leading a partially disabled boat and would she hold off opening the bridge for 10 minutes till we arrived and so wouldn’t have to wait nearly another hour for an opening. She agreed and we passed thru without missing a beat.
I hailed the Atlantic Yacht Basin boat yard (full service with mechanics) and told them the situation, made sure they had slips for both of us and waved the Grand Banks into a space on the face dock. Once in, the Last Resort docked right astern.
I’ve heard some of you say you liked some of the prior foodie pics. There won’t be any in this post. Ordered Chinese delivered. Ugh. Not worth using any electronic pixels for it.
Chesapeake is just south of Norfolk and the plan is to hang around that area for the weekend.
Thanks for reading!!