Warning; This is a long post.
Great Bridge, VA is always a good stop along the waterway before entering the Chesapeake Bay northbound or after the Chesapeake if southbound. The free tie up on the wall between the bridge and lock gives access to groceries, shopping of all sorts, restaurants, hardware stores, pharmacies and most anything you might need. For us, it was an opportunity to visit with friends that live nearby. But after a few days of visiting and then waiting for the rains to let up, we locked through the Great Bridge Lock once more and motored north through the Norfolk/Portsmouth waterway. Cruising past our Naval Fleet and the many different types of vessels encountered along this stretch is always an amazing experience. We see everything from riverboats and nuclear submarines, to aircraft carriers and working tug boats. All against Norfolk's and Portsmouth's towering backdrop. There is always a visible security presence all along the waterfront, and they are serious about their job. It's imperative that anyone give the Naval vessels a wide berth.
The Great Book Of Anchorages, Norfolk to Key West), give you the latest on the town and direct you to wherever you might need to go. It seems that many boaters don't know that the 14 slips at the park are not the only free facilities offered by the town.
On September 21, 2013 the town of Belhaven, North Carolina will hold the 1st annual Birthplace of the Inland Waterway Celebration. You might ask yourself, what is the Inland Waterway and why are they celebrating? The Inland Waterway is the original name for what is today called the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. The reason Belhaven plans a celebration is because in August of 1928, 20,000 people, politicians, dignitaries, Coast Guard contingents, Corps of Engineers, Naval airplanes and powerboat racers converged on Belhaven to celebrate the completion of a 22-mile canal linking the Alligator and Pungo Rivers. This canal was the final component to complete the Inland Waterway and allow commerce to flow from the northern ports as far as Boston to Beaufort without having to go out into the Atlantic around Cape Hatteras. Belhaven officially became a seaport and also became known for its lumber industry, with 13 sawmills, 2-world renown, a growing seafood industry and a reputation for hospitality, second to none.