Friday, July 3, 2015

Bridges, Tunnels and Yards

Finding a boatyard that can haul a 21+ foot wide catamaran, is reasonably priced, and allows you to do your own work in the Chesapeake is more difficult than I had anticipated.  Maybe, after my previous experiences, I'm now a bit pickier about yards.  Of course, my need for both a short haul-out and time in the water while I work on the hardtop (don't want to be living on the hard while building the top) has played a role too.  In any case, the hunt for a yard has been interesting.

We were able to locate three yards that, at least on paper or via phone conversations, seemed to fit the bill.  So, the last couple days we ended up making short road trips to see these yards and meet the people before we decide.  And this segues into the other subject of this post.

Most people, at least that don't live around here, might agree that a bridge and a tunnel are mutually exclusive things.  One, the bridge, usually spans a gap or crosses over something like a river, gorge, or canyon. On the other hand a tunnel usually burrows it's way underground.  These seem like two mutually exclusive tasks...but not here in Hampton Roads.  Here they have highway structures called "bridge-tunnels" that are a combination of the two.

One of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel segments.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-TunnelHampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, and Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel all allow motorists in the area to cross the big rivers and the bays of the Chesapeake watershed.  They are bridges that cross over the water until they reach a shipping channel, then like a gopher, burrow beneath the channel so big boats (and us smaller sailboats) can pass overhead.  The 23 mile long Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is actually a combination of several trestles, two tunnels, and one span of bridge that goes over a channel.  And we used two of these to check out a boatyard in Cape Charles, saving us a very long land-only-based drive to the peninsula

The trip was productive and we were able to put the three "finalist" boatyards in order of preference. So, if we are able to get something setup with our first choice today, we should have a place to go to get work done next week.  Keeping my fingers crossed.

And here were a couple funny signs we found during the trip (previously posted on my Facebook page)...

Nonsense you say?

Do lots of people want to live here?

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