Friday August 20 – Monday August 23
We have a great view from our anchorage looking across the Elizabeth River at Norfolk and being able to see Portsmouth behind us. After anchoring we spend the afternoon relaxing on the boat. Winds have died down and it is hot & humid so we are waiting to go into Portsmouth to walk around & find a place for dinner when it cools down a little. We go to the nearby Tidewater marina and tie off by what passes as a dinghy dock. A nice marina with a floating pool, restaurant & ships store that we stop at to get a map of the town and a visitors guide book. Walk into town through the historic district, passing by some neat old homes & buildings on beautifully tree lined streets. Stopping to read some of the history plaques & notice there is also an old mildew smell to the area. The area is clean but with all the shade, moss & mildew grow along the sidewalks. We go to High Street the “main drag” checking out the different restaurants. We notice there are no crosswalk signs telling you when to cross, that is because It is a very pedestrian friendly city where pedestrians have the right of way. Both Portsmouth & Norfolk have a long history with the Navy & ship building. A lot of battles were fought in these waters between the two towns, and it is strange being anchored in the same area. Saturday morning we are alerted to a cruise ship docking across the river by 5 loud blows of his horn, he is turning in the river and looks like he is getting close to the boats anchored closer to the channel. He has escort boats blocking the river froward & back, guess he just wanted to make sure no one else got in the way. The Cruise ship docking interferes/blocks our internet connection. We get great signals in places we think we won't get any signal, and in a big city where we think we should get a good signal we get a weak one or none. Learn that is because there are so many signals out there it makes it harder for our antenna to connect. Saturday morning we head across the river to Norfolk. We had called ahead to the Waterside marina to see if we can use their dinghy dock and they say yes for a $3 charge, they even meet us as we come in to help tie up the dinghy (pretty funny). Get maps & visitor guides from the marina and walk past the Town Point Park area on our way to Norfolk’s “main drag” Granby St. Find a place for an early lunch before going to the Nauticus Naval Museum that includes the Battleship USS Wisconsin. It is a very interesting museum and they kick us out at closing after spending 5 hours viewing the different displays. Wander around the streets for an hour checking out restaurants. Go for an early dinner as we do not want to go back across the busy river in the dark. Get back to the boat just before another beautiful sunset with a breeze & a cooler temperature than the night before. Norfolk is a neat city that we hope to stop at again on our way south in the fall. Sunday we have the alarm set for an early awakening as we are planning an early departure for a long day up the bay. It had started raining in the early morning hours and it is still raining heavy when the alarm goes off at 6, there was a 80 % chance of rain but we were hoping it would be like the trip up the ICW where we missed it. Steve gets up and checks the weather and it does not look good so we delay our departure until Monday. Around 8:30 Steve goes out to see how the weather is looking and calls down to me that the Staten Island Ferry is going by, sure enough it is under tow escort coming down for repairs we guess. The weather is actually looking a little better, still a few threatening clouds around and since we had a long distance to go we stay put. Hind sight is 20/20 if we knew the bad weather would be over so soon we would have started out in the rain or gone into town again. As it is we have a relaxing day on board reading, playing cards & backgammon. Monday's forecast is much better so we will travel then. We wake Monday to a beautiful morning and are underway by 7 AM passing thru Hampton Roads channel to the Chesapeake. Passing Naval Battleships along the way and WOW are they big & impressive. Just as we get to the end we here one announce over the radio that he is preparing to be underway. Hope to see him go by us but I guess they take a lot longer to get under way then we do, probably have a few more lines to undo. By the time he is out we can see him but too far to get a good picture. As he is heading out an aircraft carrier is coming in and they pass each other, even more impressive seeing them moving on the water than tied up at the docks. We get to be a sail boat for a little while as we head east to avoids shoals but then we have to turn north and the wind is on the nose so we become a motor boat again, It is a Beautiful day to be on the water making our way up the Chesapeake, an amazing body of water with more rivers, sounds, bays, & creeks then I can count. We made good time and reach our stopover town of Reedville, passing by an extremely smelly fish processing plant famous for the UN-edible fish Menhaden used for fertilizer and Omega-3 oil, and are anchored for the night by 5:30.
Link to Pictures;