Monday, May 27, 2013

Norfolk, Virginia

USS Wisconsin

Norfolk, Virginia
  At last count we have gone aground three times on the shifting sandbars of the Intra-coastal Waterway. The section we just passed, known affectionately as 'The Dismal Swamp', led us to the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. Here we arrived at the formidable port and military base of Norfolk, Virginia, where we rendezvoused with cruiser friends Ronald and Sandra on SV Sandra Louise. Norfolk is the biggest naval base in the entire world, and is ringed with dozens of very imposing, and rather sinister looking, battleships and aircraft carriers, of immense proportions. 

   We tied up at the 'free' dock on the Portsmouth side of the harbour and took a paddle-wheeler over to Norfolk to tour the great battleship, U.S. Wisconsin (also known as The Wisky). At 887 feet long, it can hold over 3000 sailors, and crossed the Panama Canal with only one foot clearance on either side! With her combat days gratefully behind her, The Wisky now sits peacefully in Norfolk Harbour, ogled by inquisitive tourists. Afterwards we investigated the historic old town, including MacArthur Park, with its' tribute to General MacArthur, and Waterfront Park.

SV Sandra Louise and Chantey V at rest

Georgie please note!
     Back on Chantey V we were enjoying the view from the cockpit and admiring an adorable puppy on the boat behind us, when the frisky fellow decided to leap overboard! Being a great lover of our furry friends, what else could I do but plunge in fully clothed and attempt to rescue the poor creature? We hauled the soggy mutt to safety, but I somehow managed a trip to emergency with scraped-up toes from oyster shells on the dock! Doctor Daragh quickly went to work with the first aid kit patching me up, and ready for the next adventure. A windstorm was brewing so we decided to depart for Deltaville and on to Solomons Island. We sailed across the border into Maryland with following seas just in time to feel the winds freshen and snug up to the dock.
Blows hard but fast here
Wing on wing Chesapeake Bay

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