Wednesday, August 09, 2006

August 9. 2006 Mobjack Bay, VA

OK, OK, OK, so we have been derelict in our blogging duties! We just want to make sure you know that we haven’t sunk the boat and neither of us has fallen over the side. We’ll try to catch up. Above you see a very happy camper on the boat in the Norfolk, VA. Waterside Marina, which is in downtown Norfolk. It was a nice place but HOT. Here is someone who is having a grand time. The picture below is of Rickshaw in the harbor marina.

While we were in Norfolk we took a harbor cruise around the Navy Shipyard. It was so cool. We were told that the Nimitz class air craft carrier is the size of the Statue of Liberty but can pass us going at 60 MPH!
We left Norfolk to go up the James River, home of many historic sites. We anchored for two nights in the Pagan River opposite Smithfield, VA, famous for Smithfield Hams. We are learning lots about anchoring, like how to make sure the anchor is actually holding on the bottom (...which it wasn’t on the Pagan...). Small things!

On our way up the James River, we saw what is called the ‘Reserve Fleet’. It is a collection of old ships that, we assume, would be used in the case of an emergency. It was so eerie. There were probably 75 or so old, rusting ships tethered together. We just saw the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie and it gave us both the willies!

We spent two rolly nights in an anchorage just north of the ferry terminal next to the Jamestown settlement. Before it got too hot we put the dingy in the water and journeyed about 2.5 miles back east thru a really neat creek, and tied up to a floating dilapidated dock at the “Jamestown Yacht Basin” … not exactly, but it worked. We walked up to the Jamestown visitors’ center, and spent the morning going thru the movie, and then the outside exhibits. We couldn’t help but be a bit whelmed (slightly over that is) when we cruised up the James. I bet it hasn’t changed much since 1607 when the first settlers landed, and it was really cool to arrive by boat just as they had done ... wonder how they avoided the shoals. Anyway, we visited the settlement, and got lots of pictures … one of which is attached for your enjoyment. The guy in the picture below must be about 435 years old, as he spoke with a heavy English accent and kept referring to Lynnie as “a most amazingly beautiful woman.” What a hoot … we later saw him in the air conditioned cafeteria.

We had a real exciting day leaving Jamestown for Hampton, VA. Our cruising software had a hiccup and we couldn’t use it as we approached the James River bridge. After the bridge it becomes pretty congested with BIG ships. Being trained by IBM we are, of course, ultra prepared. So we weren’t too very concerned as we have a backup Global Positioning System (GPS) and another copy of the navigation software on a different PC, which we had tested the day before. But, it is a boat, and Murphy lives on it with us, so of course the backup didn’t work. We both know how to use paper charts but have gotten lazy. Needless to say, as we were about to go under a part of the bridge that we weren’t supposed to be going under, we realized our mistake and quickly turned around and found the right entrance. (We can hear Lenny Beck laughing!) So much for our relaxing cruise!

Anyway, we made it to the Hampton Downtown Public Piers ... a marina ... and spent three nights there (...for the price of two as an incentive ...). It was pretty hot, and we ambled about the boat doing chores and laundry. Rick spent the best part of one morning gathering the piece parts to do a needed engine (...all four of them ...) oil change, and convinced NAPA Hampton to deliver 12 gallons of oil and a few oil filters to the boat. We wandered the waterfront by foot until we could sweat no more and then headed back to the AC on board. Had a great crab cake dinner aboard on Tuesday evening, crashing early.

This morning we left Hampton to start going north. It was a beautiful morning at 80 degrees, 69% humidity, so we turned off the genset and AC, opened the doors and ran the boat on the inverter. Finally got into the Chesapeake Bay heading north. We are now at anchor in a lovely spot on the East River off Mobjack Bay, on the eastern shore of VA, arriving about 2:00PM. On average, we've been travelling at the lightening pace of about 25 - 40 miles/day. Some friends have been asking what the boat looks like so those pictures will follow. Cheers...