Wednesday, October 18, 2006

October 16, 2006 Back home in Morehead City, NC

We spent the last 3 days after leaving Solomons MD making a bee-line for home. As a friend of ours said, we are like a horse heading back to the barn. A big front from Canada headed south so it was very cold and windy. Of course, we didn’t pack for real cold weather so we’ve been wearing multiple layers of sweats for the last few days.

On our way south, just off of the Great Wicomico River in Virginia, we apparently got too close to the live firing range in the middle of the bay. A range boat called us on VHF 16 and asked us to move closer to the western shore, as they were going to be practicing on the eastern side of the range ... no problem complying. We heard the planes above us but we didn't actually see any firing, but were glad to get out of the way anyway.

We had a visit from a purple wren that stopped on the boat for about a half hour. We were out in the middle of nowhere so we thought he just needed a rest. He hopped all around the boat and ate the flowers on the basil plant. The funny thing was that when a much larger yacht went by he left us for it. I guess he figured the accommodations would be better there!

The ride from Hampton, VA through Norfolk, VA was pretty exciting. We had a huge container ship in front of us and another container ship then a Disney Cruise ship coming at us. At the same time, tugs were moving Navy ships around so we just slowed it down to watch the excitement.

We wondered why the containers on the ship below didn't fall off. It didn't look like there was anything holding them in place.

The Navy ship above was being moved by the tug boat on the left.

This is the Disney cruise ship coming at us. It was just huge!

LT at the wheel.

This mark is the start, mile "0", for the Intercoastal Waterway. It starts here in Norfolk and goes all the way to Florida.

There are several bridges that need to open and one lock to traverse as you go south on the ICW in Virginia. Several of the bridges only open on the hour so there are usually a parade of boats waiting for the opening. In this picture both an automobile bridge and a train bridge have to open so that the boats can go through.

This is the one lock that we went through. I think the water rose all of 1-2 feet!

Now, we are back in our slip in NC. We will take the next several months getting the boat in top shape to make our way south next year. We certainly enjoyed our Chesapeake trip putting 1535 miles on the boat. Neither of us can believe how quickly the time went. We learned that a boat is a mixture of exhilaration and frustration, but mostly just fun. Rick became very proficient in handling the boat - you'd think he has been doing this for a long time! We both learned a lot about how the boat operates and what needs to be done to keep it in good running order.

We had great weather almost the whole time and saw lots of interesting places. We were able to catch up with family and friends and meet new friends along the way. We got to eat a lot of crab cakes and other wonderful food from the Chesapeake. We also learned that much of the history of the birth of our Nation took place around these waters. It was great to visit many of the historic places such as Jamestown, Ft. McHenry, and Baltimore.

We've spent the last several days getting some work done and getting more work scheduled for the next several weeks. We've also been cleaning the boat. One can always tell when a boat has been on the ICW. Because of the tannan in the water, there is a light brown 'smile' on the bow of the boat!

Thanks for all the nice comments on the blog. We're glad that you enjoyed it. It is a great way to keep in contact with you all. We'll be putting together another one for next year's trip. Many thanks, Rick and Lynnie