On to Norfolk - Virginia
Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Sat 7 Nov 2009 00:10
A peaceful night in Chisman Creek gave us a 30 odd mile run in to Norfolk. After the strong winds of the day had subsided we enjoyed a fiery red sunset and another beautiful sunrise, which was suitably augmented by flocks of Canada Geese (honkers as we call them) flying in to spend a few minutes doing what geese do when they land - precisely nothing of any note.
Typically, the wind had dropped overnight and yesterday's sailing in the 20 knots became a distant memory as we motored along on the engines once more.
Entering Hampton Roads we were greeted with the sight of the massive Nimitz Class aircraft carrier Harry S Truman making it's way slowly out of Norfolk to sea. It was quite a spectacle and we couldn't (well, I couldn't) resist taking some snaps of the newest carrier in the US fleet. Nikki feigned slight interest to keep me amused but I'm sure she probably yawned when I turned my back.
Entering Norfolk just as the 'HST' was outbound was the Crown Princess cruise ship which berthed at the Nauticus Centre just behind the marina we were headed for. It then disgorged hundreds of Canadian tourists who swarmed all over the Battleship Wisconsin berthed alongside the centre which made for an interesting picture......
That evening we were treated to the spectacle of this gigantic cruise ship literally turning in it's own length just yards away from us occupying most of the Elizabeth River as it did so. The noise of its rotating propellers crackled through the water as it performed this manoeuvre - and we thought turning Ajaya in its own length in asmall marina was pretty clever!
Our berth at the Waterside Marina looks out over the Elizabeth River, and daily we see other small craft heading southwards in a constant stream - all seeking warmer climes. We are staying a few days to re-provision again - where does it all go? Are we leaking cans and boxes of provisions as we motor southwards, surely we can't eat that much food! There must be a trap door in the boat somewhere where our food falls through - maybe the Bears are eating the stuff whilst we are asleep!
Today we shopped at the local hypermarket just a few streets away. It's sensible advice to eat as much as possible before venturing through the doors as the smell of fresh food is overwhelming. The deli counter plays lip service to the potential dieter. The bakery section lures you towards its heaving shelves full of wonderful smelling cakes. Packets of a million doughnuts for a $1 etc. Well OK 15 doughnuts then. Having pushed the trolley to the checkout and paid the bill they summoned F.R.E.D to assist in getting it all back to the boat. F.R.E.D = Free Ride Every Day! An electric golf type buggy that arrives on demand and transports you and your provisions anywhere within the waterfront district of Norfolk, all courtesy of the Norfolk tourist board. F.R.E.D's driver, a retired fireman, is not allowed to take any tips - is this a first in the USA we ask.
Next we tour the WW2 Battleship Wisconsin - Nikki will be handcuffed and dragged screaming over to Nauticus to be shown over this old 'heap of junk' - as someone once described it. To me it's a 'schoolboy's' day out and I'm eagerly looking forward to the experience.