Portsmouth, Virginia

36:50.3N 76:17.8W
 
Wednesday 8th June 2011
 
Distance run: 10 nmiles
 
A very short run, so a late departure meant that we could walk into town again and stock up with some provisions at the Farm Fresh supermarket.  We slipped the lines just before midday and motored into the lock which joins the non-tidal ICW waters to the tidal waters.  As the water only rose by about a foot, this didn't take long and we were soon on our way towards Portsmouth,which is just across the water from Norfolk.  Again we benefitted from Sarah's local knowledge and were able to tie up in the centre of Portsmouth on a free dock.
 
Like its namesake in the UK, Portsmouth Virginia is a naval base, and we were surprised by the sheer number of naval vessels we passed.  We took a ferry over to Norfolk and visited the Nauticus museum, where we were able to go aboard USS  Wisconsin which was the ship, now retired, that launched the first missiles in operation Desert Storm in the Gulf war.
 
                    
US naval vessels in Portsmouth, Virginia                                                                On the deck of USS Wisconsin 
 
Sarah very kindly invited us all to her condo at Virginia Beach and of course we jumped at the chance!  We hired a car, threw overnight bags in the boot (sorry - trunk) and Kenny drove us to the condo.  In less than an hour we had arrived, and had been given a tour around the complex,which includes tennis courts, swimming pool, library, gym and of course access directly onto Virginia beach via a bridge over the road.  We were spoilt for choice of things to do, but mainly just spent the day chilling out in the air conditioned comfort of the apartment.
 
                   
Relaxing in the condo...                                                                                            ...which looks out over the Atlantic ocean.
 
                   
Supper cooked by Kenny & Sarah was delicious.                                                    The view from the apartment (through a rather dirty window!)
 
It was an extremely enjoyable break from the boats, and we all returned to them the next day much refreshed (and much cleaner having made good use of the bathroom facilities and washing machine!) Cheers Sarah!