Antigua to Norfolk VA - day 10 and a typical morning on the lower reaches of the Chesapeake

Stravaig'n the Blue
Wed 19 May 2021 16:33
End of day 10 position: 37:00.65 N  076:14.5 W
Position timestamp: Wednesday 19 May 2021 11:00 UTC-4

As we made our way westward along Virginia’s Chesapeake coast there was a constant VHF chatter accompaniment and lots of activity to pique our interest starting with this hovercraft, one of two, being disgorged from a warship.

A container ship makes its way towards the ocean.

Pile driving.


Using a helicopter to tow a strange marine structure. The patrol boat on the right was speeding directly towards us to warn us off. We had however spotted that we were a bit in the way and were already taking avoiding action.

We think the helicopter was towing a mine sweeper sledge, a standard procedure ahead of a large warship arriving into or departing from the Norfolk naval yards.

The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Gerald R Ford.

The USS Gerald R Ford (CVN-78) is named after the 38th President of the United States, Gerald Ford, whose World War II naval service included combat duty aboard the light aircraft carrier Monterey in the Pacific. Construction began in August 2005, the keel was laid down in November 2009, she was christened in November 2013 and was delivered to the Navy in May 2017. She is expected to cost around $17.5bn (original budget $7.5bn) and leave on her first deployment in 2022.

We weren’t sure what this was (a ship’s nuclear reactor perhaps) but it required two tugs, one pulling, one pushing, to move it along.

All is well.