Several years ago, a wise sailor, M & M, well into her 90's told us, "if you don't work on a project everyday, there will be two waiting for you tomorrow"!
We left the Atlantic Yacht Basin heading north. The Bridge, at Great Bridge Virginia, lifted quickly on it's 1000 opening. We neither heard or saw any signs from damage a lightning strike caused to the the bridge which required it to be operated manually, for several weeks. A wave to the bridge-tender, followed by a short step down, in the Great Bridge Lock and we were off.
It's been too many years since Calypso has worked her way north towards the Chesapeake. As we headed towards Norfolk it was hard not to miss how this stretch of the ICW has changed, a lot!
Steel Bridge at mile 8.8 is now twin 90' high rise bridge. Same with the Jordan Bridge at mile 2.8.
The Norfolk Naval Shipyard, founded in 1767, has undergone a facelift. The rows of rusting mothballed ships and vacant warehouse size buildings are gone.
Beyond the security boats and floating barriers they have been replaced by ships from Aircraft Carriers
to Submarines, all undergoing overhaul.
Next, we passed Nauticus
on the Norfolk Waterfront. Known as the Maritime Science Center and Museum, it's home to the WWII Battleship, USS Wisconsin, an aquarium, and has hands-on exhibits, theaters, and educational programs.
The facility is also a big tourist draw as the come in by bus and cruise ship.
Directly across, and sandwiched between the Marriott Renaissance and the Naval Hospital, is the Lightship Portsmouth. Built in 1915, she served for 48 years as an aid to navigation off Virginia, Delaware, and Massachusetts. She continues her mission as an Aid to Navigation, marking Mile 0, of the Atlantic Intercoastal Waterway.
Close by is the Hospital Point Anchorage, appropriately named with Portsmouth Naval Hospital in the background. In the past we've seen 50 or more boats anchored in this deep, fair-weather anchorage. On this day, there was only one unoccupied boat probably because the forecasted NE winds tonight would give anyone here an uncomfortable stay.
Staying well out of the channel to avoid dredging and a parade of outbound container ships we headed towards Old Point Comfort. After a good day with the outgoing tide, we anchored in the lee of Fort Monroe & the historic Chamberlain Hotel.
After several days motoring we were anxious to get a sail up. The next morning we headed to Mobjack Bay, we scooted along at 4-5 knots under Jib alone. It was also our first real test, since the rudder repair, of our Monitor Self-Steering Windvane. We enjoyed a wonderful "hands free" sail up to our anchorage on the North River.
The following day as we sailed to Deltaville we passed Wolf Trap Light. Named for the 350 ton British Guard Ship "Wolf", that ran aground here in 1690. The current light, constructed in 1894, out of brick stands 52'.
As we passed, the sound of a large fan seemed to be getting close. It was an LCAC, one of the Navy's Amphibious Landing Hovercraft. They slid rounded Wolf Trap Light like a car on ice, undoubtedly on a "training" mission.
For the last two weeks we have enjoyed Deltaville. Most days, temperatures are in the 90's, so we have temporarily moved from the anchorage to a dock. The benefits of shore power, an air conditioned clubhouse, and a refreshing happy hour dip in the pool are well worth it. It's also given us time to reacquaint with cruising friends and explore the surrounding area.
We have worked on several projects. An oil change, a whipped line, a little varnish or a dab of caulk. The advice of years ago, remains true today, one today or two tomorrow!
Fair Winds & Quiet Anchorages,
Jeff & Wendy