Picture shows our early morning liftout
An album of more pics can be seen in the Gallery; 'From Norfolk to liftout in Deltaville'. Just click on 'Gallery' above
We enjoyed Norfolk; with four universities and numerous colleges it has large student population and a vibrant feel. There was no shortage of places to enjoy a sundowner either - numerous local breweries and craft beer pubs kept Kit happy! ..and I thought that Americans dismissed beer (as opposed to lager) as weak and lifeless!
The Chrysler Museum of Art was our favourite place; ..and it has free admission! As the name suggests it was established by the son of the Chrysler Auto family and the permanent exhibitions are largely made up of his personal extensive art collection. The specialty of the museum is glass in its multitude of forms; crystal, Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc. and across the street is a glass works studio where there are daily glass blowing and sculpting demonstrations.
Amongst the interesting exhibitions that were on whilst we were there was 'Women and the Civil Rights Movement' and included many black and white prints taken during the Civil Rights struggle. A powerful and harsh reminder of inequality and inhumanity that we would like to think was history. Unfortunately the very day we visited was the day of a 'Black Lives Matter' demonstration in Downtown Norfolk, leaving one to wonder how much attitudes have really changed?
Entering Norfolk on the Elizabeth River we had passed starboard buoy no. 36 which marks 'Mile 0' and is the official beginning of the Intra-coastal waterway. We had come all the way up from the Florida Keys (Mile 1080), mostly sailing outside on the ocean up to Charleston (Mile 469), but inside on the waterway since then.
Norfolk and Hampton Roads is a large natural harbour. As well as being a large commercial port it is home to the world's largest naval base and the North American Headquarters for NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Leaving Norfolk to head up into Chesapeake Bay we passed the fleet of US naval vessels, they looked very intimidating, as we motored past - at one point we were told to move away by a navy RIB as we'd strayed a little too close for their liking!
Norfolk US Navy Base
What a great feeling to hoist the sails and switch off the engine as we emerged from Hampton Roads into Chesapeake Bay. With favourable wind and tide we scudded northwards for a few hours before reluctantly dropping the sails and heading into a secluded anchorage to the west of the bay. The place was so peaceful that we stayed for 2 nights just enjoying the isolation and watching the Osprey swoop down to catch fish around us.
Finally on to Fishing Bay on the Rappahannock River just a bit farther north, where we dropped anchor for the last time this year. This will be home to Quilcene for the coming winter and was a pleasant surprise. We'd expected the shores of the Bay to look a little industrial as there are several marinas and boatyards here, but it was very low-key and blended in well with the natural shore line.
Fishing Bay, Deltaville
Next day our friends Don and Glenys arrived and anchored nearby. They have finished sailing and are now proud owners of a lovely trawler named 'Pearl'. Don't be misled by the 'term' trawler - it's a luxury motor cruiser equipped with the sort of mod cons we could get a little envious of! It was great to see them again and we all enjoyed getting together for sundowners, BBQ, swims in the marina pool, and dinner and lunch outings - all in between hot sticky days spent getting Quilcene ready to haul out and leave.
Cooling off in the pool with Don and Glenys
Finally haul out day arrived and with midday temperatures close to 40C we were happy that our slot was an early morning one.
All went well and with Quilcene safely installed in the boatyard we finished preparing her for a potentially cold winter - anti-freeze in all the water tanks (potable anti-freeze), holding tank, toilet pipes and engine. A last check to ensure we'd removed all canvas (in case of high winds) and emptied all perishable foodstuffs and with a sigh of relief we climbed down and went to spend our last night with Don and Glenys in cool comfort on 'Pearl' - in this heat their air conditioning is one of the things we could envy!!!
Next day we set off for the Blue Mountains...