The Bell Tolls
12 May 2012 | Cape Charles, VA
PORTSMOUTH TO CAPE CHARLES
May 12, 2012
We finally left Portsmouth after a month of museums, local discovery and a day delay due to windy conditions. While 25 mph winds would not normally stop us, the concern about the possibility of rough seas versus Bears back did. Yesterday started with an interesting ordeal with traffic, both military and commercial whilst negotiating the Hampton Roads area. Ordeal is not the right word but it did present more need to know the rules than most situations we've encountered recently.
We were on the way to a good day of sailing when we received a call that on one wants to get. We lost a friend yesterday to a most hideous disease: ALS. The bell tolled. Words do not fit and there is little to say except she will be definitely missed. Her passing emphasizes, once again, the importance of making the most of each day and that one never knows what tomorrow will bring.
Of this place, the suggestions were right although this is an unusual place as a destination for sailors. It was built as a terminus for railways serving the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake. Rail cars met barges here and were transported across to Norfolk and other towns. Between the marina, currently undergoing an impressive upgrade, and the town are many railroad tracks. The downtown is attractive and an example of yet another Norman Rockwell scene. There is an object parked in the rail yard some 50 yards from our boat that is a bit unusual, a naval gun which appears to be a 16 inch/50 caliber Mark7, the type used Iowa class WWII battleships. The barrel is 66 feet long. It is just the barrel and we were told it is one of two that was shipped here. Now, it is just sitting outside on a blocks and has been for some time. Anyone need a yard cannon?
We will do some exploring here and then move on up the bay in a day or so. The long fetch of the bay makes it a good stop for conditions when the wind is from the NNW. Methinks the Chesapeake can get "lively" under such conditions on this side of the bay. Still, the folks we are meeting along the way are heading home for the summer. We have yet to encounter other boats doing what we are doing. Perhaps it is still a bit early. For us that is actually a good thing.
Rest In Peace, Elizabeth.