Arrival in Portsmouth, Virginia
27 May 2013 | Free dockage at the city marina
Dismal Swamp to Portsmouth VA : 8 miles
From the Great Bridge Lock at the top of the Great Dismal Swamp we connect with the sourthern branch of the Elizabeth River and head north about 8 miles toward Norfolk VA and Portsmouth VA which are on opposite banks from each other.
We go alongside the City Dock at Portsmouth VA on the east bank, where boats can stay for one night at without charge. There are no luxuries e.g. water, electricity, or showers, but just the best spot for getting ashore and visiting the old town, museums, art galleries and restaurants.
We share the tiny facility with two other yachts and the pedestrian ferry that connects Portsmouth with Norfolk. The ferry service operates from dawn til dusk. Always full and always blowing its horn as it reverses out into the swirling river.
From our vantage point tucked inside the dock we see the River beyond just bubbling with water traffic - sirens, horns, tugs, riverboats, container ships, warships - non stop to-ing and fro-ing.
Elizabeth River is home to the USA's Atlantic fleet - air craft carriers, frigates, hospital ships and more. Vessels near to us appeared to be in various stages of repainting, some were raised fully out of the water with work being done on the hulls and undersides.
Those further up the river, as we found out later, were ready for action.