Ya Ha Ha Ting

The fun times aboard Liquid Therapy. With - Susan and Brooke Smith

Thursday, November 9, 2023 Day 24 Fall Cruise

Passage from Atlantic Yacht Basin to Home Port, Whitehouse Cove Marina, Poquoson, VA.

We are docked at our home marina as I write this. We beat the approaching weather front. It’s so warm in the boat we switched from heat to AC, at least for a while because it’s going down to 54º tonight and only going up to 57º tomorrow. So, the heat will be on in a while. But it was 83º.

So this passage is the toughest. We are the ONLY boat in the lock heading North. So, funny the looks we get from the southbound boats. But we have done what they are heading to do THREE times. And, lived on Liquid Therapy for 6 months all three times. Two times we went to the Bahamas and all three times we did the Florida Keys and the Okeechobee waterway too. It was lots of fun. We’ve done it, OK?

Susan and I did get back into the rhythm of cruising on our trip. We will continue to cruise the Chesapeake, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina waters. We really have great close by waters that others south of us do not have.

For several days we have heard Warship 73, the aircraft carrier George Washington, barking orders to stay away from them off the Virginia and NC ocean waters. So, it’s fitting as we are heading toward our home port we are warned to stay away from the carrier as it’s coming in to dock at the Norfolk Navy Piers. Lots of helicopters, patrol boats and tugs are moving about Hampton Roads. 500 yards or else and do not cross the bow of the carrier. But, I am ahead of the story. Because much of the story is boring.

We were stopped at the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge for 54 minutes. Yep I counted the time. I should have counted how many times I shifted Liquid Therapy in and out of gear to hold her from smashing into the bridge. The current and wind were pushing us to the bridge. Most of the time it’s ONE train using the bridge so just hang out near the bridge and the train will be by soon and the bridge will open. NOPE. The bridge is down - No train in sight. About 10 minutes I hear the train whistle way off in the distance. And the train shows up several minutes later. The train is long. Like the song “In The Pines” says,
“The longest train I ever saw
Went down that Georgia line
The engine passed at six o'clock
And the cab passed by at nine.”
It wasn’t Georgia. It was near Portsmouth, VA. And, it was blocking the ICWaterway. It wasn’t three hours like in the song. It was 54 minutes of fighting current, wind and all the boats fishing in the bridge area. Finally that train passes and the bridge doesn’t open! Many minutes pass by and a train goes by the other direction. That train was short. OK two trains I get it. But the bridge doesn’t go up. People are calling the bridge and there really is no one at the bridge. There is a recording that comes over the VHF radio when the bridge goes down and another recording that the bridge is opening. So, fussing at the bridge over the VHF is as effective yelling at the telemarketer recordings on your phone. Hey are you bored yet? Yep, that’s how I felt. I also felt carpal tunnel coming on from shifting.

Of course this delayed proceeding past all the noise of the commercial industries along the Elizabeth River. Concrete structures for bridges are built and shipped here. Scrap steel on barges. Coal ships being loaded with US coal. ( We stopped burning coal because of pollution. Building about two coal power plants per week, China loves coal and could care less about pollution so we sell US coal to China. But our planet has one continuous atmosphere. So ?????)

There are other big “I don’t know what” companies with conveyor belts. It looks like everything from Lionel Trains of yesteryear are here. You don’t get one minute of quiet ANYWHERE. Many ships are being worked on in the Portsmouth navy yard as well as the commercial yards. The sights and sounds of all of this is sensory overload! The radio is alive with tug and barges moving maneuvers, bridge opening and closing requests, the Coast Guard with exercises and urgent marine broadcasts, commercial ships and navy ships.

About the time I’m reaching Hampton Roads just to cross from Norfolk to the Chesapeake Bay, Warship 73 ( Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier, George Washington, is blaring to stay 500 yards away and don’t cross my bow either. Small military patrol boats with machine guns are patrolling and squawking to stay away from the carrier over the VHF radio.

I get across the Hampton Roads into the beginning of the Chesapeake Bay before the incoming George Washington reaches the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel some 11 miles away, The Southwest wind is behind us and we begin to relax for our 23 mile run up the Chesapeake to the York River and then into the Poquoson River to our marina. We eat dinner at the Surfrider Restaurant located at our marina. Tomorrow the temperature drops and the NE wind blows hard. We will wash the boat, load the car and then it’s back to our home. It’s been great.

Today’s picture is the Norfolk Southern Railroad Bridge. (It’s the Black Bridge in front of the green Gilmerton Highway Bridge)

Thus, ends our fall cruise.