Norfolk Naval Base
Whew! What a night last night! We watched a movie, or part of one as we were quite tired and sacked out before we were able to see to the end of the 1st movie in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, and crashed at 2230. But then I was awakened at a little after midnight with some halyard clanging, so as a good marina citizen and in the interests of my own sleep I got up and frapped them. Then at about 0130 I was again awakened, this time by the wind just a-howling through the rigging and the creaking sound of the docklines groaning against the fairleads. I went topsides to find the wind blowing steadily at easily 40 knots gusting, I think, to over 50. I haven't installed the new wind instrument yet so that is an estimate, but I think a good one. I added a couple more dock lines to share the strain and went back to my bunk a little more at ease that there would be no problem through the night. The docks appear to be very solid and I am told they have weathered a couple of hurricanes. There didn't seem to be any storm surge so the tempest is quite localized.
I am biting off my job list in manageable chunks. Today I will try to hook up the macerator pump and the AIS, and if I get that done I might get a start on the wind instrument install or change the oil. A couple of days and I should be able to get everything done.
One concern that we had about staying here was put to bed last night. Given the current state of paranoia in the US I was a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to get back on the base once we walked off it to go shopping, but I shouldn't have worried. My Canadian military ID was acceptable and with that they were happy to accept Barb's passport as her's. The NEx stores even let us in and allowed us to shop! That is particularly good as the prices are great - like they used to be at the CanEx stores before they got all messed up. We were able to get a 40 oz of Bacardi's Dark Rum for $20 and 5 litres of wine in a carton for $12! Real food prices are similar. Barb has asked me to get the rental car a little earlier so we can go over an stock up without having to carry everything back a mile, so Saturday will be a busy day!
The internet connection went down yesterday evening so when the staff come in at 0800 I will head over to get them to re-initialize their server. I'll also take over some Canadian Flag pins and a couple of 100 Anniversary decals for the Canadian Navy.
Maury and his wife Ginger, who are both live aboard cruisers, and he a retired Naval Officer, plus is an employee of the marina, offered to take me to the local West Marine store as well as Little Creek amphibious base where they used to keep their boat. I was able to buy some more engine oil for the Perkins for $25 and am also looking at some more fishing lures and bits and pieces for the boat. We have invited them over to the boat for drinks tonight so we'll get a fair amount of good intel from them about the trip down the ICW which they have done before several times.
The fuel filter system arrived today while I was out. Boy that was quick! I'm not sure that I'll install it right away or at least hook it up. I want to make sure that I put it in a good place that won't interfere with anything else below the floorboards.
Today has been dark and overcast with the wind piling up the seas in the bay so that the docks are almost submerged. In fact, some of the smaller docks are and the waves are prying out the planking and washing them away. Last night a scow complete with outboard motor attached broke away from somewhere and managed to get into the marina and past all the wharves to come to rest against the seawall at the end of the marina.
We have met another Canadian who has been posted down here - a Captain (N) "Doc" Hatton who is also keeping his boat at the marina, a Bayfield called Doc's Ology. Cute! He seems like a really nice fellow and we had him aboard for tea and a chat. He knows quite a few of the folks back in Halifax as he used to drive the Preserver, so if any of you are reading this - a big "HELLO!", from Doc.
On the down side the problem with the internet has been traced to the repeater unit aboard one of the larger power boats behind us. It is owned by the fellow that installed the system and until he comes back to the marina we will be without i-connectivity at the boat. Instead we will have to go over to the NEx or to the marina office. Let's hope that the techno-guy returns to his boat soon.
Barb and I just came back from a trip to the Commissariat and I noticed that the Marines have put their helicopters away for the night. Now, that's either because it's the weekend coming up so they won't be using them or because they are expecting an even worse night than last night. Let's hope it's the former.