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  Wanderlust Home and Pet Care

State #5 Virginia

May 22: We left the Deep Creek Lock/anchorage early even though we only have 12 miles to the Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth.  As soon as we had hooked up to electricity and water, I made my call to the next marina destination since it will be Memorial weekend. I think we got one of the last remaining spots. By 10 am we were walking to the ferry which took us to the waterfront of Norfolk. As we departed the ferry we saw Peter and Cynthia. We gave them a ride to a couple of stores when we had Derek’s car in Savannah. What a surprise! I hope we can get together for docktails. We spent several hours at the Nauticus museum which included a visit to the destroyer USS Wisconsin. We ate at Joe’s Crab Shack and had a wonderful lunch.

May 23: We have a basil and geranium plant on board so I put them outside to take advantage of the rain. We had a break in the rain about 11:30 am so we walked into Portsmouth to the visitor center. Portsmouth has a lovely historical area with many different types of architecture.  We were told to eat at The Bier Garden. I had the Roulade: pickles rolled into ham and then into a thin piece of beef  then cooked for several hours served with homemade spaetzle yummy! Gary had sauerbraten - delicious as well. We watched the weather channel and they predicted a tornado for Winchester Virginia -ugh!

May 24: We had planned to eat breakfast at a restaurant since the city of Hampton is only 1 ½ hours away but after checking the weather we immediately brought in the lines and got underway. I fixed a bagel while Gary was driving. As we were passing the docks for the naval ships, we were hailed by a destroyer that was in the channel. The destroyer wanted to make a turn in front of us in order to dock at the her assigned pier. Of course we complied with the request to move over to the red markers. It was all very exciting in a good way!  

Our route this morning took us into the Chesapeake Bay. Scientist have determined that a meteor created the Bay which is the largest and deepest natural bay in the world. Our depth sounder was showing depths of 49-63 feet.

We docked at the Downtown Hampton Piers. It was a new challenge backing into the slip. The current keep pushing us into the next slip (thank goodness no one was there). We had to rely on on the docking staff to pull us into position with the lines. I was so glad so left when we did as the rain started not too long after we docked.

We were on our computers when all of a sudden we felt a bump. Gary & I both jumped up to look outside. A 40 foot sail boat had bumped into us as the sail boat was trying to back in. The dock hand was on our boat pushing the sail boat away before Gary could get there. No damage done. It’s never a dull day.

May 25: We eased into a bright and sunny day and visited with another owner of an Endeavour Power Cat. It is much cooler today - in the high 50’s. We visited the Virginia Air and space museum. The exhibits were older - still had Pluto as a planet and many of the exhibits were broken. Glad we included the cost of the IMAX 3D show - Star Trek into Darkness.  Plenty of action in that movie!  Right next door to the museum is a refurbished carousel. It was beautifully restored. Late afternoon, we heard music and walked over to Mills Point Park. The park had a music festival. The music wasn’t my cup of tea but we still had a nice time.

May 26:  Sunday was Farmer’s market day at Peninsula Town Center. We caught the 10:50 am bus,walked though the Barnes and Noble building and what a disappointment. Edwards has a much bigger market than Hampton. Oh well, we bought some spring onions and spinach. Then we walked over to Target for a few items so it wasn’t a total bust - it got us off the boat.

May 27: Fort Monroe is the largest stone fort in the Untied States. It took 12 years to build with the stone having to be shipped to the island. The fort played a pivotal role during the civil war as the only confederate fort held by the Union at the inside entrance of Chesapeake Bay. It was a military school until 1973 when the fort was closed. It was so much larger than I ever imagined. The fort served as a prison for Jefferson Davis for 2 years.

May 28:  We left Hampton about 8 am and arrived at our mooring ball about lunch time. I caught the float in a hellish spot and couldn’t get the hook back out again and of course the wind and current are blowing us around. I thought the hook was going to be pulled out of my hand several times.  When were ready to go to town, we let the dinghy into the water.  Unfortunately, the lifting eye bolt broke and the stern went into the water.  Gary leapt into the boat, tied a line onto the engine and over the lifting davit.  He then pulled the stern plug that let in even more water.  Slowly, I raised the bow out of the water and the water slowly drained.  We were finally able to lift the stern enough to drain all of the water.  It was a 20 minute ordeal of terror.  Boating sucks (Gary’s words not mine).  Gary replaced the broken bolt with difficulty.  We motored to the dock to get the A/C going and have a few nights of calm water.

We did have time to take the free trolley to the Colonial National Historical Park. The ranger had a great interpretative talk. I never knew the United States depended on the French so much: the French had 38 ships blockading the British from entering Chesapeake Bay which allowed Washington to surround Cornwallis at Yorktown and France provided troops of which 5,000 marched from New York to Williamsburg connect with Lafayette and his troops and continue marching to Yorktown   The earthen barricades still exist today. They were saved by a 1920’s golf course - natural hazards. The museum actually had Washington’s military tent - cool.

May 29:  Today the trolley took us to the Yorktown Victory Center-Museum, film, and reenactments. The encampment area had demonstrations of musket and a cannon firing; medical instruments used on the wounded soldiers and a reproduction of a kitchen cooking area which archeologist had discovered on two other battlefield encampments. Most of the gun powder was purchased from the French. Another “hats off” to the French. The museum also had a small farm. I never knew that fruits and vegetables were dried but it makes sense. There wasn’t much to the current town of Yorktown as we walked down Main street. It was destroyed in the Revolutionary War and again in the early 1800’s by fire. We stopped for a Ben & Jerry’s  to cool us down.

May 30:  We ran the boat 3 miles to the Wormley Creek Marina to get the dinghy fixed.

May 31:  We had an easy run to Deltaville except for the mine field of crab pots as we turned the corner of Stingray Point. The Deltaville Yacht Center was recommended to us by another boater. It was the cheapest per foot too! We were able to borrow the marina car and drove to a restaurant, grocery store and marina store. We jumped off the boat to take a picture of the great early evening light. We were talking to another boat when the mosquitos attacked. Needless to say we hurried back to the boat.  After looking at the weather reports I made the command decision to stay put in Deltaville for at least two more nights - the storms causing the tornados in Oklahoma are coming our way.

June 1: We cleaned the outside and cockpit sections of the boat and then Gary jumped into the marina’s pool. It is very hot and humid.

June 3:  The predicted rain never came last night but it looks like rain today.  The winds are calm  so we decided to head to the Potomac River. We filled up with diesel and used the pump-out at Norview Marina. It sprinkled off and on during the process but I don’t melt like the wicked witch of the west. We had a cargo vessel next to us most of the way to the Potomac. I think the cargo was intended to Baltimore harbor.  We watch several storms pass in front of us - thank goodness.  Our anchorage at Stevens Point is very cute and very protected. We anchored just in time as it poured. I’m sure my basil plant loved the rain. It was stressed as Gary had removed many of it’s leaves over the last several days. Osprey fed their chick that sat on a nest built on a boat shed. I saw it lift a small fish from the water.

June 4:  I was awakened by the sound of sail lines clanging on a mast. There was a small vessel warning until 11 am. We only have 37 miles to Colonial Beach so we kept ourselves busy for a few hours before we raised the anchor. The further up the Potomac we ran the more calm the river became.  We arrived at Colonial Beach about 4:30 pm anchored and then immediately put the dinghy into the water.  THE DINGHY ENGINE WOULDN’T  START!   I was looking forward to seeing the town.  Sunset was gorgeous.

June 5:  Last night was the calmest night at anchor, (even at some marinas) we have ever had.  The river was glassy smooth-it was an eerie sight.  There were very few boats on the river.  The river is also very wide, so piloting the boat was very easy.  A military boat asked us to stay away from a target floating in the river. I guess they were going to practice.  We pulled into Mattawomen Creek and found ourselves surrounded by boats - popular place.

June 6: We made our way to Washington D.C. and the Gang Plank Marina. We passed by Mt. Vernon. We will plan to stop there on the way back to the Bay.The tropical storm ( not quite a Hurricane) is making her way north - due in tomorrow evening. The skies were very dark but we made it before the rain started. We each had a wonderful meal at Jenny’s. I had sesame chicken yuuuuum. Then we walked to the fish wharf. They had all kinds of fish and shell fish to buy. We will have to come back again - fish for me and oysters for Gary. We have arranged for the dinghy motor to be looked at on Monday.