Norfolk, 13th

Sunday morning we woke up at Willoughby Anchorage to the sound of an air horn.  As I popped up out of the hatch I noticed we were not where we anchored the night before…oops, we had dragged across the anchorage! Lucky for us (and the other two boats there) we did not drag into the other boats OR across their anchors.  Michael and I quickly threw on our coats and went to move the boat.  However, since we were up and it was warm and kind of nice, we thought “why not head into town?”  Our original destination had been Norfolk proper, which was another ten miles or so from where we had anchored last night, but it is ALL military and loading docks along the channel and lots of barges and tugs.  Deifintely not a channel I would want to navigate at night.  We knew the weather was going to turn at noon, but we also knew we could get to the pier downtown no problem.

We hauled in the anchor and headed south into Elizabeth River.  The traffic was very light on this Sunday morning.  We did get hailed at one point by a group of three tugs which were escorting a large barge coming up behind us.  They were very kind and actually slowed there pace as not to pass us.  The came just up behind us at one point and then turned into the dock they were headed for. we have discovered that for the most part, all commercial ships have been very polite and overly accomodating for this family on their sailboat.  They all give us plenty of berth and communicate well so we understand what they are doing.

It started to rain just outside of downtown but we could still see fairly well.  We could see the USS Wisconsin, and the marina next to it.  Arrived safe and sound at about 11:00am.  All in all an easy trip that day.  We were tied up right downtown, took the kids over to the Nauticus Museum and then to a great traveling show on Pirates at http://nauticus.org/pirates/ The show was about the history of the Ship Whydah, discovered off of the coast of Wellfleet MA.  All of the treasure was there, and some amazing history about the boat.  It originated in England, was built to be a slave ship, traveled to Ouidah Africa on the Gold Coast (hence the ship name) but was pirated by Captain Bellamy for two years and sank with all of her treasure.  What a COOL exhibit! Especially with ties so close to home!  If any of you visit the Virginia area in the next few months make it a point to stop.  It was a really thorough history lesson and extremely well done (National Geographic).

No eating out on this short visit – we used our budget to go see the Nauticus exhibits and the Pirates exhibt. We did some laundry that evening, took showers and prepared our boat for entrance into the ICW.

We did meet a great couple also traveling into the ICW, Mary and Clay, aboard s/v “Gemini”  they were also leaving in the morning for the Great Dismal Swamp.

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