Saturday, July 11, 2009
I think we have found a summer home for the boat, Horn Harbor Marina. It's a small marina located a mile or so off Chesapeake Bay, in the hamlet of Port Haywood, VA.
The yard is small, but they have a 25 ton lift (Walkure only weighs 4 tons) so the haulout won't be a problem. The rates are reasonable and they have pickup truck we can use if we put gas in it. We can do all our own work on the boat and stay on the boat while we're working (saves motel costs.) The marina has a swimming pool (great after a hot day of sanding and painting) and a clubhouse with TV and a kitchen we can use. It looks like a great spot to dry the boat out and get some maintenance done.
While we were in the Norfolk area, we went ashore one day on the Portsmouth side. It's a neat town with a restored historic district and lots of shops, etc. We had lunch at a little spot called "Longboarders." If you're ever in that area the food is really good and lunch was cheap. Right next door is the "Bier Garden" which features 350 different beers.
In Portsmouth we saw one of the prettiest boats I've ever seen. "Redbird" is a small brigantine that was built over a 10 year period but one man. She's now for sail. I don't know why, but I imagine the upkeep has gotten to be too much. She's got a ferro-cement hull but everything else is bright finished wood. Owning such a boat would mean constant sanding and varnishing. Nice too look at, not so nice to keep up.
As we were leaving Norfolk we passed by the Navy base and saw 3 aircraft carriers, the Carl Vinson, CVN-70, the Theodore Roosevelt, CVN-71 and Harry S. Truman, CVN-75. Kieth was an hour or so behind us and got to see a submarine entering the harbor.
Norfolk harbor is very busy and we were dodging huge ships for hours as we made our way down the Elizabeth River and out through the mouth of the harbor. It turns out we had set out on a rising tide and had to fight the current past Old Point Comfort. There was really no choice since, had we waited for high tide, we would have run out of daylight before reaching safe anchorage for the night.
The weather has been great. It's a lot cooler here than in Florida this time of year, quite comfortable. The nights are cool enough that we don't run the fan and even have to use a blanket. The days are warm, but not uncomfortable. The marina owner, Diane, claims that the weather is like this "all year 'round." Hmm, seems like hyperbole to me.
By the way, Morgan is learning to navigate! (See the picture of him "helping" the captain with his charting.)