Saturday, July 11, 2009

Horn Harbor

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.)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

OK ESN:0-7359581

This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/09/2009 17:52:25 (US/Eastern),-76.3011&ll=37.3684,-76.3011&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Monday, July 06, 2009


We've made it to Norfolk, VA and we've been treated to a parade of tall ships, a waterfront "Harborfest" and the best fireworks we've seen in a long time.
Saturday night the city set up two fireworks barges and ran two synchronized fireworks shows. It looked like the blasts were right on top of us. Wow!
We took a tour of the battleship "Wisconsin" and took a picture of Walkure from the deck. (You have to look close, she's way off there in the distance.)
We plan on doing some shopping in town today, and probably head out tomorrow for the yard where we will do our haulout. We still have not decided exactly where that will be, but some phone calls today will sort that out. There are a few good choices near here and we want the best deal we can find.
My battery is getting low, so I'll just post some pictures.

Friday, July 03, 2009

OK ESN:0-7359581

This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/03/2009 12:04:16 (US/Eastern),-76.3009&ll=36.8438,-76.3009&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

OK ESN:0-7359581

This is Mike and Bev on "Walkure" just letting you know that we're OK.
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:07/03/2009 06:52:39 (US/Eastern),-76.341&ll=36.746,-76.341&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Elizabeth City

We are getting ready to leave Elizabeth City, and we will miss the place. The town's reputation as the "Harbor of Hospitality" is well deserved. The town dock is free for 2 days.
The grocery store in town has a shuttle service that picks up boaters at the dock and takes them to and from the store for free. We were able stock up on food at good prices and the ride was free. Cool!
Last night the mayor of the town came by and hosted a "wine and cheese" party for the boaters and gave us some good information regarding our upcoming trip through the Dismal Swamp.
There is a story behind the rose bushes. Back in the 80s two gentlemen started bringing a rose to every female boater who came into the harbor. Over the years the tradition grew into the wine and cheese party. Now that both the original "Rose Buddies" have passed away, the rose bushes have been transplanted to the park at the waterfront.
We also met a retired teacher named Kenny who helped us trim Morgan's wings. He owns the conyer and the yellow naped Amazon sitting in the tree near the docks.
The people here have been friendly and really made us feel welcome here. We will definitely plan a stop here on our way back.