Monday, June 23, 2014

Norfolk weekend

Not very long ago, I was talking about our radar and how we had learned to use it and had come to depend on it. So, naturally, it quit this week. We were fortunate, really, that it chose now to roll over and die. Cruising around the Chesapeake doesn’t require a lot of radar. We weren’t cruising at night. We did use it one foggy morning but we would have survived without it.  If we had been offshore at night around commercial and recreational traffic, this would have been much worse. As it was, we were wrapping up our trip and on our way back towards Norfolk on a clear, sunny day when the message ‘Antenna not rotating’ popped up on the main unit. Oh well. One more thing for the list.

'SeaClearly' at Norfolk Waterside Marina
'American Rover' to the left, 'Spirit of Norfolk',
and the USS Wisconsin to the right

We had a fabulous weekend in Norfolk. We were docked at the Waterside Marina right up next to the Bayou Boogaloo Festival, as planned.  We arrived on a hot Thursday and sat through an awesome thunderstorm that evening. We were docked right across from the ‘American Rover’ whose masts were much taller than ours. We convinced ourselves that she would afford us some lightening protection. Turned out, the main consequence of the storm was a welcomed 20 degree drop in temperature.

The marina was nice enough and very convenient.  We did pay a premium for docking there on an ‘event’ weekend. We felt a little ripped off when only half a dozen boats actually showed up. The marina guys seemed surprised at the light turn out. But our location did provide a launching spot for some great activities.

Crawfish by the pallet!
Junie and Reagan playing in the fountains
Friday afternoon, Dusty, Holly and grand-daughter Reagan came to visit us at ‘SeaClearly’. We hit the festival for some crawfish, etouffe, roasted corn, funnel cakes and lemonade. Reagan enjoyed playing in the fountains in the park and crawling around in Roux’s cabin on the boat. Later that evening, we caught up with our neighbors, Deb and Ron, for some New Orleans music (and one more funnel cake). Bayou Boogaloo seemed to be a good time for all and went on for the entire weekend.


Emily, Tyler and big guns of the
USS Wisconsin
On Saturday, Emily and Tyler came and treated me to a Father’s Day outing (since we were up the Bay last week). I got brunch at D’egg and then did the Nauticus and USS Wisconsin tour. I love breakfast out and had wanted to get to see the battleship so it was perfect. We had a great time. Tyler and I share some interest in history and we both seem to be veritable compendiums of trivial information. I am not sure that Emily and June are as impressed as they should be.

Saturday night – dinner with friends John, Sherry, Tom and April at 219 Bistro. More good food, wine and company. They made the mistake of asking us about our life and travels on ‘SeaClearly’ so they got more stories and information than they ever wanted. We are always happy to share our adventures.

Sunday morning brought some rain. We had a very slack schedule anyway so we slept in (all the way until 7:45 am!), slowly organized ourselves, did all of our preparation checks and cast off at around 11:00 just as the clouds moved off. We were only planning to move to Great Bridge. That would make it, roughly, a two hour trip with two bridges to wait for an opening and then the locks at Great Bridge. It was a very pleasant motor with constantly improving weather. We cleared the Locks and sidled up to the south-side free dock before the Great Bridge Bridge by 1:30. 

Everybody gets a down day.

We are going to hang out here for a couple of days because the east wind will have blown all of the water out of our home harbor. No rush to get there until the wind switches and (hopefully) brings the water back on Wednesday or Thursday. Tomorrow, we will move down the ICW to the North River and anchor until we get word from our neighbors and Water Spotters, Jeff and Jan, that we are clear to run in.

'SeaClearly' from the Great Bridge Bridge
looking towards the locks.
We have enjoyed sitting here, watching the canal and locks traffic and watching the bridge operation. We did, again as we did on the way north three weeks ago, walk to Three Amigos Mexican restaurant. It is a little over a two mile round trip but well worth it. Especially when you throw in the stop at Walgreen’s for some pints of Blue Bell ice cream. And then, Panera’s for breakfast and some free internet this morning. Ah, the life of a cruiser.

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