We left Deltaville early Monday morning and motored until we reached Wolftrap lighthouse and turned towards Norfolk. Rounding the light, the wind was steady from the SE and we sailed until we almost reached the entrance to Norfolk–how often does the wind stay steady enough for that!! Later that evening (over a few beers) we realized that we made it all the way from Annapolis to Hampton without tacking!
Along the trip, the stately schooner Virginia passed us heading north for the Schooner race from Annapolis to Norfolk in a few weeks. We saw a lot of the schooners in Norfolk last year at the end of their race. The southern bay is much wider and the water looks cleaner than our home waters. We saw our first pelican and dolphin!
The wind died and a misty rain started to fall just as we approached the entrance to the James river. We turned into the entrace to Hampton and tied up at the public pier. We forgot how strong the currents are and struggled to straighten the boat in the slip. Once securely tied, a hot shower was in order. Too bad the showers are in such bad shape…better get used to it!
Our friends Marty, Rocky and daughter Emily picked us up and took us to a lovely Italian meal. We were planning to stay a few nights in Hampton as a front was predicted to pass through with strong winds on Wednesday. Sure enough, it did! We slept in, ate a large breakfast and walked up to rent a car for the day.
We spent the day today at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News–only about 8 miles from Hampton. We had visited the museum before about 5-6 years ago. At that time, they had just raised the gun turret from the USS Monitor–a steel hulled ship that fought for the North in the Civil War. The Monitor sank off the coast of North Carolina and was raised by a team of Navy divers and preservationists in 2002. At that time, they had the turret and other parts raised from the ocean floor soaking in large containers outside of the museum, Now, about $30 million later, they have a whole wing of the museum devoted to displaying information about the Monitor and its history. Everything in the museum is so well done and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting this area.
Some other newer exhibits included a whole room on Horatio Nelson, a photograh exibit showing beach junk (something we saw a lot of in the Bahamas) and a new building with just small vessels from all over the world. I saw a funky little sailboat and remember the book I read a while back about the guy who built the 6ft sailboat and sailed it across the Atlantic in the 60’s–pretty crazy! Along with the photo exhibit, some artwork was displayed on the grounds that highlighted the amount of trash we produce.
We’re planning our route down through the Dismal Swamp to Elizabeth City and will leave Hampton on Friday–we need one more day here to hang out, relax, organize stuff on the boat, do laundry and, most importantly, see our friends again!