Thursday, November 18, 2010

Still in Norfolk.... sort of

New hot water tank? Check! New fridge shelves? Check! Fixed autopilot? Not quite. New mainsail? New mainsail? Anyone seen a new mainsail? No new mainsail yet. We made arrangements to meet up with it farther down the road and continued on. It’s not an issue because we’ll be entering the Intracoastal Waterway beginning tomorrow and will be motoring through it. It’s essentially a canal system that’s very narrow; there are bridges to go under and locks to pass through and lots of beautiful scenery to take in. (Warning: scenic photos to come.)

We spent four days in Little Creek in Norfolk hoping to sort out our autopilot issues, but the last autopilot in captivity (of our vintage) mysteriously disappeared. Oliver did his best to reconfigure ours to make it work better. Time will tell.

With time on his hands, Skip created some shelves for our fridge that will make it easier to navigate the cold box without too much frustration. So far so good. 

Another fridge issue is that the air shock (fridge door holder-upper) that keeps the heavy lid in the open position is a little too strong and the lid doesn’t want to stay shut. For now we pile heavy objects on top of the closed lid for a little extra weight. (Think: leaning a chair up against your fridge door to keep it closed.) We’ll have to come up with a better solution.

After leaving Little Creek we headed just a few hours away to Hampton for a night where Skip’s friend Gaston has a marine business and where our replacement hot water tank had arrived. Getting the first tank out was a little messy, but after mopping up the spilled water and antifreeze we got the new tank in without much trouble. Voila…. no leaks! This is very good news. We have hot water again and we don’t get aggravated at the sound of the water pump cycling every hour.

Gaston and Skip swapping sea stories (telling tales/lies)....
Gaston offered us a slip for the night and provided the muscle to pull Skip up the mast so he could replace our masthead light, which hadn’t been working for a while. (Thanks Gaston!)

Gaston's 'hood....
It looked a little nicer after dark.
Someone overstayed their welcome.
Chores finished, we headed for Hospital Point, which is on the west side of Norfolk and is Mile 0 of the waterway. This took us past the main Navy base in Norfolk where there was some pretty fierce looking navy gear. 

Along the same shoreline was the industrial working waterfront where there were big ships, big cranes and zillions of containers piled up and waiting to be unloaded at your neighborhood Walmart. 

Incredibly skilled tugboat captains move barges around, navigating the waters with ease. Watching them work is like watching water ballet on a grand scale. 

We’ll spend the night anchored here… lots of boat traffic will make us rock and roll all night but otherwise it’s quiet and pretty. 


Leslie said...

So cool! I love the photos of the barges and tugs and cranes. That's why I want to live on a working river. I'll take barge photos over scenery any day.

How about including some coordinates with your posts? I would love to look up your exact location on Google Earth. And that way I could check for the nearest webcams!


Madeline said...

I'll see what I can find to do some screen shots of our locations - but for now.... our coordinates are:

36° 50.6 North
76° 18.0 West