Friday, October 23, 2020

Arrived Norfolk

Intermezzo is tied up to the dock at Tidewater Yacht Marina in Portsmouth VA, just across the river from Norfolk. We arrived  at 17:25 this evening, 58 hours after weighing anchor in Lake Montauk on Wednesday morning. We sailed (motored) a distance of 353 nm for an average speed of just over 6 knots.

After our foggy night, the sun rose this morning blotted out by thick overcast skies with patches of fog lingering. By noon, the sun was peeking out as we approached the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, the sea an olive green, the swells tightening up and becoming choppy in the more shallow water. 

As we entered the bay, I heard one side of a radio transmission between a US Navy warship and a research vessel. Warship to research vessel: "We are going to begin gunnery exercises in 30 minutes and are interested in your navigation intentions." I couldn't here the research vessel's reply, but if I were it's captain I would answer, "What my previous intentions were are now irrelevant. My intentions now are to navigate away from where you will be shooting, if you would be so kind as to share that information."

As we proceeded towards Norfolk, the sky cleared, the sun shone and it became another lovely day for shorts and no shoes.

As we crossed over the tunnel of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, I had my own encounter with a Navy warship. The USS Mitsher, an Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer was barreling towards us at 20 knots. It was quite a site to see as the ship passed just a 100 yards on our starboard. 

Of course, such a large vessel traveling at such a speed in a narrow channel throws quite a wake behind it. I slowed the boat down and turned into the four foot high waves and, to my horror, remembered that I had opened the hatches to air out the boat. Oh no! I steered very carefully and fortunately was able to ride over the wake without shipping any water over the deck and into the boat. A much better result than my recent mishap with open hatches.

The last miles of the trip were uneventful as we passed by half a dozen aircraft carriers and a variety of warships at the Norfolk navy base in the warm sun.

We're pretty tired from the passage. I'll post a few pictures from the trip tomorrow.