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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Norfolk the Navy town

Today we left Deltaville and headed across the south bay to Norfolk, VA, home to one of the largest US Naval bases.  Along the way we heard some interesting things on the radio.  There were two Korean war ships in the bay, apparently in for refueling.  That's not something you see every day, at least not where we are from.  We could see them off in the distance, but never got very close.

As we approached Norfolk, one of the US war ships (that's what they call themselves - War Ship 72, or War Ship 66) was alerting everyone that he was departing at 2:30 and to be on the lookout.  Well, just as we were getting ready to turn into the Elizabeth River, out came War Ship D72.  I tried hailing him on 13 (the standard bridge-to-bridge channel that all ships in the area use to coordinate passages), but they didn't respond.  I just decided to give him a wide berth and continue on our way.  A little later I heard War Ship 66 trying to hail him on 13 as well with no response, so I didn't feel so bad about being ignored.  99% of the time ships respond right away and happily coordinate passes.  For whatever reason 72 wasn't monitoring 13.

War Ship 72 leaving Norfolk Naval Base as we head down the Elizabeth River

Air Craft Carrier 77 - George Bush

Stealthy looking ships of some sort

Now THAT's a Cargo Ship.  I'll bet you could drive a sub inside and take it for a ride.

And a Hospital ship to clean up the mess.

Going through Norfolk and the surrounding towns, there is no mistake who butters the bread.  The Navy.  I've never seen so many ships in various states of refurbishment.   Have you ever seen an air craft carrier hauled out of the water?  We did.  And it was one of three carriers that were there at the time.  Plus a Hospital ship, and a huge rear-loading cargo ship.  Check out the pictures.

A bit later we experienced the 1% of commercial captains who are not so cooperative.  We were gaining on a tow and an unladen tug working their way up the Elizabeth river and I wanted to pass them, so I called and asked to pass on their starboard side.  They said fine but as I was getting closer they started turning to starboard, and soon after got on the radio asking where I was going and said I should pass their port side.  Umm?  I'm not sure where the miss-communication happened, but it did, and highlights the need to always be alert.

A few more miles down the river was the Top Rack Marina just past where the Dismal Swamp turns off.  We stayed there for the night, ready to transit the Dismal Swamp the next day.

1 comment:

Paul Doscher said...

Hi Peter! Just read the collection of blogs since you started out. Thanks for doing this blog, as it helps us up here in NH imagine your trip.